Shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt says a new report highlights the need for the Newman Government to boost its efforts to foster infrastructure projects.
“The Premier and Treasurer continue to talk about their government being ‘an enabler’ and not ‘a doer’, but the price we are all paying is higher unemployment and the prospect of inadequate or rundown public infrastructure in years to come,” Mr Pitt said.
“A case in point is the Brisbane cross-river rail project that the Newman Government is refusing to entertain despite the project having received a federal funding commitment of $715 million — a commitment the federal Coalition parties refuse to endorse.
“Not only is this a vital project for the south-east corner’s public transport needs, it would generate hundreds of jobs.”
Mr Pitt said the Infrastructure Partnerships Australia and BIS Shrapnel Civil Infrastructure Metric for the March Quarter 2013 — based on information from Australia’s largest civil construction companies — showed a fall in investment across Australia in public infrastructure since 2010.
“The former Labor state government knew the value of investing in major infrastructure,” he said.
“But the Newman Government from its first day in office has done nothing but criticise the former government’s strategy — a strategy that is still delivering major projects such as revamped public hospitals in regional centres and the south-east.
“It was this investment in infrastructure that helped create or save jobs in the global financial crisis while also providing facilities for future generations.
“The construction sector – other than LNG – is contracting and there is no plan from this Government to develop catalyst infrastructure to support the economy beyond an office tower for the Premier and his Ministers, and projects initiated by the previous government.
“Infrastructure spending is $1 billion lower in 2016-17 than in the out year under the previous government and there is not a single additional dollar towards new skilling or apprentice and trainee initiatives.
“It has done nothing to stimulate the construction industry and create jobs in regional Queensland.
“It is no wonder that under the Newman Government our jobless rate is hovering around the 6% level which has not been seen since the global financial crisis,” Mr Pitt said.