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Coalition caught out misleading the nation over infrastructure investment

By Anthony Albanese - posted Thursday, 2 February 2017


It is an article of faith for propagandists that if you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth.

But the great risk in this approach is that eventually, the actual truth catches up with you.

The truth has finally caught up with Malcolm Turnbull over the amount of money he is investing in railway lines, roads and other infrastructure in Australia.

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Infrastructure investment is a critical role for governments, because it increases our capacity to deliver economic growth.

The industries of the future won't thrive unless they have the means to get their products to market – efficient railways, roads and ports.

While infrastructure might not be the sexiest area of government activity, it's about jobs. That makes it important to us all.

Ever since the 2014 Budget, the Coalition has claimed it is delivering a $50 billion infrastructure investment program.

But it isn't.

The Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development has revealed the current investment program is worth $34 billion over five years, with another $8 billion proposed to be invested "onwards'' into the unspecified future.

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The department released this information recently as part of the Senate Budget Estimates Committee process.

At a hearing last year, the Secretary of the Department, Mike Mrdak, was asked about the size of the program by Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie.

Mr Mrdak said he did not know off the top of his head but would happily provide information about "the whole program'' on notice.

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About the Author

Anthony Albanese is the Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development.

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