Infastructure Minister Warren Truss visited Port Lincoln Airport today to inspect the newly upgraded Port Lincoln Airport, funded by a $5.5 million grant from the former Federal Labor Government. The project has created up to 30 permanent full time jobs.
While I welcome the fact that Mr Truss has spent the new year touring Labor funded projects around the country, many of which he initially opposed or criticised as being wasteful, his time may be better spent explaining why he is now cutting grants to upgrade regional airports that were fully funded in the 2013 Labor Budget.
This includes $10 million that Labor allocated in the 2013 Federal Budget to upgrade the Whitsunday Coast Airport, which was set to create 50 local jobs and provide a huge boost to the thriving local tourism industry, with a runway extension catering for larger aircraft such as A330’s.
Labor’s press release confirming the funding to Whitsunday Coast Airport is available here: http://www.alp.org.au/cm19_190813
Mr Truss has also cut Port Lincoln Council’s grant of $109,915 for local community infrastructure that the council was allocated under Round 5 of the Regional Development Infrastructure Fund.
Labor introduced the fund to boost jobs and local infrastructure, and improve the quality of life for local communities. Mr Truss announced on 4 December 2013 that the Abbott Government would cut the grants, even though they were included in the 2013 Budget.
The press release by Mr Truss confirming the Abbott Government has cut community funding in every local council area is available here: http://www.warrentruss.com/release.php?id=2146
Whilst it is one thing to tour the nation celebrating the completion or commencement of Labor funded infrastructure projects, he should explain the cuts he has made to community infrastructure.
Mr Truss even visited Cairns to re-announce Labor’s Cape York Infrastructure Package which was funded in the 2013 federal Labor budget and visited the work on a range of Labor funded projects, such as the Princes Highway East in Victoria and the Pacific Highway on the NSW North Coast between Tintenbar and Ewingsdale.
At each visit Mr Truss has neglected to mention that funding was approved by past Budgets under the former Labor Government.