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While the Coalition tackles infrastructure, Beazley blows hot air.



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MEDIA RELEASE The Hon John Anderson MP Deputy Prime Minister Minister for Transport and Regional Services Leader of The Nationals

02 March 2005 A27/2005

WHILE THE COALITION TACKLES INFRASTRUCTURE, BEAZLEY BLOWS HOT AIR

The latest meanderings by Kim Beazley on transport infrastructure should give no Australian any confidence in Labor's ability to deal with this critical issue, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport and Regional Services, John Anderson, said today.

In contrast with Labor's hot air, the Australian Government has over the past three years developed the nation's largest ever and most detailed land transport plan, AusLink.

"South Australia has already signed onto the $12.5 billion five-year plan, with reports that Victoria is not far behind. The other states are only held back by ideology, not the enormous benefits to infrastructure they know will flow through AusLink," Mr Anderson said.

"In hearing the views of Mr Beazley on this most important subject, you can see the big light bulb suddenly going off above his head. It's welcome that he is inching forward, but certainly he needs to do a lot more homework.

"The perfect example was a press release from yesterday (attached). Although Kelvin Thompson is providing some hot competition, Mr Beazley yesterday went a long way towards producing the silliest release of 2005.

"Mr Beazley says the Australian Government is responsible for fully funding on and off ramps from the Hume Highway at Ingleburn. This is plain wrong.

"In fact, the existing ramps at this location were fully funded by the State Government. As well, the National Highway legislation specifically states it is not the responsibility of the Australian Government to fund

ramps of this kind.

"However, in recognition of the needs of the Campbelltown community and following the refusal of the NSW Government to step up to its responsibility, the Australian Government offered to fund two-thirds of the cost of these ramps. I congratulate the Campbelltown City Council for working with the Australian Government to deliver this infrastructure.

"To blame the Australian Government for delays is an amazing try-on. Our money has been on the table since 2003. Unfortunately, this project has been delayed by the NSW Government's tardiness in finalising this project - the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority only recently settled the design, and we are still waiting on State planning approval.

"Mr Beazley should check his facts and tell his Labor mates in NSW to get on with the job.

"He also needs to produce more than his customary hot air. The only transport policy Labor has produced in the past three years was a six page flyer rushed out in the last week of the 2004 campaign election, which was almost bereft of costings and detail."

Media Contacts

Paul Chamberlin ( Minister Anderson's Office ) 02 6277 7680 / 0419 233 989