Claims false advertising will draw funds from Pacific Hwy
INCOMING Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester will be appointed as Warren Truss' predecessor in the portfolio on Thursday, yet already he is copping flak over an upcoming Turnbull Govt. advertising campaign.
Labor Opposition roads and infrastructure spokesman Anthony Albanese will this morning make a media call in Coffs Harbour slamming the Coalition's plans to spend $18 million on pre-election infrastructure ads.
Some of the ads will be run by the Federal Government, between now and August, announcing to the public that as of January 408km of the Pacific Hwy (or 62%) had been upgraded to dual carriageway.
With a further 145 kilometres under construction, the Australian Government will have committed $5.64 billion towards the Pacific Hwy through to 2020.
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Mr Chester, the Member for Gippsland, who will be sworn in as Minister on Thursday, said he was surprised Federal Labor remained negative about a project that would save lives and reduce serious injuries.
"It's disappointing that Mr Albanese is playing politics and is so negative about a project that is important for the local community and our nation," Mr Chester said.
"In contrast, local MPs Luke Hartsuyker and Kevin Hogan have already been promoting the benefits of the program to me as the incoming Minister and are working hard to make sure the region benefits from government investment.
Mr Albanese said The Coalition in its 2015 Budget had cut Pacific Hwy funding for this financial year by $130 million.
"The Coalition Government has waged a 'propaganda campaign it is planning to conceal its failures on infrastructure investment," Mr Albanese said.
He said a Senate budget estimates committee heard this week the media campaign would include taxpayer-funded newspaper and television advertisements, concerning 88 different government projects.
"According to the Government's Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook document, the advertising campaign will be funded out of the existing infrastructure budget," Mr Albanese said.