Truss takes aim at Labor 'scare campaign'

Shadow Minister for Transport and Infrastructure hits back at claims he won’t commit to infrastructure projects

Truss takes aim at Labor 'scare campaign'
Truss takes aim at Labor scare campaign

Just three days out from the Federal Election, Shadow Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Warren Truss has released new figures refuting a report in last week’s Financial Review newspaper.

In the report, political editor Laura Tingle says Truss has refused to commit around $8 billion to infrastructure projects already announced and funded by Labor including major road works in Queensland and New South Wales.

These include
freight projects such as the Gladstone Port Access Road, the Port Botany rail link upgrades, work on the New England, Princes, Peak Downs, and Great Northern highways, and improvements to Mt Ousley Road, which carries heavy traffic from nearby mines.

is reported as saying
has identified the roads and other infrastructure projects he will fund.

Asked what would happen to the hundreds of projects in train under Labor’s Regional Development Australia Fund, Truss says the Coalition would honour all signed contracts.

"If there hasn’t been contracts signed, then they are just Labor Party election promises," he
is reported as saying.

But in a statement today Truss confirms
in addition to the $16 billion he has
already promised for the Bruce and Pacific Highway upgrades, the Coalition government will
commit a further $2.2 million to the 'Roads to Recovery' initiative in regional communities.

Another $300 million will be earmarked for the new Bridges Renewal Program driving a total investment of $600 million to repair and replace dilapidated local bridges.

"We will spend $300 million on the iconic inland rail," Truss adds.

"This will finally get construction on track, benefitting all producers who have to move freight between Brisbane and Melbourne and lowering the
costs of production and freight movement."

There are also plans to spend $33 million on the Outback Way, connecting Cairns to Perth with more sealed roads, making freight movement faster and cheaper.

Truss says all these policies are fully budgeted initiatives to grow regional Australia and encourage more Australians to live and work in the regions.

A spokesman for Truss tells SupplyChain Review Labor is "not even able to coordinate their scare campaign".

"Two weeks ago, Penny Wong made the claim the Coalition was over-spending $8 billion on infrastructure. This week, Anthony Albanese claims an under spend of $8 billion," the spokesman says.

He says the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) compared the $20.4 billion in funding commitments for road and land infrastructure from the Coalition against only $17.9 billion committed by Labor.

"This includes our historic Federal Coalition commitments of $5.64 billion for the Pacific Highway and $10 billion for the Bruce Highway in partnership with the Queensland government, which dwarfs what Labor is proposing."

According to the spokesman, the AAA rates the Coalition well above Labor and the Greens in seven key policy priority areas.

"That’s from an independent voice, not the lies of failed ministers like Anthony Albanese and Catherine King."

The spokesman also accuses Labor of making unfunded promises, saying many of Labor’s election pledges
based on revenue from mining taxes that have "barely raised any cash at all".

In contrast, he says the Coalition’s National Stronger Regions Fund is fully funded.

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