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Time for the Howard Government to back Labor's infrastructure Australia proposal.

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Media Release

Bernie Ripoll MP Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure Federal Member for Oxley

30 May 2005

Time for the Howard Government to back Labor’s Infrastructure Australia proposal

Steve Bracks today joined a long list of Australians calling on the Howard Government to take a national approach to the nation’s infrastructure needs.

Bernie Ripoll, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure, said the Victorian Premier is simply stating what most Australians - and the Federal Labor Party - have long understood.

“Federal Labor recognises that modern infrastructure is essential to Australia’s continued economic and social wellbeing,” Mr Ripoll said.

“As a vast continent, Australia fundamentally needs efficient and effective infrastructure to ensure the nation’s future prosperity.

“Under John Howard’s tenure as Prime Minister, the nation’s infrastructure needs have reached crisis point.

“The Howard Government has overseen a period of governance characterised not only by deceit, but also neglect.

“There has been a clear failure of vision and political leadership from the Howard Government - it has simply failed to invest in the nation and its people.

“It’s now time for the Howard Government to adopt Labor’s policy and establish Infrastructure Australia.

“Infrastructure Australia will be charged with responsibility for developing a strategic blueprint for our nation’s infrastructure needs and facilitating its implementation, in partnership with the States, Territories, local government and the private sector,” he said.

The emerging crisis in Australia’s Infrastructure will certainly be a topic of discussion at this Friday’s Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting. Under Labor, infrastructure would be a standing item on the COAG agenda.

For further comment call Bernie Ripoll on 0418 763 351 or Neville Conway on 0418 879 091.