Newly installed Infrastructure and Transport Minister Barnaby Joyce must end the politics, reverse his Government’s savage cuts and provide Victoria with its fair share of Federal infrastructure funding.
According to the Government’s own figures, as revealed in last month’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO), Victoria will receive a paltry 9.7 per cent of the Federal infrastructure budget this financial year (2017-18) – and that’s despite the State being home to 25 per cent of Australians.
But not satisfied with denying Victoria its fair share, they have also failed to
deliver what limited funding they did promise.
Indeed, in their first four budgets the Government said it would invest $3.3 billion in Victoria’s rail and road infrastructure.
The actual figure ended up being $2.3 billion, which represents an actual cut of $1 billion.
They have cut funding for major road and rail projects.
They have cut funding for fixing dangerous blackspots on local roads.
They have even cut funding for building new roadside facilities such as rest stops for truck drivers.
Put simply, the Turnbull Government has walked away from Victorians and left it to the Andrews Labor Government to do all the heavy lifting when it comes to delivering the infrastructure vital to Victoria’s future such as the Melbourne Metro. The fact is without transformative projects like the Metro the cost of Melbourne’s traffic congestion will more than triple to $9 billion a year by 2031.
All up, Federal infrastructure investment per Victorian has more than halved from $201 under the former Federal Labor Government to $92 under the current Turnbull Government.
As Australia’s fastest growing state, Victoria deserves better.
Leader of the Australian Labor Party, MP for Grayndler, Rabbitohs Life Member. Authorised by Anthony Albanese, ALP, Canberra.