TONY PASIN MP
MEMBER FOR BARKER
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR INFRASTRUCTURE AND TRANSPORT
HON Vincent Tarzia MP
Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport
JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
Albanese backs away from funding road and rail projects leaving sA to foot the bill
The Albanese Labor Government is withdrawing long standing funding support for road and rail projects leaving South Australia to foot the bill.
Federal Infrastructure Minister Catherine King MP has announced that Labor will force states to pay for at least half of new road and rail projects and will only contribute to projects where the Federal contribution is at least $250 million under a major overhaul of how the federal government funds land transport infrastructure.
The Liberal Opposition is warning that this will result in major infrastructure projects cancelled or deferred as the South Australian Government struggles to fill the funding gap.
Federal Assistant Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Tony Pasin MP said withdrawing Federal Government infrastructure funding would result in increased congestion, reduced productivity and road safety targets missed.
“The Malinauskas Government is being forced to choose between cutting vital productivity enhancing infrastructure projects or taking on a higher level of debt. Either way, ultimately every South Australian will be paying the price for the Albanese’s Labor Government’s failure on infrastructure,” Mr Pasin said.
Under the former Coalition Government regional road projects typically were funded 80 per cent by the Commonwealth and city projects on a 50:50 basis.
“By setting a $250 million floor on road projects to be funded by the Albanese Government, many local projects to fix congestion bottlenecks or address high accident rates will never receive federal funding, putting pressure on State budgets to fund 100 percent of these projects.”
Mr Pasin said the announcement was particularly bad news for key freight routes desperately in need of upgrades.
“Not only will the State Budget be forced to fund 100 per cent of projects under $250 million but to see the necessary investment in our national freight routes the Malinauskas Government will need to come up with an additional 30 per cent,” Mr Pasin said.
“This is a huge blow for the productivity of our national freight routes and the safety of our rural and regional motorists.”
“Unfunded projects such as the full duplication of the Augusta, Dukes and Sturt Highways and the Greater Adelaide Freight Bypass will all now be harder to fund and deferred even further into the future as a result,” Mr Pasin said.
South Australian Shadow Infrastructure Minister Vincent Tarzia said the lack of advocacy from the State Labor Government was astounding.
“Peter Malinauskas and Tom Koutsantonis have once again failed to stand up to their federal Labor mates and because of that South Australians will pay the price,” Mr Tarzia said.
“In South Australia Peter Malinauskas has wasted huge amounts of taxpayer money on hosting celebrities for boozy events – that money must be spent on local infrastructure projects that create jobs, kickstart the economy and keep people safe on our roads.
“We have huge fears infrastructure builds will come to a grinding halt in South Australia because Peter Malinauskas has no money left over for the projects that communities are desperate for.”
Media Contact: Charlotte Edmunds 8724 7730