Federal Labor’s shadow transport and infrastructure minister, Anthony Albanese, has criticised the Coalition government for what he described as its “failure” to deliver on its infrastructure commitments since coming to power five years ago.
Albanese claimed that the government has not delivered its promised infrastructure spend in each of its four Budgets since its first in 2014, leaving a gap of $4.9 billion.
“This is nothing short of a crisis in project delivery,” Albanese said in a statement.
“It is clear the Government’s revolving-door parade of infrastructure ministers, including Warren Truss, Jamie Briggs, Darren Chester, Barnaby Joyce, Paul Fletcher, Michael McCormack and Alan Tudge, have all lacked the competence to deliver their own promises.”
Albanese’s comments come hot on the heels of the release of the Final Budget Outcome documents for the government’s 2017-18 Budget. The documents, the shadow minister contended, indicate that the government invested only $6.9 billion in infrastructure spending, after having committed to a spend of $7.9 billion.
“Projects promised but not delivered include general rail and road investment as well as literally hundreds of road safety projects under the Black Spot Program,” Albanese said.
“The Bridges Renewal Program, created by this government, is underspent by more than half, with $290 million promised but $135 million delivered.”
Albanese also poured scorn on the recent revelations that the government had secret plans for $7.6 billion in road and rail spending in marginal seats ahead of the next federal election.
“Instead of cynically holding back announcements for its political purposes, Mr Morrison must get on with the job of providing Australians with the railways and roads that he has promised and that they have paid for through their taxes,” he said.
“Investing in the right infrastructure projects creates jobs and economic activity in the short-term, while boosting productivity and economic growth over the long-term.”