Wed, 11 May 2022 - 19:00
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Suburban Rail Loop another mega project pipedream from Labor

Anthony Albanese’s $2.2 billion commitment over five years to Suburban Rail Loop (SRL) is a curious reversal from Federal Labor.

At the last election, Bill Shorten – with his shadow infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese – committed $10 billion over 10 years to SRL.

Anthony Albanese maintains that he’s committed to the project, yet has only committed 6.3 per cent of the cost of the east section, which is estimated at $34.5 billion alone. Clearly this $2.2 billion commitment announced by the Labor leader won’t even touch the sides of this mammoth undertaking and falls very short of the Labor State Government’s repeated request of $11.5 billion.

Given urban infrastructure is typically funded on a 50:50 basis with the state, it begs the question: is Mr Albanese keeping Australian taxpayers in the dark on the true amount of Commonwealth funding that he will provide to this project? Or perhaps he knows that there is no evidence to show the project stacks up and this is simply an empty promise.

The Federal Department of Infrastructure has done a preliminary review of the SRL business case and has advised against Federal funding for the project at this point in time, citing concerns such as insufficient risk mitigation, no detailed costs, value capture being unproven and no delivery plan.

But this kind of flippant, unfounded spending is what we would expect from the former shadow infrastructure Minister who committed $500 million in January this year towards a supposed east coast high speed rail project, which in actual fact would cost between $200 billion and $300 billion.

Labor cannot say how they’ll pay for their promises. And they can’t manage money.

The Coalition has a strong track record of funding major infrastructure projects across Victoria, but our spending is measured and informed, and we ensure that each state and territory gets its equal share relative to its population size.

Since 2013, we have invested more than $35.5 billion across nearly 300 road and rail infrastructure projects, with 99 projects having been completed in the period. Our spending is measured and informed, and we ensure that each state and territory gets its equal share relative to its population size.

The cost of SRL East alone is comparable to the entire Australian Government investment in infrastructure in Victoria since 2013. If Mr Albanese is serious about funding SRL, which projects in Victoria and across Australia will he sacrifice to fund SRL over the next few years and decades?

Only the Liberals have a plan to create a strong economy and a stronger future for Australians.