30 March 2023
REJECT ROUND TWO OF INFRASTRUCTURE CUTS
Nation-building Road, rail and infrastructure projects must not be stripped from the Albanese Government’s Budget after $10 billion in cuts and delays in the October 2022 Budget.
Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Senator Bridget McKenzie said communities would not tolerate a second round of Labor forgetting and de-prioritising local communities, particularly regional communities, right across Australia.
Evidence provided by Infrastructure Department officials at Senate Estimates hearings revealed the Albanese Labor Government’s first Budget cut $9.6 billion from infrastructure programs, $7 billion from projects to build dams and $10 billion in regional development programs.
Since discovering these cuts and delays, the Coalition has been calling on the Albanese Government to bring forward and reinstate funding infrastructure projects communities are in desperate need of.
“The Albanese Government has made major cuts to nation-building projects in every single state across Australia, these aren’t small cuts either, most states have had funding cut in the 100’s of millions for projects communities are desperate to see happen,
“Labor doesn’t seem to understand how much local roads and infrastructure projects mean to residents, giving them peace of mind when travelling that the roads will be safer and their communities stronger both socially and economically.” Senator McKenzie said.
With the cost of labour within public infrastructure increasing 17% over the last 12 months, Senator McKenzie said the cuts and delays to these infrastructure projects are a sign of an irresponsible strategy from Labor.
“Continually cutting back on infrastructure projects pulls the handbrake on economic growth and creates a barrier on driving national efficiencies needed to tackle inflation.
“Every time a project has its funding deferred and its delivery delayed by Labor, the cost of delivering the project goes up, and Australians are left paying the price through higher taxes.” Senator McKenzie said.
Senator McKenzie said it’s clear that far from being a Prime Minister who builds things, Mr Albanese is looking like the Prime Minister who blocks things.
“Labor’s lack of infrastructure ambition represents a plan for gridlocked city streets, unsafe regional freight routes and less time spent at home with loved ones.
“Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has been happy to cancel vital projects in my home state of Victoria including the Wellington Road duplication and the Shepparton Bypass.
“The Shepparton bypass is a vital infrastructure project that will benefit the amenity of the community but also support the economic growth for the entire Goulburn Valley region, yet, unfortunately the Labor Government sees it as a ‘wasteful’ investment having cut funding of $174.5 million from forward estimates to beyond the next election.” Senator McKenzie said.
“The Albanese Labor Government must provide clarity and reassurance that there will be no further cuts or delays from the infrastructure portfolio in the May Budget,
“Australians deserve better – better roads, better rails and better infrastructure, not more cuts and delays from Labor.” Senator McKenzie said.