SENATOR THE HON BRIDGET MCKENZIE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR INFRASTRUCTURE, TRANSPORT AND REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT
LEADER OF THE NATIONALS IN THE SENATE
1 August 2023
Labor’s 90 Delay Infrastructure Review Hits Pothole
“It’s a 90-day review – short, sharp – and we thank the states and territories
for working with us on it.” – Minister Catherine King, 1 May 2023
The Albanese Government’s so-called “short, sharp” 90-day infrastructure review has hit a pothole and will be delayed, according to official documents provided to industry stakeholders.
Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Senator Bridget McKenzie said more than 400 critical road and rail projects across the nation remain under threat of cancellation with Labor’s 90 day infrastructure review hit by further delays.
“Labor’s infrastructure razor gang has failed to deliver its report within 90 days as promised by the Infrastructure minister,” Senator McKenzie said.
“The 90 days between 1 May and 30 July have come and gone and local communities are none the wiser as to whether road projects will go ahead.
Senator McKenzie said the whole process of establishing the infrastructure review was a last minute shambles, a political fix to explain why the Federal Labor Government was going to cut promised and funded projects and redirect funding to support the pet projects of Labor premiers.
“It is understood creating time for local government, industry stakeholders and concerned community members to make submissions was not part of the government’s original planning and the sheer number of submissions may have contributed to the review running late,” Senator McKenzie said.
Documents released under Freedom of Information reveal department officials were scrambling on the evening of Saturday 29 April to secure CVs from review panel members ahead of the 1 May announcement of the review.
Documents also show the 90 day review’s terms of reference were not finalised or approved by the Prime Minister when Minister King publicly announced the review on 1 May.
Senator McKenzie said the Government needs to finalise the review and publicly release its recommendations to provide certainty for communities that long-awaited road and rail projects would go ahead.