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Labor's real agenda on infrastructure emerges: no funding for Coalition electorates.



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Thu, 25th September 2008 LABOR'S REAL AGENDA ON INFRASTRUCTURE EMERGES - NO FUNDING FOR COALITION ELECTORATES

The Hon Warren Truss MP Shadow Minister for Trade, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Leader of The Nationals

The Acting Prime Minister today refused to pull into line a Labor backbencher who told Parliament he believed infrastructure projects in Coalition electorates should no longer be funded.

“So much for the Prime Minister’s election night promise to ‘govern for all Australians’ - Labor’s real views are seeping out and anyone who didn’t vote Labor is going to cop it in the neck,” said the Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Transport Minister, Warren Truss.

The Labor Member for Longman, Jon Sullivan, told Parliament yesterday he believed that “retribution” should be carried out against the constituents of Coalition’s seats.

Mr Sullivan said: “The Coalition in the Senate is currently blocking or was threatening to block … something like $6 billion worth of revenue measures. At the same time the Leader of the House, Mr Albanese, indicated that members of the Opposition had written to him pleading for $6 billion worth of infrastructure programs to be undertaken in their electorates. Retribution - and, I believe, legitimate retribution - could be taken here. If those revenue measures are blocked, those infrastructure projects in the opposition electorates ought to be blocked so that the people in their electorates can look them in the eye and say, ‘Your actions in blocking government money have led to the loss of infrastructure in our electorates.’ I believe that that would be a great way for us to move.”

“The Acting Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, was given the chance in Parliament today to refute these disgraceful comments. But Ms Gillard refused to carpet Mr Sullivan or even discuss his inflammatory comments. The only conclusion that could be drawn from her remarks is that Mr Sullivan is not in a minority in the ALP - he is in the majority.

“That view is supported by Ms Gillard’s recent comments where she said the Coalition should ‘get out of the way’ so Labor could pass whatever laws it wants.

“Coalition members have put forward infrastructure proposals in good faith - largely to make up for the funding and planning failings that are already emerging in Labor’s approach to infrastructure and transport.

“The new Labor taxes that the Coalition is opposing or amending in the Senate should have nothing to do with infrastructure spending.

“Mr Sullivan’s comments reveal the truth - it’s payback time against those who didn’t vote for Labor last November,” Mr Truss said.