Malcolm Turnbull’s vision for 30-minute cities has lasted barely more than 30 minutes, with last night’s Federal Budget delivering little in new funding for new public transport projects.
RTBU National Secretary Bob Nanva said the Budget had recycled old announcements and old funding – including some left over from the previous Labor Government – and had failed to address the crisis facing Australian cities.
“The 30-minute city is looking even more like thought bubble than it did last week.
“Slogan and selfies will not fix the congestion crisis in Australian cities. Australians need real investment in new public transport projects.
“There is nothing in this budget for public transport in Queensland, South Australia or Tasmania.
“The major public transport announcements for Victoria and NSW have been recycled from the Asset Recycling Fund, and funding for the Forrestfield-Airport Link in Perth has also been recycled from money pledged last year.
“Infrastructure Australia says there is a $300 billion infrastructure deficit across the country. Shuffling the budgetary deck chairs will not fix the problem, and will not deliver the boost to national productivity that is needed.”
Fattening the cow for ARTC privatisation
Bob Nanva also criticised the Federal Government’s failure to progress the Inland Rail project, with no funding for construction works allocated over the forward estimates.
“Just weeks ago former Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson said the Federal Government needed to invest at least $1 billion in the Inland Rail project – or it should just walk away.
“Instead, the Government has allocated under $600 for an equity injection into ARTC for property purchases.
“After three years of community consultation, the rail freight industry needs to see more than just land acquisition.
“The equity injection to ARTC looks suspiciously like an attempt to fatten the cow before privatizing the business, rather than a genuine effort to fast-track the Inland Rail project.
“This is yet another missed opportunity by a Government that talks big but doesn’t deliver.”