The Turnbull Government is at war with itself over how to dud Victorians on infrastructure funding.
Following the lease of the Port of Melbourne for $9.7 billion, Victorians are owed around $1.46 billion through the Commonwealth’s asset recycling scheme.
The Sydney-centric Prime Minister refuses to pay Victoria its fair share and continues to short change Victorians.
Federal Minister for Revenue and Financial Services Kelly O’Dwyer is today trying to hold Victoria hostage on the funding, with the Herald Sun reporting she only wants the funds released if they go towards a station in her electorate.
Ms O’Dwyer is backed by Matthew Guy but rebuked by every expert body - with Infrastructure Victoria specifically recommending against the connection because it doesn’t stack up and doesn’t benefit enough Victorians.
And in an extraordinary development, Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Darren Chester went on radio to publicly rebuke his Victorian cabinet colleague:
“She’s not speaking on my behalf as Minister for Infrastructure and Transport…I’ve made no demands on the Victorian Government in relation to that sum of money.” - Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester, 774 - Jon Faine, 25 October 2016.
This Coalition infighting hurts Victoria, which is home to 25 per cent of Australia’s population but only receives nine per cent of federal infrastructure funding.
In stark contrast, Malcolm Turnbull continues to pump infrastructure money into his home state of New South Wales.
Today’s confused and bizarre turn of events is yet more evidence of how little the Liberals and Nationals care about Victoria and the projects Victorians voted for and need.
Quotes attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas
“The confused and divided Turnbull Government is at war with itself over how to dud Victorians.”
“The Turnbull Government needs to stop trying to block the Metro Tunnel for political purposes, and needs to start giving Victoria its fair share of infrastructure funding for projects that stack up and that Victorians voted for and need.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan
“Kelly O’Dwyer and Matthew Guy want to hold Victoria hostage to build a station in her electorate that Infrastructure Victoria has said does not stack up and should not be built.”
“We won’t be taking lectures from the do-nothing Liberals. We’re getting on with the Metro Tunnel, and the other major projects Victoria desperately needs – the Western Distributor, 50 level crossing removals and new trains for Melbourne and regional Victoria.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020