Dec 12, 2013

NSW flags Abbott road funding cuts

The New South Wales Government has revealed it expects Tony Abbott to slash commonwealth road funding by $70 million this financial year.

The NSW Half Yearly Review, published today, indicates the Commonwealth will reduce its payments to NSW under national partnerships agreements by $180 million this year.

The review (at page 11) says this will involve a $70 million reduction in roads funding.

This will cause deferral of planned upgrades of the Pacific Highway, the Newell Highway and the Greater Western Highway, the report says.

This decision comes on top of $8 billion in Commonwealth infrastructure spending cuts announced by the Coalition prior to the election.

Since then the Coalition has also abandoned $150 million in grants to councils to fund community facilities. This will hit council budgets and compromise the ability of councils to fix local roads.

This week, the Coalition also rammed legislation through the Parliament allowing for political interference into the operation of Infrastructure Australia.

When you add these actions to Tony Abbott’s complete refusal to fund public transport projects, it is clear the Government is intent on demolishing the previous Labor Government’s nation building approach to infrastructure.

Australians deserve well-maintained roads for the safety of motorists and the efficient transport of freight.

The Abbott Government clearly does not understand the link between growth in economic productivity and efficient roads, railways lines and ports.

The inevitable result will be reduced economic productivity and lower growth in jobs.

NOTE: The NSW Half-Yearly Review can be found at:

http://www.treasury.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/27834/2013-14_Half-Yearly_Budget_Review_FINAL.pdf