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Albo paves Labor's boulevard of broken promises

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Albo paves Labor’s boulevard of broken promises

16th May, 2013

“WHEN it comes to broken promises, Julia Gillard may have met her match in her Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese,” Nationals leader and Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport said today.

“On Monday, Mr Albanese laid down the challenge “have a look at our record”. Ok, let’s…

* Earlier this year Labor announced $4 billion for the Bruce Highway, saying it was making good on matching the Queensland government’s $1 billion on a 4-to-1 basis. But it turns out only $2.4 billion of what Julia Gillard and Anthony Albanese promised is new money.

* In last year’s federal budget Labor announced a mere $3.56 billion for the Pacific Highway. Since then Mr Albanese has been playing a dangerous game of charades with NSW mid- and north-coast communities, withholding funds and reneging on the 4-to-1 funding split with the NSW government. The Coalition will release all of the $3.56 billion allocated immediately and add another $2.1 billion to see the Pacific Highway fully-funded and completed.

* Following the August 2010 federal election, Labor pledged a pitiful $300 million for the Inland Rail Link from Melbourne to Brisbane. Three years on and not a shovel has hit the dirt. The only sleeper on this job is Minister Albanese.

* Minister Albanese’s now infamous ‘Jobs Fund - Infrastructure Employment Projects’ were announced in the 2009 Federal Budget and later slammed by the Australian National Audit Office as a monumental failure. It was supposed to create jobs in high unemployment areas during the global financial crisis. It failed to create a single job during the global financial crisis, failed to target high unemployment areas and lacked any critical assessment on project needs. It became a slush fund for pet projects and a debacle that cost taxpayers $150 million.

* In the 2009 Federal Budget, Labor pledged $61 million for the Adelaide O-Bahn project. They spent $5 million on planning and then cancelled the project out-right.

* In 2009 Labor pledged $91 million for the Sydney West Metro project and then promptly cancelled it.

* Labor also announced $50 million for the Darwin Port Expansion in 2009. The project was cancelled without a cent being allocated.

* Again, in the 2009 Federal Budget, Labor committed $339 million to build WA’s Oakajee Port in WA. Four years on, not a sod has been turned.

* At the 2007 federal election, five-and-a-half years ago, Labor committed $150 million for the F3 to Sydney Orbital (M2) project, but Labor has withheld funding until 2015-16 - a delay of at least eight years.

* Again, in 2007, Labor announced $300 million for the M4 Motorway, spent $30 million on planning only, and then in 2011-12 withdrew the remaining $270 million entirely.

“Labor makes grand, inflated promises but the fact is it just doesn’t deliver and the 2013 Federal Budget is no exception.

“In answer to Mr Albanese’s challenge, Labor’s proven record is a litany of broken promises - a string of grandiose infrastructure announcements for the cameras which are tossed on the scrapheap once the hoopla dies down.

“He cannot mask the reality that he is cutting infrastructure spending in the Federal Budget this year, down from $36 billion over 6 years to $24 billion over 5 years.

“Julia Gillard and Anthony Albanese will say anything ahead of September’s election, but they simply cannot be taken seriously and their record proves it.

“By contrast, the Coalition is taking a responsible approach, only making commitments we know we can afford and keep.”