Fund Victoria's Metro Rail!
The day after former Speaker Bishop was on every front page photographed exiting a helicopter, having taken a short ride from Melbourne to Geelong, now Prime Minister Turnbull tweeted his excitement in catching the new Regional Rail link service to Geelong. This was one of many photos of him using public transport across the country over the past year. I am heartened that Prime Minister Turnbull is such a fan of rail travel, because hopefully this means he will reconsider the poor treatment of Victoria in the last budget and inject some much-needed infrastructure funds into my home state.
In 2014, then Prime Minister Abbott slashed billions of dollars of investment in urban rail projects across the nation. The 2014 budget reallocated those funds to untested road projects, including the East West Link in Melbourne, which would have returned a paltry 45c in public benefit for every dollar invested. In the budget back in May, Mr Abbott stuck with those cuts and made further cuts, meaning the traffic congestion that is crippling productivity growth in Australian cities will only get worse. The 2015 budget callously punished the people of Victoria for voting for Labor in last year's state election. It slashed the state's infrastructure grants by $3 billion. If Mr Turnbull takes the same approach and fails to act, it will further damage productivity and jobs growth in Victoria.
Victoria has many infrastructure projects underway. The Metro Rail Project is much needed to create additional capacity in the rail system to allow for future growth. Victoria is calling for its fair share of infrastructure funding, and I hope our new Prime Minister, Mr Turnbull, will make sensible decisions about ensuring that we receive our fair share. I call on our current Prime Minister to demonstrate once and for all that his passion for trains and for public transport was more than a point of difference to score political points against our road-obsessed former PM. I call on this Prime Minister to put that money back into Victoria, to stop dudding Victoria and to make sure that all Victorians get their fair share of the infrastructure budget. The Metro would be a great project funded by this government. Victorians are tired of being dudded by this government, and we demand our fair share.
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