SMH: Abbott’s one-year roads promise ‘about to be broken’. August 20, 2014, James Massola, Political correspondent
Labor transport spokesman Anthony Albanese says Prime Minister Tony Abbott is poised to break an election promise to begin building work on two key roads projects within a year of the election.
In an October 2012 opinion piece in The Australian Financial Review, Mr Abbott wrote that ”there’ll be cranes over our cities and bulldozers working on big infrastructure projects such as WestConnex in Sydney and the East West Link in Melbourne that will be under way within 12 months of a change of government”.
But with less than three weeks until the one-year anniversary of the election of the Abbott government, construction work has not begun on either the approximately $13 billion WestConnex project or the $15-17 billion East West Link for the two stages.
Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese has defended one of the party’s WA Senate candidates, Joe Bullock over comments made at a function last year.
Labor transport spokesman Anthony Albanese. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
Melbourne’s East West road project is not due to start until late 2014, according to the project’s website, while Sydney’s WestConnex road is slated to start in early 2015. Mr Albanese said that with the one-year anniversary approaching ”there are no cranes at work on either of these projects despite the government having handed over funding to start …
”Tony Abbott is about to celebrate his first year in office with yet another broken election promise.
”There are no bulldozers either – just clouds of bulldust from Mr Abbott and bungling Infrastructure Minister Warren Truss … no work has commenced on the handful of new projects put forward by his government.”
But Assistant Infrastructure Minister Jamie Briggs said the projects were well under way to being delivered as promised. ”The Coalition has reformed Infrastructure Australia by taking the politics out of it and commissioned a comprehensive review of public infrastructure in Australia to ensure we build more for less more quickly,” he said.
”We are investing a record $50 billion in world class infrastructure that will leverage over $125 billion of public and private investment in infrastructure over the next decade.”
The Coalition’s $50 billion infrastructure spending commitment includes about $36 billion that was initially committed to by the former Labor government. In Melbourne, it has helped bring forward the second stage of the East West Link and promised about $3 billion to the project.