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Scott Morrison says “Australians are the winners” from a $660m commitment at the 2019 election for new carparks at 47 railway stations – even though only two have been built.
The Prime Minister was grilled about the controversial scheme on Thursday for the first time since the Auditor-General released a scathing reportwhich found the government promised the projects without knowing if they could be built or what they would cost.
Of the 47 carparks, 30 were announced for Melbourne including 25 in Liberal-held seats.
The Herald Sun revealed earlier this year that the government had abandoned upgrades at six of those stations, as Liberal insiders conceded the scheme was drawn up to protect the party’s at-risk electorates.
On Thursday, Mr Morrison said he was “very happy” the government was addressing “one of the biggest challenges that people living in cities face”.
“I’m very okay with the idea of building carparks to ensure people can get a park, get on a train, can get to work sooner, get home sooner, because urban congestion and people commuting is a daily challenge … We’re getting it done,” he said.
The Auditor-General’s investigation found the projects were ticked off and announced despite bureaucrats telling Alan Tudge, the urban infrastructure minister at the time, that they were “not in a position to recommend funding”.
“The advice did not include an assessment of the project,” the Auditor-General found.
“It did not include advice on project feasibility, costs, risks or value for money.
This article first appeared on www.heraldsun.com.au
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