Rebuttal Of False Claims In The Age Article On Infrastructure Australia Report
An article in The Age today Passive Victoria set to miss out on infrastructure billions by Josh Gordon and Clay Lucas contains a series of claims that are false and inaccurate.
The Victorian Coalition Government is not at risk of losing billions of dollars of federal infrastructure funding.
The Coalition Government held discussions in April with Infrastructure Australia and its chairman Sir Rod Eddington. Victoria was advised by Infrastructure Australia that the Commonwealth Government did not have funds available for further infrastructure projects and would be unable to fund infrastructure projects that were being submitted to Infrastructure Australia.
As recently as 10 June this year, the Commonwealth publicly confirmed that there would be no second round of funding in the foreseeable future for Infrastructure Australia’s Building Australia Fund.
The Age also falsely misrepresents claims that Victoria has not provided project proposals to Infrastructure Australia whilst other states have. The Infrastructure Australia report notes that the new NSW government has not provided any new proposals reporting “as at 6 June 2011, the NSW government was still reviewing Infrastructure Australia’s request.”
In February 2011, Victoria wrote to Infrastructure Australia and advised them that
“Victoria’s future Infrastructure priorities will be confirmed over the next 12 – 18 months through the State’s 2011-12 budget process, in parallel with the development of policy frameworks such as the new metropolitan planning strategy and the Transport Solutions Plan, which will address logistical bottlenecks in the transport network. The Victorian Government will engage with Infrastructure Australia in relation to these priorities on an ongoing basis as they take shape, consistent with Infrastructure Australia’s recent move away from a single annual submission process.”
Victoria also advised Infrastructure Australia that early work was already underway toward developing a pipeline of projects and details would be provided to Infrastructure Australia as planning work on the following projects was completed:
- A rail link to Avalon Airport;
- A feasibility study for a rail link to Melbourne Airport;
- A feasibility study for a rail link to Doncaster;
- A feasibility study for a rail link to Rowville.