Four out of five dollars announced for railways and roads in last week’s Federal Budget won’t be delivered for at least four years.
The Budget documents shows that of $19.3 billion worth of new infrastructure projects announced last week, only 1 per cent of the funding will be spent in 2018-19.
Only about 20 per cent will be invested over the next four years.
In the meantime, actual Federal infrastructure investment will fall off a cliff, from $8 billion in 2017-18 to about $4.5 billion by 2021-22.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull used the pre-Budget period to mislead the electorate that he supported a range of infrastructure projects, including a rail line to the Melbourne Airport and Western Sydney Rail.
But the Budget included no money for the construction of any project over the Forward Estimates.
And in the case of the Melbourne Airport Rail, Mr Turnbull claims he will fund the project “off-budget’’, despite the fact that such accounting treatment requires that the project makes a financial return to the Budget.
The fact is public transport projects do not generate enough revenue to cover either their operational or their capital cost.