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Productivity Commission Report Slams Coalition's Approach on Infrastructure

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 13 Mar 2014

MEDIA RELEASE
13 March 2014

Productivity Commission Report Slams Coalition's Approach on Infrastructure

Commenting on today's release of the Productivity Commission's report on Public Infrastructure, Greens spokesperson for Transport Senator Lee Rhiannon said:

"The Productivity Commission has taken a strong stand against the Abbott Government's support for expensive infrastructure projects that don't meet a rigorous cost-benefit test.

"In Senate Estimates last month officials from Infrastructure Australia admitted that they had not been able to independently verify the cost-benefit analysis of either the East-West Link in Melbourne or the WestConnex motorway in Sydney.

"On the basis of the Productivity Commission's call for better governance arrangements, it's clear that such large scale projects like East-West Link and the WestConnex should not be receiving billions of dollars in federal government funding.

"The Commission has also highlighted the dominance of two private construction companies, Leighton Holdings and Lend Lease, and the effective duopoly they hold in the market.

"Instead of blaming unions and workers for high construction costs, the government needs to look at ways of breaking up the private duopoly to reduce infrastructure costs.

Commenting on the Productivity Commission report's statements on revenue raising through road users, Senator Rhiannon said:

"Billing all road users to raise revenue for infrastructure if adopted would be another example of the government shifting costs onto the public.

"Trucking companies clearly should pay at a higher rate than the general public.

"Increasing the availability of frequent and reliable public transport services has to be the first stage in any plan to increase charges on individual motorists. 

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