The secret ingredient in Labor’s pork-barrelling
Anthony Albanese has become one frustrated little bunny.
The Coalition opposed Rudd Labor’s wild cash splash which will leave Australians in debt for a generation or more.
So Lord Albo has been angrily lashing out at any Nationals or Liberal MP who has the temerity not to oppose any Federal Government spending in their local areas.
He is now even muttering darkly that these MPs will be excluded from plaque unveilings or morning teas. No doubt he’ll soon be erecting toll gates on roads leading into Maryborough, the heart of my seat of Wide Bay.
Albo and his cronies seem to think they should be welcomed into Coalition-held electorates like conquering heroes, and the sitting MPs cast out like lepers. This is base politics, at its most childish.
Where will the funding for future needs come from when reckless Rudd Labor has driven us into $315 billion worth of debt?
People living in non-Labor electorates will have to pay off their share of Labor’s debt; so surely they have a right to some of the spending?
The latest Albanese strategy has been to send press releases to media in Coalition electorates, declaring that the “Member for X” has voted against “Road and Rail Projects Y and Z”. This relates to the Coalition’s amendments to new Labor legislation which shifts Black Spots funding away from local and suburban streets, and shovels money meant to be spent on regional roads to Labor electorates to fund election promises made by ALP candidates.
This is crude blackmail. And we’ve got a pretty strong case too: figures finally released last week show that 82 percent of funding for a $655 million Labor transport program goes to its own seats.
The big problem with Albo’s latest campaign is that the legislation in question is not an appropriations bill. It does not alter the amount of money being spent federally on roads and rail by a single dollar. Not a single dollar.
The person who makes the decisions about where that money is spent is the Minister himself. Maybe that explains why these press releases are going into Coalition electorates and not Labor seats.
Why is the Minister threatening to strip funding from National and Liberal seats but not money from those held by his Labor mates? Perhaps the Mauler can answer that little question in his next Punch column.
He certainly will have to explain it to the Australian National Audit Office, which is bound to find a rort of this size – which leaves his Fort Street High insulation rort for dead – most interesting.
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