May 15, 2015

Truss slashes Pacific Highway funding

Investment in the Pacific Highway has continued to decline under the Abbott Government.

In Labor’s last year in office $1 billion was invested as part of our $7.6 billion commitment.

This was reduced by 65% in the current financial year to just $357 million.

In last year’s Budget the Government committed to spend $672 million in the coming 2015-16 financial year.

But Infrastructure Minister Warren Truss told the Northern Star this week that investment would be cut by $130 million to $542 million next year.

News of the cut comes in the week that the Government produced the first Budget in living memory that did not fund a single new infrastructure project.

Since winning office in 2013, Mr Truss has sought to mislead Australians about Pacific Highway commitment, claiming to have lifted funding when in fact funding is going backwards.

To hide his failures, Mr Truss has constantly re-announced projects on the Pacific Highway that were funded by the former Labor Government, pretending they were new.

People who use the highway frequently know that it took a Labor Government to deliver real progress on the duplication through projects including the Bulahdelah, Kempsey and Ballina bypasses and the Glenugie, Banora Point and Devil’s Pulpit upgrades.

They also know that work now underway on the Kundabung to Kempsey, Frederickton to Eungai, Nambucca Heads to Urunga and Tintenbar to Ewingsdale sections of the road was funded and commenced by the former Labor Government.

It is time Mr Truss stopped the Magical Infrastructure Re-Announcement Tour and knuckled down to the task of finishing this critical project.