Shorten short-changes South Australia

The State Government has called on the Shorten Labor Opposition to commit to the full $126 million budgeted by the Federal Coalition over the forward estimates towards completion of the North-South Corridor, with the ALP short-changing South Australia by $31 million.

Treasurer Rob Lucas also accused both Mr Shorten and State Labor Leader Peter Malinauskas of completely backing away from a much bigger commitment that they gave only last month to voters with respect to the North-South Corridor project.

“Mr Shorten needs to come clean and explain to South Australians why his party’s trying to dress-up a $95 million commitment as somehow good news, when there’s already $126 million on the table from the Morrison Government – and most of that money ($111m) is available right now,” said Mr Lucas.

“That’s a $31 million budget cut.”

“However, only last month (March 8), at a media conference on Montefiore Hill, Mr Shorten was spruiking $1.2 billion for the North-South Corridor which he described as a ‘costed proposition, with money set aside in the budget, to pay to upgrade this road’.

“SA Labor Senator Penny Wong also told reporters at the time: “Can I just say about your questions about funding, you could ask the Premier Mr Marshall, why it’s fine for the Liberals to talk about this in the ‘never, never’, but not good for Labor to promise it earlier during the forward estimates? I mean, surely he’d want funding for South Australians ahead of time?”

“On exactly the same day, Mr Malinauskas tweeted “A @billshortenmp Labor Government will invest $1.2 billion to deliver the next stage of South Road with priority to be given to the section between Glenelg Tram Overpass and Tonsley. If elected, funding will be included in Labor’s very first budget.”

“Now, of course, we know the $1.2 billion was never going to be included in Labor’s forward estimates at all.

“The reality is, Mr Shorten’s dud deal short-changes South Australia and we are calling on the Federal Opposition to publicly announce that they will match the Federal Coalition’s $126 million in funding for this important project over the next four years.”

Mr Lucas said the Morrison and Marshall Governments had been working collaboratively and have put $5.4 billion on the table towards the completion of the North-South Corridor.

“The Marshall Government committed $5.5 million in our first State Budget to fast-track the business case for the remaining 10.5-kilometre section of the 78-kilometre North-South Corridor,” said Mr Lucas.

“Unlike the incompetent former Labor government who sat on their hands and did nothing, we’re doing the necessary work to get this project shovel-ready for the benefit of South Australians.”

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