LIFT THE CURTAIN ON INFRASTRUCTURE CUTS
The Albanese Government needs to come clean on what infrastructure cuts it has made in its first Budget.
“Infrastructure and the regions took the biggest hit out of any portfolio in Labor’s first Budget, yet the new government refuses to say which projects have been delayed and for how long, and which programs have been boned,” Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Senator Bridget McKenzie said today.
“The Albanese Government’s first Budget has extracted most of its so-called “savings” by axing or deferring infrastructure projects across the nation and by killing off regional projects.”
Senator McKenzie said the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Catherine King needs to come clean on the 50 infrastructure projects which have been axed in Labor’s Budget.
In a media interview today, Ms King said it was not up to the Government to reveal which projects were being axed.
“What the budget does is (sic) it says this is what we’re keeping, so that’s a matter for the Opposition to say that they think these things are not proceeding with or not,” Minister King told Sky News.
Senator McKenzie said this attitude was not good enough and created great uncertainty for people, particularly in regional Australia, who had banked on key infrastructure projects going ahead but would now have to wait indefinitely.
“The Albanese’s Labor Government is happy to rip the guts out of critical infrastructure projects across Australia, but now won’t provide information on where and why those cuts have been made to the portfolio,” Senator McKenzie said.
Labor’s Budget saw the Coalition’s Building Better Regions Fund, a highly successful grants program for regional and rural communities, completely cut, and announcing round 6 will not be going ahead.
There have been over 800 applications for round 6 who are now left abandoned, wondering what is going to happen to their projects, Senator McKenzie said.
Page 161 of Budget Paper 2 highlights approximately $10 billion of cuts across urban and regional programs. These programs deliver social and economic benefits to both communities and the nation as a whole.
“It’s simply astonishing that the minister responsible is unable to tell people the detail of these cuts in Budget week,
“If these cuts are decisions that have been made, the Minister needs to level with Australian people.
“If no decisions have been made, then why are these cuts in this budget? The only explanation is that they thought they could get away with slugging the regions instead of making the tough decisions.”