Rudds cost-benefit approach bad for NT: Goed

By: Jason Whittaker


Northern Territory transport operators may lose out once Prime Minister Kevin Rudd unleashes his cost-cutting razor gang led by Finance

Northern Territory transport operators may lose out once Prime Minister Kevin Rudd unleashes his cost-cutting razor gang led by Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner.

During a National Press Club address yesterday, Tanner told attendees the Rudd Government will take a cost-benefit approach toward infrastructure spending.

He says the Government will scrutinise each outlay and subject proposals to "rigorous expert analysis".

Such an approach does not bode well for Northern Territory operators, according to Peter Goed, Executive Director of the Australian Trucking Association Northern Territory (ATA NT).

Goed says Rudd needs to consider the impact a razor gang will have if it focuses purely on a cost-benefit approach toward the transport industry.
"If you apply a cost-benefit, then we would miss out simply through a lack of numbers," Goed says.

Northern Territory roads are in need of immediate funding, such as the Tanami Highway, which Goed calls "a disgrace".

However, a cost-benefit analysis on the part of the Rudd Government means the Tanami Highway, which has damaged road trains as well as machinery delivered to mines in the area, may be overlooked for funding.
"It probably wouldn’t even factor in because you have got a dozen road trains going over it each day," Goed says.

Rudd’s razor gang must consider social as well as cost-benefit aspects, according to Goed.
"If they apply that sort of terminology then remote area communities would be the ones that suffer," Goed says.
"You would expect a Labor government to factor in other issues like social issues."

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