The TWU (Vic/Tas Branch) is pleased the Andrews Labor Government have opened the purse-strings in this week’s State Budget for some road-building.
Road users in Melbourne’s north will be happy with the $673 million made available for the widening of the M80 ring road, between Laverton and Greensborough, which is projected to be completed by 2021.
There was also $300 million set aside for the Mordialloc bypass, a new freeway that will connect the Mornington Freeway with the Dingley Bypass. The North East Link also gets $100 million for initial planning.
The Victorian Government needs the Federal Coalition to play ball for some of its promises to come to fruition, relying on Malcolm Turnbull to repay money owed from the federal asset recycling fund for privatising the Port of Melbourne and to release funding, as previously promised, to fund half of the M80 upgrade.
TWU (Vic/Tas Branch) Secretary John Berger said the Turnbull Government had a chance to actually do something for working Australians in next week’s Federal Budget after proving time and again it was bolted to a pro-business agenda.
“The Prime Minister likes to portray himself as a man of the people, but no one is buying what his spin doctors are selling. Major funding has stalled under his watch on many initiatives that would assist any number of transport workers across Australia in several sectors, which means real, substantive and long-term benefits to transport workers have also stalled,” John said.
“After several wasted years, the current Coalition have again flagged more Budgetry and looming policy measures that will set many working Australians even further back.
“We do not expect funding to re-instate the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal, or anything that resembles Safe Rates, but there will be welfare and pension cuts, superannuation changes, apprenticeship and other workplace training funding removal, we don’t expect an increase to the minimum wage or any movement on Malcolm Turnbull’s support for the slashing of penalty rates. It just goes on and on.”
And, just to add more unnecessary red tape and to politicise a previously independent office, the Prime Minister is creating a new Infrastructure Financing Unit within the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet which will sideline Infrastructure Australia and the existing Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development. This means that major roads, ports and aviation policy direction will be driven by what is best for the faceless men and women and rich donors of the Liberal Party and the National Party – not what is best of the nation.