Pam Beggs

Pam Beggs

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    Opposition roads expenditure scheme a sham

    3/02/1993 12:00 AM
     
     
    The Opposition's roads expenditure program made an absolute mockery of its commitment to transfer all the fuel franchise levy to roads, Transport Minister Pam Beggs said today.
     
    "The costings the Opposition released show that it would transfer a further $110 million from the fuel franchise levy to roads over the next four years," Mrs Beggs said.
     
    "This will punch a $110 million hole in payments currently made to Transperth which will have to be made up through massive increases in public transport fares or by cutting into other Government programs funded from CRF.  It also will mean the Department of Transport will have to be funded from other sources but the Opposition fails to explain what those other sources are.
     
    "Opposition leader Richard Court already has foreshadowed increases in bus, train and ferry fares.  He should detail the size of those increases over the next four years and explain how public transport will be funded in that period."
     
    Mrs Beggs said the Opposition's roads development proposals showed a hole of at least $160 million in the Main Roads' budget over the next four years that would result from its election pledges.
     
    "So, in effect, the Opposition is saying it will spend a further $270 million on roads over the next four years plus it will find a further $110 million to fund buses, trains and ferries," she said.
     
    "This can only mean cuts in public transport services and big fare hikes.
     
    "The Opposition has committed itself to upgrading the Gibb River road.  It would cost between $30 million and $60 million to seal the Derby-Gibb River section of this road and probably a similar amount to complete the task to Wyndham," she said.
     
    "The proposed Coral Bay-Exmouth road would absorb a further $23 million while another $26 million would go into the Tom Price-Newman road.
     
    "On top of that is a four-year program to put a dual carriageway between Perth and Bunbury at a minimum cost of $56 million while the Bussell Highway upgrading would cost a further $72 million.
     
    "Other multi-million dollar holes would be created by the Opposition's pledge to seal all major roads through the Kimberleys, Pilbara, Gascoyne, Murchison and the North East Goldfields, extending Marmion Avenue and completing the Newman-Marble Bar-Port Hedland road.
     
    "The Opposition has not identified these costs but merely said they would be met from the Main Roads' budget.
     
    "But they also have committed themselves to the Government's current roads program such as extending the Kwinana Freeway to Thomas Road at a cost of $36 million and upgrading the Bullara-Giralia Road under a $10 million program.
     
    "The Opposition obviously thinks it can commit hundreds of millions of dollars on new roads expenditure but cannot say where the money will come from."
     
    Mrs Beggs said it was clear from the Opposition's costings that additional money for roads would not be channelled into local government and there would be massive cuts in other roads programs that had been agreed in consultation with local government.
     
    "This is just another example of how the Opposition is conning people with promises that cannot be substantiated," she said.