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Greens questions reveal Turnbull Government infrastructure spending to drastically decline, contradicting Budget claims

Media Release
Janet Rice 22 May 2018

The Department of Infrastructure has admitted that the Budget shows a significant decline in infrastructure spending over the next 10 years, under questioning in Senate Estimates by Senator Janet Rice, Australian Greens infrastructure and transport spokesperson.

“Despite the Turnbull government’s trumpeted  $75 billion infrastructure spend in the Budget, the department admitted the average spend will go from $8 billion a year in the decade to 2021-22, to less than $6.4 billion a year in the second half of the next decade.”

"The underspend is even more marked when we look at spending per person, with total Commonwealth infrastructure spending dropping from $379 per person in the 2016-17 financial year to $226 per person for the 2022 to 2028 period according to ABS projections of population growth."

“Australians are being sold short. Our cities are growing, people are stuck in traffic or crammed onto public transport, and our regions need efficient transport connections.”

“With rapid population growth we need more infrastructure spending, not less, and we need to make sure it’s spent in the public interest on projects that future-proof our cities.”

“The Government’s job is to ensure our cities and towns remain liveable for our children and grandchildren.”

With this massive decline in infrastructure spending, the last thing we need is tax cuts. These irresponsible tax cuts would see at least $200 billion less in government coffers, and less ability to fund the increased spending that is desperately needed.” 

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