Truss announces funding package for regional highways
A LANDMARK funding package for regional highways will form part of the Federal Government's latest budget figures, with Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss describing it as the largest road spending ever undertaken by a government.
Although he would not be drawn on details, leaving that critical detail for Treasurer Joe Hockey to reveal today, Mr Truss said it would regional roads and highways nationally that would benefit.
He alluded to the deal while confirming another $440 million in road funding for a suite of projects in Queensland and New South Wales today.
Mr Truss said the Treasurer would reveal the project as part of the Mid Year Economic Fiscal Outlook.
Once announced, the Federal Government will then begin negotiations with all Australian states on a "new, ambitious, five-year program".
He said it there would be more money for regional road networks and infrastructure that would "help unlock the potential of the regions".
The mid-year budget is expected to show the national deficit has blown out to $50 billion, $20 billion above what Labor forecast in the lead-up to the September election.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott is describing this looming set of figures as Labor's final and "only truthful" budget statement.
"We will be ruling a line under the fiscal damage that Labor has done," Mr Abbott said on Monday as his government marked 100 days in office.
Opposition Treasurer Chris Bowen denied Labor was to blame for the increasing debt, saying its figures were accurate when they were released ahead of the election.