11 April 2016
Bereft of original ideas and funding for major infrastructure projects in our region, Bob Baldwin and the Turnbull Government have taken to claiming Labor projects as their own.
On 8 August 2013, then Deputy Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, joined me to announce an upgrade to Tourle Street Bridge and Cormorant Drive.
The project was identified as a regional priority by Infrastructure Australia and $52 Million of Federal funding for the duplication was in the 2013 Budget. Construction on the project was due to commence in 2015.
In February 2015, Mr Albanese again joined me at Tourle Street to call on the Liberal Government to get moving on the project that had stalled after 18 months of inaction.
In a media stunt yesterday Mr Baldwin visited the bridge to reannounce the project and claim it for his own Liberal Government, with work commencing this year and project completion sometime in 2018.
Rather than wait nearly three years to reannounce a project that was already in the budget, Mr Baldwin should have been lobbying his Government to get on with constructing the bridge and securing new investment for much-needed projects in the Hunter.
In government, Labor secured funding for a number of major infrastructure projects in Newcastle that are now coming to fruition, including the Tourle Street Bridge duplication, University of Newcastle city campus (NeW Space) and Medical Sciences West Building, and Newcastle Institute of Energy and Resources.