Mr Abbott has again today had the audacity to look Tasmanians in the eyes and tell them an untruth when he says that the Federal Coalition could fully duplicate the Midland Highway for as little as $400 million.
That promise is as fraudulent now as it was when Mr Abbott first made it in 2010 – the job simply cannot be done for that amount of money.
But you don’t just have to take my word for it. All Mr Abbott has to do is listen to the experts.
For example, the Tasmanian Infrastructure Department puts the cost of full duplication at $3 billion.
What’s more Mr Abbott says his $400 million comes from the current “Auslink Fund”. The fact is that program has not existed for more than five years begging the question where the money will come from?
Mr Abbott hasn’t got a plan for Tasmania’s infrastructure. All he’s doing is repeating the same uncosted and unfunded con-job which he hopes will get him through until Election Day. He simply doesn’t want to be held accountable.
For our part, Federal Labor has almost doubled infrastructure spending from $157 to $264 per Tasmanian. This record capital works program has, amongst other things, built the Brighton Bypass and delivered the most extensive upgrade of the State’s rail network.
We have also provided $50 million towards the redevelopment of Hobart’s Macquarie Point Railyards, extended the Bass Strait Equalisation Scheme and revamped and made more generous the assistance available to tourists wanting to bring their vehicles to the State for a driving holiday.
And of course communities in Tasmania have been the first to benefit from the rollout of the National Broadband Network – the nation’s biggest ever infrastructure project.