Beazley claims Howard has failed on infrastructure

<p>Federal opposition leader Kim Beazley this morning (Monday, July 25) attacked the Federal Government on its lack of foresight in the area of infrastructure investment during the past nine years, claiming it had left Australia economically unprepared.</p> <p>Mr Beazley said that he was aware of 11 separate references to major infrastructure problems in the last five years and that there had been eight separate major infrastructure inquiries.</p> <p>However, little had been achieved, he said.</p> <p>&#8220The Howard Government is all talk no action and this has left us economically unprepared,&#8221 he said.</p> <p>Mr Beazley said that while he broadly welcomed the AusLink initiative, he bore grave reservations about how the AusLink funding was being applied.</p> <p>He described it as John Howard’s &#8220political slush fund&#8221.</p> <p>&#8220AusLink is contaminated by politics,&#8221 he told the packed conference. &#8220It pitches the states and the territories against each other and the Commonwealth.&#8221</p> <p>&#8220John Howard is eating the seeds rather than planting them.&#8221 </p> <p>Mr Beazley also said the Federal Government was &#8220way behind the eight-ball&#8221 on security, particularly maritime security.</p> <p>There was strong evidence that Al Qa’eda was moving into the maritime area, with the terrorist groups Abu Sayed and Ji said to be actively looking at maritime piracy, he said.</p> <p>&#8220This is a likely avenue of attack on us,&#8221 he warned.</p> <p>Mr Beazley said the Howard Government, not the states, had to accept &#8220100% responsibility&#8221 for any shortcomings in security.</p> <p>&#8220There has been far too much duck shoving to the states,&#8221 he said.</p> <br />