Election jitters jeopardise WestConnex funding
Australia’s biggest infrastructure project, Sydney’s $16.8 billion WestConnex motorway, pledges to “ease congestion, create jobs and connect communities”.
But instead of bringing people together, WestConnex is tearing them apart, with politicians launching attacks on one another ahead of the federal election as the motorway’s merits come under fresh scrutiny by the National Audit Office (NAO).
Projects Minister Paul Fletcher on Friday accused federal Labor of hitting “reverse gear” on its previous strong commitment to the motorway, highlighting the $1.8 billion committed by the then Labor government in the 2013 budget and former infrastructure minister Anthony Albanese’s claims that it would improve the quality of life for people in western Sydney.
“But that was before his seat of Grayndler was affected by 2015 Federal Redistribution in NSW, exposing Albanese to a significant challenge from the Greens,” Mr Fletcher said, adding this had led to a “marked change” in position, with Albanese now promising not to spend any more federal money on WestConnex if Labor is elected. Continue Reading…