Labor is encouraged by today’s announcement the Morrison Government will deliver funding to local councils to be invested in local roads and community infrastructure, but more needs to be done to ensure Australia’s economic recovery.
With 537 councils around Australia who are all in need of additional funding, this $500 million program is welcome but modest.
Even before the current crisis, Labor and stakeholders like the RBA were calling on the Government to bring forward infrastructure funding to strengthen the sluggish economy.
The current economic crisis has made increased investment more important than ever.
Instead of increasing investment, the Coalition has repeatedly cut infrastructure funding across Australia and tried to conceal these cuts with promises of investment due years into the future.
Under this new fund, Councils will have to seek approval from the Commonwealth before funding for projects can be delivered. It is crucial that this process gets the work done.
Additionally, the Government must ensure that the money is distributed on a transparent and equitable basis, unlike some previous Coalition programs, including the Urban Congestion Fund and the Regional Jobs and Investment Program.
To drive Australia’s recovery from this crisis, the Government needs to announce a comprehensive plan to bring forward investment across the nation.
FRIDAY, 22 MAY 2020
Authorised by Paul Erickson Australian Labor Party Canberra