Mar 11, 2011

Warren Truss has zero credibility

Warren Truss has zero credibility

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

Minister for Infrastructure & Transport

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

March 11 2011

The Gillard Labor Government has repeatedly stated our commitment to the staged upgrade and duplication of the entire stretch of the Bruce Highway between Cooroy and Curra – contrary to the shameful and dishonest claims made by Nationals Leader Warren Truss over the past week.

Indeed when it comes to this issue, Mr Truss has zero credibility.

No one should forget that during his 12 years as a member of the former Howard Government – including almost two years as Federal Transport Minister – Mr Truss failed to secure even one dollar to begin the upgrade of this notorious section of highway.

Put simply, when he had a chance to do something to fix this piece of road infrastructure, Mr Truss chose to do nothing – a record I intend to remind him of every time he attempts to play politics with this issue.

Compared to Mr Truss’ 12 years of inaction and neglect, this Federal Labor Government has already started construction on Section B, the only section the former government had bothered to do any planning on. This $613 million project is on track to be completed by next year.

In addition, we’ve also committed $200 million to finish the detailed planning and pre-construction activities which Mr Truss failed to do along the remaining three sections. In fact out of this allocation we’ve already spent $75 million on necessary land resumptions.

Here’s the bottom line: if the former Howard Government had made a financial commitment equal to the one we’re now making then this stretch of highway would today be almost fully duplicated.

Despite attempts to rewrite history, this is one fact Mr Truss can’t erase or hide from.