Fully Funded, Fully Costed ruse

What they promised

Fully Funded, Fully Costed

- Liberal Party Campaign Material

What they say now

A total of $3.0 billion in Commonwealth contribution is assumed as a funding source over the life of major infrastructure projects such as MAX light Rail, Airport rail, and the Perth to Darwin Highway

- Tim Marney 7/3/13 (2013 State Election Policy Costings)

31 Jul 2013 - Despite claiming during the election campaign that its projects were fully funded and fully costed, it was revealed that a total of $3.0 billion in Commonwealth contribution was assumed for major infrastructure projects such as MAX light Rail, Airport rail, and the Perth to Darwin Highway. The Federal Government had not given a commitment to provide this funding.

Throughout the election campaign the Liberal Party claimed that their promises were ‘Fully Funded, Fully Costed'. On the Thursday prior to the election it was revealed by the Under Treasurer of the State Tim Marney that this was not correct.

As part of the election process the political parties can request that the Department of Treasury verify costings for their election commitments. This information is made publically available via the Department of Treasury website.

This document ‘2013 State Election Policy Costing - Impact of Liberal Party Commitments on State Finances' revealed that on major infrastructure projects the Barnett Government had assumed a significant contribution from the Commonwealth Government in order to fund their commitments.

This included 50% of the Max Light Rail project being funded by the Commonwealth and 80% of the Airport Rail. The Under Treasurer noted that the Commonwealth Government had not committed to this funding and described the assumption that it would provide it as ‘a risk'.

Despite indicating that both of the projects were ‘Fully Funded, Fully Costed' the combined amount of unfunded costs for the two projects that the Liberal Party was seeking was $2.541 billion.

In May this year following the State election and as part of the Federal Budget, the Commonwealth Government announced that it would provide $500 million over the next 10 years to assist with the two projects. This leaves a shortfall of $2 billion that the Liberal Party has failed to fund.

In July 2013 Tony Abbott indicated that he did not support any federal funding being provided for state rail projects saying that they were fundamentally a state responsibility. He also indicated that he would only honour projects that had already begun such as the Gateway Rd interchange near the Perth Airport. (West Australian, 5 July 2013)

This is just two examples of election commitments by the Barnett Government that were not fully funded or fully costed. How many more will there be?