April 10, 2014
Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Author: Matt Wade
Labor’s infrastructure spokesman Anthony Albanese has rejected a claim by state Treasurer Mike Baird that NSW has not received a fair share of infrastructure funding in recent years.
Mr Albanese, who was federal infrastructure minister until last September, said NSW got $1 of every $3 allocated to infrastructure by the previous federal Labor government including ”record funding” for Sydney.
”Labor more than doubled federal infrastructure spending in the state from $108 to $221 per person,” he said.
Mr Baird said on Tuesday that NSW ”has received far less than its share” of federal infrastructure funding in recent years. He also said the Abbott government was now ”responding” to his argument for additional Commonwealth spending on infrastructure in Sydney and NSW.
But Mr Albanese said the former Labor government committed more than $5.7 billion to transport projects servicing Sydney during its six years in office. He also criticised the O’Farrell government for refusing to accept the $2.1 billion allocated by federal Labor to build the Parramatta to Epping rail link.
”That would be nearing completion now,” Mr Albanese. ”But they didn’t want that money which was rather odd.”
Mr Baird’s comments were made in response to a draft report by The Committee for Sydney which argues Sydney is being deprived of crucial infrastructure funding because 82 per cent of all the tax collected in the city ends up in federal coffers. The committee says too little of that revenue returns to the city to be invested in infrastructure.
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