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Where are the billions, Kevin?



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Media Release

The Hon Joe Hockey MP Shadow Treasurer Coalition Campaign Spokesman

Tuesday 27 August 2013

Where are the billions, Kevin?

Kevin Rudd has lost all credibility with his billions of dollars of promises being made on the “never-never”.

This morning Kevin Rudd has ‘briefed out’ that he wants to relocate the Garden Island Defence facilities to northern Australia.

The ‘briefed out’ announcement comes with no funding and no costings.

However the Government’s own Independent Review of the Potential for Enhanced Cruise Ship Access to Garden Island Sydney - released in April last year - suggested any change would cost billions of dollars.

Option 5 of the Independent Review completed by Allan Hawke in February 2012 stated that permanent relocation of military assets from Garden Island to elsewhere would require a “minimum total investment estimated at $1.003 billion” for “core base facilities only”. (Source: Independent Review of the Potential for Enhanced Cruise Ship Access to Garden Island Sydney- completed by Allan Hawke in February 2012, Page xi-Page xii)

The review further stated that:

“It [the relocation figure] does not include land acquisition costs or any associated compensation required for compulsorily acquiring appropriate land holdings and dislocating existing activities. It does not include numerous indirect costs such as additional Defence housing, personnel relocation costs or additional operational costs that might be borne by Defence due to separation from other Defence (Navy) shore based technical training and operational support facilities located in the Sydney basin area, and the industrial base. It also does not include any industry relocation costs and implications.” (Source: Independent Review of the Potential for Enhanced Cruise Ship Access to Garden Island Sydney- completed by Allan Hawke in February 2012, Page xii)

The review further noted:

“It is unlikely this option could be fully operational until around 2025.” (Source: Independent Review of the Potential for Enhanced Cruise Ship Access to Garden Island Sydney- completed by Allan Hawke in February 2012, Page xii)

But this is not the only promise made on the “never-never”.

Other promises made by Kevin Rudd on the “never-never” include:

 Building a $114 billion high speed rail link between Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne.  Additional $2 billion of car manufacturing industry assistance to cover up for his $1.8 billion FBT tax hike.  A promise to cut company tax in the Northern Territory, which fast became a

promise to cut company tax in the whole of northern Australia. The rate and breadth of this tax cut varied multiple times in one 25 minute press conference.

Kevin Rudd would do well to listen to his predecessor, Julia Gillard, who stated:

“Every time we announce something we properly account for it and properly fund it.” (Source: Julia Gillard, Press Conference - Canberra, 11 February 2011)

These billions of dollars of promises add to the fiscal mess created by Labor and call into question Chris Bowen’s iron clad commitment on Q&A on 19 August 2013 to repay all net debt by 2023-2024.

Given these big spending promises outside of the forward estimates, does Mr Bowen plan on dumping this ‘zero net debt by 2023-2024’ promise, or does he plan on yet more tax increases?

Labor has never been responsible with taxpayers’ money - they never have been and they never will be.

Media Contact: Tony Ritchie 0407 002 704

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