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Fast rail to Geelong. It sounds like an exciting infrastructure announcement from Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
It's not. It’s precisely the sort of breathtakingly cynical political manoeuvre that voters are now so exhausted by. Do they really think we are this stupid?
The federal government has pledged to create a fast rail link between Melbourne and Geelong. CREDIT:LUIS ENRIQUE ASCUI
Thanks to decades of more talented political operators than Morrison dodging and weaving their way past elections while voters’ blood boils over nothing being done on transport, announcements about multi-billion-dollar infrastructure promises simply won’t wash anymore.
And that’s just the cynicism that’s set in among voters over the inertia – quite aside from the pork-barrelling nature of announcing a project not even rated an urgent priority by the national infrastructure agency.
On Friday, Morrison and four Victorian Coalition MPs went to Geelong to promise that travel times from Geelong to Melbourne would virtually halve, from 61 minutes to 32 minutes.
The $4 billion project, they said, would start within two years!
The catch? State Labor would have to match Canberra’s $2 billion with $2 billion of its own.
Regardless of the Andrews government's claim that $4 billion won’t be enough – something in itself that’s startling enough to be worthy of a fact-check – the telling point is when Morrison told Premier Daniel Andrews.
This article first appeared on www.theage.com.au
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