Jun 13, 2014

Not one extra dollar for Inland Rail in Budget

Tony Abbott has broken his promise to fast track the proposed capital Inland Rail freight link between Brisbane and Melbourne.

The Government’s 2014-15 Budget includes $300 million to get the project started. But this $300 million was provided by the previous Labor Government in 2011.

Infrastructure Minister Warren Truss and his colleagues have repeatedly claimed the Coalition is ‘kick-starting’ and ‘fast-tracking’ the project.

But the truth is the Government has not provided a single extra dollar for Inland Rail beyond that provided by Labor.

Fast-tracking a project requires bringing forward additional funding, not just repeatedly re-announcing the same 2011 funding package on exactly the same timeframe.

The Government’s dishonesty over the schedule continues its attempts to mislead Australians about its infrastructure program to divert attention from the broken promises and savage cuts that dominate its Budget.

Mr Truss has been wandering around the nation reannouncing old projects designed, funded and in many cases delivered in full by Labor.

He is also seeking credit for the Inland Rail link even though he has done nothing to expedite the project.

Mr Truss should put away the thesaurus and start focussing on doing the hard work to deliver the infrastructure Australia needs.