The Victorian Government says it increased infrastructure spending to almost triple the long-term average, with Treasurer Tim Pallas claiming the state is spending more than the federal Coalition Government plans to spend on infrastructure across the entire nation over the next 10 years. Mr Pallas is comparing apples and oranges. The 2019 federal budget refers to Commonwealth spending of $100 billion on transport infrastructure over the next decade. The budget does not provide a complete breakdown of how the spending will be spread across individual years or specific projects. This federal figure is not comparable to the $107 billion of spending on state infrastructure referred to by Mr Pallas, for a number of reasons. First, the 10-year, $100 billion federal infrastructure spend relates only to land transport infrastructure projects. It does not include infrastructure spending by the Commonwealth in areas such as defence, nor does it include infrastructure spending undertaken by federal government corporations like the National Broadband Network. On the other hand, the $107 billion Victorian infrastructure agenda referred to by Mr Pallas covers infrastructure projects across all areas of the State Government, including transport, the environment, law and order, health, education, and government corporations such as Victoria's various water authorities. Second, the timeframes used are not comparable. Third, many of the projects that make up Victoria's $107 billion infrastructure program involve a contribution from the Commonwealth. The comparison used by Mr Pallas therefore involves a degree of double counting.
Verdict: Apples and Oranges