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Keep looking for credibility John.

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6 June 2002


The Minister for Transport gave another pathetic performance in Parliament today when he totally abandoned the facts on Labor’s position on Auslink and the messages in the 2001 Infrastructure Report Card.

The 2001 Infrastructure Report Card actually gave the national highway system a rating of “C”. The “C” rating is defined as “major changes required … to enable (the) infrastructure to meet its current or anticipated purpose”.

In Parliament, the Minister was proud of this performance. That is a disgrace.

The same report card also said:

“Over the past five years there have been five significant reports on road and rail transport:

• Planning not Patching October 1997;

• Tracking Australia July 1998;

• Revitalizing Rail April 1999;

• Progress in Rail Reform April 2000;

• ARTC Interstate Rail Network Audit April 2001.

A common theme in all is the urgent need for a national integrated transport plan, with significant rail infrastructure funding.”

The Coalition did not mention the need for national integrated transport planning at the November 2001 election.

It took until 21 May 2002 for the Minister to acknowledge the need for national, integrated transport planning - but he has no action or credibility to prove that support or to deliver it. We have a great plan for a plan, but no action.

In March this year, the Coalition pocketed $220 million from the sale of the National Rail Corporation without one cent to rail infrastructure funding.

This week Labor exposed the preference of the Minister to subsidise foreign ships to perform Australia’s coastal shipping task, rather than use rail or Australian ships.

The Minister should keep looking for credibility, but he has a long road ahead to find it based on his poor performance to date.

Media Contact: Blythe Hamilton 02 6277 4753 or 0407 099 104

Federal M ember for Batm an

Shadow M inister for Regional and Urban Developm ent, Transport and Infrastructure

Martin Ferguson MP