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Swan confirms road and rail spending to be cut.

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Warren Truss Leader of The Nationals Shadow Minister for Trade, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Federal Member for Wide Bay


W o r k i n g h a r d , g e t t i n g r e s u l t s

Media contact: Paul Chamberlin 0419 233989 / 02 6277 4482

5 November 2008

Swan confirms road and rail spending to be cut

Road and rail spending under the Rudd Government will fall well below what the Coalition committed in government, revised Budget estimates released today have confirmed.

“For all of Labor’s grand talk of ‘nation building’ and an infrastructure-led recovery, the Rudd Government will spend far less than the $31 billion the Coalition committed to road and rail projects between now and 2014,” said Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Transport Minister, Warren Truss.

“The global financial crisis has obviously had a major effect, but Labor should never have promised what it now cannot deliver.

“Labor has boasted that increased infrastructure investment would be a priority element of its economic agenda. In February, higher infrastructure spending was one of the five points in Labor’s strategy to beat inflation. In October, infrastructure expenditure was a key part of the plan to combat recession.

“Now it seems infrastructure spending will actually be cut. Any new projects that do receive funding will go on the Bankcard.

“Quite simply, Labor was relying on the Coalition’s strong economic management of the domestic economy to sustain AusLink spending of $26 billion between 2008 and 2014 and to create a $20 billion Building Australia Fund.

“Some of that Fund’s money will be dribbled out to bail out failing Labor state governments but Treasurer Wayne Swan has confirmed there is not enough money to fill the Fund.

“Labor has a long history of talking up road and rail funding but failing to deliver - look at every Labor state government. Just this week, the New South Wales Government has axed two long-promised and much-needed rail projects, and there will be more to come.

“Kevin Rudd and Wayne Swan are out of their depth and fast finding out that running a diverse economy like Australia’s is not quite the walk in the park they claimed it to be before the election.

“I also find it highly suspicious that Mr Swan would release the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook figures on the same day as the United States election.

“He is obviously trying to bury the bad news, as Labor aims to manage the news cycle rather than the long-term interests of the nation,” Mr Truss said.