Tag Archives: infrastructure

Robb And Joyce Have A Vision, Dam It

12 Apr

Media Release – Senator Barnaby Joyce, Shadow Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Water, and Andrew Robb MP, Shadow Minister for Finance, Deregulation, and Debt Reduction; 12 April 2012:

Northern vision held back by leadership deficit

The Coalition Dams and Water Management Task Group visited the Northern Territory this week and found that the vast economic opportunity of the north is being held back by a culture of bureaucratic inertia and apathy from the Northern Territory Labor government.

“There are enormous economic opportunities in the north of Australia” said Chairman of the Dams Task Group, Andrew Robb.

“Currently 28 per cent of the world’s middle class now lives in the Asia-Pacific. The OECD forecasts that by 2030, 66 per cent of the world’s middle class will live between India and China. This finally delivers to the north what they have lacked, affluent markets close to our ports.

“To take this opportunity though we need to have governments which show leadership and vision. I was astounded that the Northern Territory government snubbed the task group and refused to meet with us. Every other government in Australia, be they Labor or Liberal-National, have welcomed the task group.

“From what we did learn, the Northern Territory government is letting down Territorians. They released a plan for Darwin without any plan for where future water supplies would come from. Down south this kind of stubbornness has lead to the financial disasters of desalination plants. The Northern Territory does not want the same outcome up here.”

Senator Joyce, Deputy Chair of the Dams Committee, said that the government seemed to be hiding between environmentalism rather than doing the hard work of providing a proper balance between economic, social and environmental factors.

“It’s so disappointing when you meet people who want to make a go of it, who want to create a new area of wealth for our nation, but then are held back by stifling bureaucracy and inertia on the part of government.

“It seems like you only have to mention the word “environment” and you are miraculously transformed into an omnipotent being who dare not be questioned. It’s not good enough. Why should we limit water use to an arbitrary figure of 20 per cent? Nobody could tell us.

“That’s absurd. The flow of some of these rivers is half the whole of the Murray, and use is currently less than 1 per cent of what is used in the Murray. Development seems to be stopped because people are afraid the Territory could end up with the issues of the Murray-Darling.”

Tony Abbott established the Coalition Dams and Water Management Task Group in January with the remit to look at options for investment in new or expanded dams throughout Australia. The task group has now visited every State and Territory in Australia and has met with and received submissions from over 100 organisations and individuals.

The task group will issue an interim report in the coming weeks.

Labor Fails Infrastructure Again

26 Jul

Media Release – Senator Barnaby Joyce, 24 July 2010:

Senator Joyce said today that the Auditor General report on Infrastructure Australia’s first audit report reveals Labor’s politicised, haphazard and sloppy approach to infrastructure investment.

In the 2008-09 Budget, the Rudd-Gillard Government committed themselves to:

‘Decision making based on rigorous cost-benefit analysis to ensure the highest economic and social benefits to the nation over the long term.’

“The Auditor-General’s report today shows that not only did this Government fail to conduct rigorous cost-benefit analysis, some of the 28 ‘pipeline’ infrastructure projects which were identified did not pass a cost-benefit analysis.

This approach disagrees with the advice given by Dr Ken Henry last year when he said:

Government spending that does not pass an appropriately defined cost-benefit test necessarily detracts from Australia’s wellbeing. That is, when taxpayer funds are not put to their best use, Australia’s wellbeing is not as high as it otherwise could be.

“The Auditor-General’s report just shows another example of Labor’s wasteful and reckless approach to spending taxpayer’s dollars. After the Coalition left Labor with $60 billion in the bank and a $20 billion surplus, Labor rushed $90 billion of stimulus spending, with only 14 per cent of it spent on economic infrastructure.

“Labor seats have attracted 84 per cent of spending from the Education Investment Fund and 73 per cent of spending from the Health and Hospitals Fund.

“The result is that the Building Australia Fund has only $705 million left.

“Australia can not afford another three years of Labor.”

For more information: Matt Canavan 0458709433

Labor’s Regional Development Trick

19 Jul

Joint Media Release – Senator Barnaby Joyce & Senator Gary Humphries, 18 July 2010:

Building up our regional areas is a great idea but it is a shame Labor doesn’t take it seriously.

Today they announced a Building Better Regional Cities program that doesn’t add up.

“Labor’s approach is to give regional towns $200 million after ripping out $1 billion from regional development in their first budget. Labor persists with a media splash, no cash approach” said Senator Barnaby Joyce, Shadow Minister for Regional Development, today.

Labor’s approach is a ball and cup trick. The money for this new scheme will be taken from the Housing Affordability Fund and the National Rental Affordability Scheme. Both combined were supposed to deliver an additional 50,000 dwellings over the next 12 months, yet the diverted $200 million will deliver only 15,000 dwellings – 35,000 less than the same money was supposed to produce.

“The Government is trying to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes but the reality is that Labor would have us spend the same amount of money on building considerably fewer houses,” Opposition housing spokesman Gary Humphries said today.

“This re-announcement of funding does nothing to make housing more affordable.

“Why would the savings not simply improve the developers’ profits, as seems to have been the case with the BER?”

Senator Joyce added that, “At $200 million, the Labor party believe that school halls are 80 times more important than relieving the pressures on urban Australia. Labor was prepared to spend 12 times as much on ceiling insulation than they are going to spend on relieving Australia’s cities from population pressure and developing our inland.

“Labor’s approach will not take a town like Dubbo from where it is now to a bigger population, with $15 million per town.

“Labor’s approach ignores cities of over 30,000 people. I live in a town, St George, that has the water, low unemployment and the proximity to a major transport route between Melbourne and Brisbane, but apparently we are too small to grow.

“My view is that a small town sometimes has more potential for growth than a big one.

“The Coalition has already announced a program of $300 million to refurbish and repair bridges that will help grow the commerce needed for regional areas.

“It is a no brainer that we have to develop regional centres in Australia to relieve the pressure on Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, but it’s going to take something far more diligent and substantive than this sleepy Sunday afternoon effort by Labor.”

Senator Joyce – More Information– Matt Canavan 0458709433
Senator Humphries – More Information– Josh Manuatu 0421115365

Joyce: Same Old Labor

16 Jul

Media Release – Senator Barnaby Joyce, 16 July 2010:

Same old Labor: double the announcement, half the value

Anthony Albanese was quoted in the Brisbane Times this morning as saying that Labor “supports” the $8.2 billion Brisbane cross-river rail project.

“I am interested to know exactly what this support means”, Senator Barnaby Joyce, Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, said today.

“Labor certainly has no money left in the nation’s cookie jar. They have only $705 million left unallocated in the Building Australia Fund.”

“Instead Labor has wasted most of their $90 billion stimulus, investing it in insulation and over priced school halls. They only spent 14% of this amount on economic infrastructure.”

In 2008, Labor promised to establish a $20 billion infrastructure fund. It only received $10.9 billion due to Labor’s wasteful and reckless spending and the money the fund did receive came from the Coalition’s last budget surplus ($7.5 billion), money ripped out from funds to deliver broadband in the bush ($2.5 billion) and the sale of Telstra ($1 billion).

“So we are left with half the infrastructure promised but with $150 billion gross debt. Same old Labor: double the announcement with half the value.”

“This is just more evidence that Labor can’t manage the nation’s finances. Australia can’t risk another 3 years of Labor”.

More Information – Jenny Swan 0746 251500, 0438 578 402

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