ABC News: Ted Baillieu’s budget wishlist

ABC News: Ted Baillieu’s budget wishlist (8 May 2012)
The Baillieu Government wants to see funding for several big infrastructure projects in the Federal Budget. The Premier Ted Baillieu says Victorians wants a fair share out of tonight’s budget.

“That goes to matters particularly around infrastructure, and congestion,” he said. He says the State Government also wants to make sure the Federal Government does not change its ratio in terms of investment in infrastructure.

“The traditional relationship has been 80/20, 80 per cent Commonwealth, 20 per cent State, we don’t want to see that change,” he said. “There’s been some suggestion that might change.”

Mr Baillieu says if Victoria does not get the appropriate support, the major projects will be harder to deliver, and will take longer to complete.Mr Baillieu says he hopes the budget contains money for major infrastructure projects, including a road tunnel linking Melbourne’s eastern and western suburbs.

“East West link is important to us to get that project started and we’ve asked for some $30 million,” Mr Baillieu said.

“Likewise the metro rail tunnel, the Port of Hastings, we’ve put some money into initial works with that and initial planning of that but we need some support from the Commonwealth.

“And we’re seeking further funds from the Commonwealth, some $130m over a number of years.”

In terms of congestion, Mr Baillieu says he hopes to see funding to upgrade level crossings in the State, saying significant funding for level crossings in Adelaide appears to have already been allocated,” he said.

“Likewise in New South Wales, we’ve seen some $200m has been allocated to NSW projects, freeway projects.

“I hope this is a fair and balanced process, it has to be fair to all jurisdictions.”

Mr Baillieu also wants to see more detail in the budget about how Victoria would be compensated under the carbon tax.

“We need the Commonwealth to address the issue of lapsing, concluding National Partnership Arrangements (NPA).

“There’s some $250b at stake for Victoria in terms of projects and programs initiated under the NPA from which the Commonwealth will potentially withdraw funding.”

Mr Baillieu says the budget comes at a time when there is economic pressure, but he says the States too are feeling the same economic pressures.