Same old tricks sell Queensland short in Federal budget

Statement from the Transport and Main Roads Minister: Post-budget federal road and transport funding

Yesterday this House heard very clearly Queenslanders were sick of not getting their fair share from Canberra.

Investment in Queensland infrastructure has gone backwards under Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull and now Scott Morrison.

Last night’s budget was a chance to make that right.

Instead, we got the same sneaky accounting tricks from this divided and dysfunctional Federal LNP government.

Last night’s Federal budget could have delivered a fair share for Queensland but instead we got a shameless, last minute vote-buying sales pitch, with an election only a month away.

NSW got $7.3 billion in new infrastructure funding.

Victoria got $6.2 billion.

And what does Queensland get?

Nominally, $4 billion. Just over half of what NSW gets.

But much worse, we won’t see most of that new funding for at least four years.

The same trick played on Queensland as last year under Malcolm Turnbull, when Scott Morrison was Treasurer.

They trumpeted $2.6 billion for new infrastructure funding, but $600 million of that is old money for the Bruce and Cunningham Highway re-directed from their previous budgets.

That leaves only $2 billion for Queensland.

Meanwhile, Victoria got $2.7 billion for rail to Geelong and NSW got $3.5 billion for a one single Sydney rail line. One.

More tricks, devil in the detail, more ripping off Queensland.

Scott Morrison continues to rip Queensland off with a 50% federal funding M1 deal and last night he gave $1.6 billion out of a $2 billion total under an 80/20 deal in his home state of NSW for the M1 north of Newcastle.

80% for the NSW M1, 50% for Queensland’s M1.

One rule favours NSW, another that duds Queensland.

Scott Morrison loves fast rail thought bubbles but there’s nothing in the budget for practical rail projects that Queenslanders need now.

Zero for Cross River Rail, $250 million short for the Sunshine Coast Rail duplication, the lowest offer of only 16% for the next stage of Gold Coast light rail and the majority of that is more than four years away.

Funding for the Bruce Highway’s Cairns Southern Access Stage 5 project is a mirage and won’t be ready for at least four years either.

They’ve cut the heart out of the Cape York Region Package too, giving it a new name to cover up the cut, gutting it for the next three years and cutting funding and training that will cost Indigenous jobs on Cape York.

The majority of Rocky Ring Road funding – $720 million – won’t be available until 2023-24 and all of Mackay Ring Road Stage Two funding is more than four years off in the future, two elections away.

Scott Morrison referenced AC/DC’s ‘Back in Black’ spruiking his government’s budget yesterday.

A ‘Highway to Hell’ is more what he had in mind for Queensland.

/Public Release. View in full here.