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Roads to Recovery, Black Spots and other AUSLINK projects threatened.



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KELVIN THOMSON

Media Release from the Shadow Minister for Regional Development and Roads, Shadow Minister for Housing and Urban Development

Thursday, 11 November 2004

ROADS TO RECOVERY, BLACK SPOT AND OTHER AUSLINK PROJECTS THREATENED

The Howard Government’s threat to withhold funding for the $11.8 billion AusLink roads package unless the States agree to apply its industrial relations rules to these projects is a thinly veiled attempt to renege on spending the money on these election promises.

Before the election money was no object as the Government went around buying votes by promising regional and rural communities a glittering array of road projects.

Now the election campaign ball is over, and the Government is looking for ways to postpone these commitments or better yet renege on them altogether. By picking a fight with the States it is able to pretend it is committed to the projects, but avoid spending any actual dollars. Politically tricky, but not new.

This threat puts at risk funding for Roads to Recovery, Black Spot program, Murray River bridges and local roads grants. I call on Ministers John Anderson and Jim Lloyd to guarantee that funding for these projects will not be delayed or withheld, and that pre-election commitments will be honoured.

If the Howard Government withholds money for the AusLink roads package it will not be because it is trying to get value for money. It will be because it is looking for any excuse to weasel its way out of its election commitments.

For Further Information: Kelvin Thomson MP Phone: 03 9350 5777 Mobile: 0419 594 882