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AusLink Mark 2 - released after only three months.



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Martin Ferguson MP

Shadow Minister for Urban and Regional Development Shadow Minister for Transport and Infrastructure

15 September 2004

AusLink Mark 2 - released after only three months

Three months ago John Anderson launched AusLink with a flurry of activity, saying that this was the greatest transport program ever released in the history of this country.

Now only three months later, in the shadow of a Federal election, we see the Minister launching AusLink Mark 2. This is despite the fact that AusLink was meant to be a five year plan.

When AusLink was released State Governments and the Federal Opposition expressed concerned about the lack of a cooperative process in developing the plan. Projects were simply parachuted onto the desks of State Ministers, who were told to take it or leave it.

The same thing has happened today. A range of new projects have simply been announced, with no regard for process, or the overall transport outcomes.

Labor has taken a different approach.

We have had detailed discussions with the States and Territories to identify which projects stack up - on economic, social and safety grounds. Our objective is to develop an integrated transport network, not a series of politically attractive projects.

Labor’s rigorous process means that today Mr Anderson has been forced to play catch-up on a number of Labor’s agreed commitments, such as: • Tully Floodworks, announced by Labor in August; • Peel Deviation - full 50 per cent commitment, announced by Labor in

July;

• Pakenham Bypass - full 50 per cent commitment, announced by Labor in June; and • Extension of the Black Spots program, announced by Labor in July.

The Government has also failed to commit to the ongoing Commonwealth construction and maintenance of the National Highway System. Labor recognises that this is a Federal responsibility.

The Howard Government must come clean about what it really intends to do with the $540 million falsely committed to the Scorseby project.

Further Information: Katrina Wooton 0407 435 624 Blythe Hamilton 0407 099 104