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Infrastructure - for the reord

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John Hewson Leader of the Opposition M e d i a R e l e a s e

63/92 11 March 1992


Mr Keating is knowingly misrepresenting our position on infrastructure. '

It is just plain silly to claim that we have shifted our position on the infrastructure program by our statement that we v.ould continue programs which are proposed to start prior to the next election.

Since the "One Nation - One Job" statement, we have continually given one message - boost infrastructure spending but fund it and link the funds allocated to clearly defined improvements in work practices and micro-economic reform.

My comments today were totally consistent with what I have been saying since 26 February - nothing has changed.

For the record, here are the comments which I have continuously placed on the record.

(1) ABC Maxine McKew "PM" Radio. 26 February

"And some of the rail changes are good but there are two points I'd make. First, they've got to be funded - and these aren't - and second, they won't work - and you won't get the real benefits unless you get the other changes. You need labour market reform.

Just look at the railways, they've lost about $20 billion in the 1980s, putting a few hundred million dollars into a new rail link and new unification of the gauge may help a little, but it won't do anything about massive problems."

(2) ABC Paul Lyneham 7.30 Report. 26 February

"Look I don't deny that we need better rail and better road

systems but we have got to pay for them."

(3) Triple M Paul Switzer. 26 February

"Well, we are not building unfunded railways. None of what is promised is funded. It's not paid for. I'm happy to do it as I've said all along. In fact we have a major infrastructure study underway. But I wouldn't do it ad hoc. I would fund it. You've

got to back it up with a lot of other changes. It's no good

building a nice shiny new rail line from Brisbane to Perth if you've got the same unions and the same labour market practices and the same management practices."



(4) Censure Motion 3 March

"Listen, shiny rail lines are not going to do anything about the work practices on the railways... you can't do anything about the basic work practices which are the fundamental source of

inefficiency in the railways"