Labor’s main leadership contender, Anthony Albanese, was caught out fabricating a false history of his time in government while visiting Mackay yesterday. During a local radio station interview, Mr Albanese claimed: “It was myself as the Infrastructure Minister (who) funded the first stage of the Ring Road.”
Mr Albanese and Labor might as well claim credit for building the pyramids because when they were booted out of office they had not budgeted a cent towards construction of the Ring Road. It’s either a blatant and deliberate lie or Mr Albanese had no clue what was going on in his own portfolio. Just three months before Labor was booted out of office, Mr Albanese was forced to admit in parliament that not one cent had been allocated to Mackay Ring Road construction and that it may not happen before 2018-19 (see video of the admission below – from the 5:00 mark to 6:30).
VIDEO: From the 5m:00s to the 6m:30s mark you can hear the answer from the Gillard Labor government’s Transport Minister that the new funding for the ring road would not flow until sometime between 2014/15 and 2018/19. (The Minister also misled the parliament by saying that federal funding for the ring road consultation was available in the 2013/14 financial year when consultations closed in 2012-13. The reality was there was no funding at all allocated in their last budget – 2013-14 – for construction or for consultation.)
When she was Prime Minister, Julia Gillard came to Mackay (three weeks out from what was her last budget) and promised the Ring Road would start in 2013-14 but it was not in the budget three weeks later and her Infrastructure Minister admitted it was on the never never.
The Liberal National Party listened to my Fix The Bruce campaign and committed to a $6.7 billion package for the Bruce at the 2013 election, including a full funding commitment for Stage 1 of the Mackay Ring Road. Our Bruce Highway plan was immediately implemented in government and funds for the Ring Road allocated in the Liberal National Government’s first budget in 2014. And I am now confident my Put-a-Ring-Road-On-It campaign will convince the Liberal National Government to allocate the necessary funds for construction of Stage 2.
Mr Albanese also misled Mackay yesterday by saying Labor had funded stage 2 of the Ring Road with $100 million. Current estimates on the cost of Stage 2 are $350 million so all Mr Albanese is promising for Mackay is a road to nowhere – maybe he can recreate a Talking Heads music video to promote his shortcomings. If he thinks he needs to rewrite history to bolster his claim to the Labor leadership, he obviously gives Bill Shorten more credit than the people of North Queensland.