May 22, 2009

The National Party just can’t add up

The National Party just can’t add up


The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

May 22 2009

The Leader of the Nationals, Warren Truss, has again been caught out misleading the community over the scale of the Rudd Labor Government’s unprecedented investment in the nation’s road, rail and port infrastructure.

Either Mr Truss has not read or cannot understand the Budget papers.

The fact is our second budget delivers more funding for infrastructure projects than that provided last year in our first budget.

All up, we will invest a record $6 billion in 2009-10 to build new and upgrade existing transport infrastructure – more than in 2008-09.

The allocations that make up this unprecedented investment program can be found on pages 24, 34, 89 and 107 of my Department’s Portfolio Budget Statements:

For the benefit of Mr Truss I have put these figures in the form of a graph which clearly shows that we are investing significantly more than the Howard Government did in its last two budgets (2006-07 and 2007-08):

Note: 2006-07 and 2007-08 were the Howard Government’s final two budgets.

Source: Annual Budget papers.

Mr Truss’s latest stunt is nothing more than a desperate attempt to conceal the fact that the only side of politics talking about slashing infrastructure spending is his own.

When asked this week whether he would maintain the level of infrastructure spending being undertaken by the Rudd Labor Government, the Leader of the Opposition Malcolm Turnbull responded:

“Everything will have to be reviewed, there’s no question about that.”

(Source: Adelaide Advertiser, 20 May 2009)

I call on Mr Truss and Mr Turnbull to be honest with the Australian people and tell them which infrastructure projects they will delay or cancel.