The Federal Coalition’s “infrastructure policy” has become an even more absurd charade, with their leader Tony Abbott finally admitting that he has no intention of telling anyone what projects he would build and how they would be funded until after the election.
Instead, at today’s launch of his glossy but vacuous electioneering booklet, Mr Abbott arrogantly told Australians:
“Within 12 months of election we will announce infrastructure priorities and construction timetables in consultation with the States.”
REAL SOLUTION FOR ALL AUSTRALIANS – P31
In short, Mr Abbott is saying: ‘elect us first then we’ll tell you what we will do’.
Mr Abbott hasn’t got a plan for the nation’s infrastructure; all he’s offering is more relentless negativity and weasel words which he hopes will get him through until Election Day. He simply doesn’t want to be held accountable.
This ‘don’t worry, trust us’ response should send a shiver down the everyone’s spines, particularly given the Federal Coalition’s track record the last time they were in office (1996-2007).
Indeed, the former Howard Government, in which Mr Abbott served as a senior Cabinet minister, slashed Federal road funding by more than $2 billion, starved rail of much needed new investment and refused to commit even a dollar to urban public transport.
What’s more, with his promise to establish a “commission of audit”, Mr Abbott has also today foreshadowed doing exactly what recently elected State Liberal Governments have done if he too wins office, namely making big cuts to health, education and infrastructure spending.
By contrast, Federal Labor has established Infrastructure Australia, doubled the roads budget, increased rail investment ten-fold and committed more to urban public transport than all our predecessors since Federation combined.
Over the last five years, we’ve increased total annual infrastructure spending from $141 to $269 per Australian. That’s real money for real projects that are making a real difference in communities around the country.
When it comes to infrastructure, the Federal Coalition is all deceit and no action.