Infrastructure package still falls short, Truss claims

Government will still under-invest in vital transport infrastructure projects despite its $4.7 billion package, Coalition claims

The Rudd Government will still under-invest in vital transport infrastructure projects despite the announcement of a $4.7 billion package, the Coalition claims.

Opposition spokesman on transport Warren Truss says the multi-billion package, which will be spent on roads, rail and small business assistance is still less than what the Coalition committed to at the last election.

"Every dollar spent on quality infrastructure is welcome, but there’s nothing special about this announcement," Truss says.

"The Federal Government is still scheduled to spend less between now and 2014 than what was committed to land transport by the Coalition."

According to Truss, the $1.2 billion for the Australian Rail Track Corporation is still $300 million less than the Coalition proposed.

Labelling the Government’s actions as "incompetence of the highest order", Truss says an upgrade to the rail track from Cootamundra to Parkes had originally been deferred by Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner for two years.

Truss has also accused the Government of dithering on infrastructure investment and using its announcement to disguise the fact it had delayed vital upgrades.

He says the F3 to Branxton road link in the Hunter Valley and the Bruce Highway upgrade north of Brisbane have stalled.

While welcoming the extra funding for the Black Spots program, Truss says the Government has merely copied road and rail projects proposed by the Coalition.

"In many cases, the planning and preliminary work had already been done, with just the button to start work needing to be pressed," Truss says.

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