SLOW PROGRESS: Mr Albanese said the Coalition's plans to ease congestion like this in Melbourne are already part of Labor's commitments.
SLOW PROGRESS: Mr Albanese said the Coalition's plans to ease congestion like this in Melbourne are already part of Labor's commitments.

Morrison's infrastructure budget a 'con job', said Albanese

TRANSPORT operators would have to re-elect the Morrison Government at least twice before they see the bulk of the extra infrastructure investment promised in this week's federal budget.

That was the reaction to the Coalition cash-splash from Anthony Albanese, the Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development.

"Scott Morrison's Budget has emerged as a pre-election con job, with the bulk of the promised infrastructure funding not due to flow for at least four years,” said the ALP frontbencher. 

"Mr Morrison has reluctantly acknowledged the need to invest in infrastructure to boost productivity and tackle traffic congestion, but is deferring any action to reverse his previous cuts and neglect.”

Mr Albanese said the budget announcements won't commence in the next term, or maybe even the term after that. 

"These are grand promises on the Never Never. Australia needs a Labor Government with a genuine, properly thought-out plan to invest in our cities and regions in the national interest in its first term in office - not years later.” 

As well, much of the infrastructure plan simply copies existing Opposition infrastructure commitments and ideas, proving yet again that Labor has been leading from Opposition, said Mr Albanese. 

"Projects including Adelaide's South Road, the Perth METRONET, the Rockhampton and Mackay Ring Roads, Melbourne's South-East Suburban Road Package and the Western Sydney Rail are all existing Labor commitments. 

"Projects like Tasmania's Freight Rail Revitalisation Program and the Gladstone Port Access Road were funded by the former Labor Government, cut by the Coalition and have now been reinstated on the pretence that they are new.”

He said the Government's own budget papers lay bare the reality of a budget based on smoke and mirrors, rather than a genuine plan to invest in our nation.

Mr Albanese said they reveal the following discrepancies between promises and delivery: 

NEW SOUTH WALES

  • Promised extra funding: $6.1 billion.
  • Reality: $241 million, or 4 percent, to flow over next four years.

QUEENSLAND

  • Promised extra funding: $2.6 billion.
  • Reality: Nothing next year; $313 million, or 12 per cent, to flow over the next four years.

VICTORIA

  • Promise: $2 billion for Geelong Fast Rail.
  • Reality: 2 percent available over next four years.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

  • Promised extra funding: $1.8 billion.
  • Reality: $95 million, or 5 per cent, over next four years.

TASMANIA

  • Nothing new in 2019-20 or 2020-21 and only $68 million in the following two years.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

  • Promised extra funding: $1.6 billion.
  • Reality: $17.5 million next financial year and $60 million in the following year.

NORTHERN TERRITORY

  • Promised extra funding: $622 million.
  • Reality: $60 million, or 9 per cent, over next four years.

ACT

  • Nothing next year; $35 million in new funding over four years.
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