Statement by Andrew Woodward – Labor for Cowper
16 May 2018
Coffs Harbour Bypass funding con job part of a national cover-up by the Government on infrastructure spending
The con job that The Nationals has bestowed upon the people of Coffs Harbour and beyond was confirmed again today with Labor releasing new research indicating most of the infrastructure spending in the budget is in the ‘never never’.
Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, Anthony Albanese, has revealed four out of five dollars announced for railways and roads in last week’s Federal Budget won’t be delivered for at least four years.
The Budget documents show that of $19.3 billion worth of new infrastructure projects announced last week, including the Coffs Harbour Bypass, only one percent of the funding will be spent in 2018/19. Only about 20 percent will be invested over the next four years.
In the meantime, actual Federal infrastructure investment will dive, from $8 billion in 2017-18 to about $4.5 billion by 2021-22. But the Budget included no money for the construction of any project, including the Coffs Harbour Bypass, beyond the Forward Estimates (three year period).
The Coffs Harbour Bypass is a glaring example of the wider national picture. Last Tuesday night, Budget night, Cowper Labor revealed the hidden story of the Coffs Harbour bypass:
- Of the total announced cost of the Coffs Harbour Bypass of $971 million, only $5 million will be spent between 1 July 2018 and 30 June 2019.
- Of the total announced cost of the Coffs Harbour Bypass of $971 million, only $235 million will be spent by 30 June 2022.
- The Government has yet to state when the remaining $736 million will be expended – by 30 June 2023, 2024, 2025?
Mr Hartsuyker should name the start date and open date (to four lanes of traffic – two in each direction) immediately by explaining when the missing three-quarters of a billion dollars are scheduled for spending.
It defies belief that a week after the announcement, we still don’t have a:
- precise start and precise finish date (precise being to a quarter)
- Spending schedule for 2022/23 and beyond
- route, design and total cost (federal and state monies)
- highly detailed overview of what new impacts there will be on nearby residents and business; flora, fauna and ecosystems and other transport infrastructures such as rail and local roads.
Mr Hartsuyker should know better than to leave the people of Coffs Harbour and beyond in the dark on the truth about the Coffs Harbour Bypass. It is a cruel joke that will be remembered by the people of Cowper every day up until polling day.
Updated: 16 May 2018