Jan 12, 2017

PBO report confirms new cuts to transport infrastructure

Today’s PBO report confirms the Coalition Government’s pattern of underinvestment in infrastructure, with a further $1.1 billion cut from commitments in the May 2016 Budget, just eight months ago.

This comes in addition to underinvestment in the nation’s infrastructure program in both 2014-15 and 2015-16, against what was promised by the Coalition in its 2014 Budget.

2016-7 Budget vs MYEFO – transport infrastructure spending
Year May 2016 Estimate (Budget) December 2016 (MYEFO) Difference (negative is a cut)
2016-7 9178 8327 -851
2017-8 8753 8510 -243
2018-9 5046 5450 404
2019-20 3956 4155 199
Forwards 26933 26442 -491


Malcolm Turnbull and his Ministers have been serially misleading Australians about their level of investment in new railways, roads and other infrastructure.

While the Government has claimed for years that it will spend $50 billion on infrastructure between 2014/15 and 2018-19, the actual money committed is $34 billion, and falling.

Proof of the Government’s misleading behaviour comes amid growing calls from economists and business leaders for it to boost infrastructure to support jobs and economic growth. Those calls have increased since this month’s National Accounts showed the economy contracted by 0.5 per cent in the September quarter.

In its 2014 Budget, the Coalition undertook to invest $8 billion on infrastructure in the 2015-16 financial year. But the recently released Final Budget Outcome for 2015-16 shows the Government invested $5.5 billion.

That underspend followed an underinvestment of $900 million in the previous year.

The December MYEFO shows yet another cut of $1.1 billion in this year’s and next year’s spending – against what was promised as recently as the May 2016 Budget.

It is time Australia had a government prepared to support economic and jobs growth, not just talk about it.

Mr Turnbull must stop misleading his fellow Australians and actually invest in the nation’s future.