VITAL Sydney projects – including the M4 East, the M5 duplication and the North West Rail Link that Premier Barry O’Farrell has staked his political future on – could be jeopardised by new federal funding cuts.
In a bid to return the budget to surplus next year, the Gillard government has decreed funding for any “nation-building” infrastructure would have to be matched by cash-strapped states.
The new approach would require the state government to submit proper planning proposals and funding commitments before asking for Commonwealth money.
And this has not been occurring up to now, WHY?
Proposals for future road and rail projects across the country could be scrapped unless the states attach their own partial funding to them.
Treasurer Wayne Swan will today announce a $20 billion-plus deterioration in the government’s finances and $4 billion in expected cuts to reach surplus, in the Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook.
I would suggest you hire a book-keeper to help you with your calculator Wayne
Federal Transport and Infrastructure Department secretary Mike Mrdak has revealed savings would include a new formula for future nation-building projects requiring states to provide 50/50 funding in most cases.
Not New Mr Mrdak, Howard Government moved to this is 2004 where have YOU been in the past 8 years???
This is a typical move of political opportunism rather than a move that could make sense. ALP Governments around Australia have left almost all state Governments in a mess and wearing large debts that the now Coalition Governments are trying to address and of course have to deal with the anger over cut-backs while doing so.
Now that the Federal Labor Government have damaged the country, has a near $300,000,000,000 debt and for political purposes wants to deliver a budget surplus regardless of the pain to Australians, they have decided to make States supply 50/50 split of National Highway Infrastructure projects, making themselves look good on paper. However let’s travel back in time and look at some history of the National Highway.
The National Highway was established by the National Roads Act 1974 when Gough Whitlam was Prime Minister of Australia. Before then, while the Federal Government helped to fund major roads, it did not assume direct responsibility for their construction or upkeep.
The National Highway was financed entirely by the Federal Government, though State and Territory Governments are responsible for the actual construction and maintenance of the roads that form part of the National Highway.
Under AusLink, established in July 2004, the AusLink National Network has additional links, both road and rail. The Federal Government encourages funding from state, territory and local governments and public-private partnerships to upgrade the network and requires state government funding contributions on parts of the network, especially for new links. For example, the Pacific Highway and the Calder Highway are now part of the National Network, but new projects are being funded 50/50 by Federal and State Governments. State contributions (generally 20%) are required on some sections of the old network near major cities.
Again I repeat this occurred in 2004 and was a John HOWARD Government initiative for new project to be funded 50/50. The National Highway was a GOUGH WHITLAM initiative that took full responsibility for National Highways.
Prior to this the Federal Government only supplied partial funding for these roads, with the states and Territories responsible for the major amount of the funding.
There is currently $36 billion in six-year funding agreements from the Commonwealth for projects across the country which are due to expire in 2013-2014, none of which will be affected. The lion’s share, about $11 billion, has been allocated to NSW.
However, in a Senate estimates hearing last week, Mr Mrdak admitted that changes were now being sought for funding arrangements for all future projects beyond 2013-2014, known as National Building 2.
Another return to John Howard’s policies, hmmm do they have any of their own that does not keep blowing the budget
“Labor’s ultimatum looks like a desperate attempt to blame the states as the Commonwealth moves to slash infrastructure spending to help drag its budget out of deficit. Poor infrastructure reduces national productivity.”
Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese said: “Co-contributions will ensure that the states carefully consider their priorities and that they manage the projects more efficiently.”
OMG this isn’t Abbott’s fault it is the State’s fault ???