Apr 14, 2016

Orwellian propaganda campaign must stop

The Turnbull Government has rejected a Labor bid for information about why it is wasting $18 million on propaganda to hide its serious failures on infrastructure delivery.

Despite the fact that infrastructure investment has fallen by 20 percent since the Coalition took office, Malcolm Turnbull is now cutting investment even further to fund advertisements designed to pretend otherwise.

Cutting money from ongoing projects to buy air time to advertise your dedication to infrastructure investment is Orwellian.

Taxpayers have a right to know exactly which ongoing infrastructure projects are being cut to fund this con job.

But the Government has rejected my application for information under Freedom of Information legislation, citing the weak excuse that the matter was discussed by Cabinet.

Forget the spin. The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported earlier this year that public infrastructure investment declined by 20 per cent between the September quarters of 2013 and 2015.

The decline is attributable to the Government’s 2013 decision to shift money allocated to shovel ready urban public transport projects into new toll roads which were not shovel ready and which had not been the subject of proper cost-benefit analysis.

Of the Government’s three big ticket toll road proposals, Melbourne’s discredited East-West Link has collapsed, the Perth Freight Link has been halted by the courts and the budget for Sydney’s Westconnex project has blown out from $10 billion to $16.8 billion.

The Government’s propaganda campaign must cease now.

Australia needs a government prepared to invest in better roads, rail and other infrastructure, not in deceitful propaganda.