Today in Question Time, the Government confirmed its so-called $100 billion infrastructure pipeline is nothing but a pipedream, with little work to start on five projects in the next four years.
The Minister for Infrastructure today refused to bring forward funding for five infrastructure projects across NSW, Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania.
Labor MPs asked the Minister about important local infrastructure projects in their communities, all of which the Government alleges it supports.
The Minister refused to confirm basic facts:
- Only three percent of the $1.6 billion budgeted for the M1 Pacific Motorway extension to Raymond Terrace in NSW will be available in the next four years.
- Work on the South Geelong to Waurn Ponds in Victoria rail upgrade won’t commence until at least July 2024.
- There is still no start date for the new Bridgewater Bridge, north of Hobart.
- 90 percent of the $500 million for safety upgrades to the Princes Highway south of Nowra in NSW will not available for at least four years.
- When work would begin on eliminating the Boundary Road level crossing at Coopers Plains, one of South-East Queensland’s worst traffic black spots.
After talking such a big game on infrastructure during the election, the Australian people are rightly concerned by this Government’s refusal to bring forward infrastructure investment to stimulate the sluggish economy, boost productivity, improve road safety, and bust congestion.
Less than 30 percent of the Government’s so-called $100 billion 10 year infrastructure program is budgeted for the next four years.
This follows the dismal record of spending $5.1 billion less on infrastructure than promised over its first six years.
The Government continues to ignore calls from the RBA Governor, economists and State Coalition Treasurers to bring forward infrastructure investment.
Instead, its only action on infrastructure in this term is abolishing the $3.9 billion Building Australia Fund, set aside to fund critical nation-building infrastructure.
It is clear the Government’s so-called $100 billion infrastructure pipeline is nothing but a pipedream.