Today ACT Shadow Treasurer Brendan Smyth will pursue the Labor government’s agenda after exposing the Government’s blind commitment to develop light rail at whatever cost.
The following exchange between Mr Smyth and the Treasurer, Andrew Barr, illustrates Mr Barr’s bloody-minded approach that light rail will go ahead regardless of the cost:
Smyth: You said there is more work to do before we go to procurement?
Barr: That’s correct.
Smyth: So whatever the numbers turn up its going ahead?
Barr: Well yes, we are committed to this project.
Later, Mr Barr put it beyond any doubt:
Smyth: Is there a number at which the project will not go ahead?
“Yet again, we see ACT Labor’s contempt for taxpayers in their fiscally irresponsible approach to delivering infrastructure in our city. This is an outrageous statement to make, and amounts to a blank cheque proposal to prospective tenderers.
“Already having to foot the bill for ACT Labor’s mismanagement of infrastructure projects, this recent revelation is tantamount to misleading Canberrans on the true cost of this initiative in the last ACT elections.
“In essence, what we have is an ACT Labor election commitment costed at approximately $34 million, now becoming an initiative to be had at whatever cost to Canberra taxpayers.
“My colleagues and I have grave concerns about this ‘government at any cost’ approach that has been ruining this Territory for years. Under the new arrangement, they have gone even further and have even less regard for the bottom line – and that is that the people of Canberra will have to pay,” said Mr Smyth.