Three out of every four dollars allocated to Tasmanian infrastructure projects in this month’s Federal Budget will not be spent until 2022/23 at the earliest.
And the Budget documents show it did not contain a single dollar of new funding for Tasmania, with all the funding allocated to new projects drawn from money already in the Budget.
For the past fortnight the Government has pretended Budget 2018 reversed the damaging succession of infrastructure investment cuts it has imposed on Tasmania since it took office in 2013.
However, the Budget documents show that delivery of most of the funding allocated to new projects has been pushed out on the Never-Never, beyond the four-year Forward Estimates period.
Little of the funding will flow this year, next year, the year after, or during the two years after that.
This means Tasmanians hoping for action on important projects like safety upgrades on the Bass Highway will have to re-elect the Coalition twice before they see the bulk of the funding.
It’s no wonder that at Senate Estimates this week, officials were unable to say when the Government would deliver the Bass Highway works from its new Roads of Strategic Importance Fund.
The officials revealed that the Turnbull Government had not even discussed the Bass Highway upgrades with the Tasmanian Government.
When it comes to infrastructure, Budget 2018 was a con job designed to win votes, not a serious blueprint to address Tasmania’s infrastructure deficit.
After years of cuts, Tasmania needs investment in railways and roads now, not years from now.
Only Labor can deliver. During our last period if office, we delivered record funding for Tasmania, lifting per-capita investment from $157 per Tasmanian to $264.