Government underspends on infrastructure: Opposition


p2239-Gary-HigginsLETTER TO THE EDITOR
Sir – The latest Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics report shows a significant underspend of just $434.9m, well below the government’s much lauded $1.75b program.
The government has previously revised its cash spend down from $967m to $864m for this financial year, as if to attempt to retreat on its own spending commitments.
That the significant underspend, eight months into the 2017/18 financial year, shows that the Labor government continues to mismanage the Territory’s economy.
It is time for the Treasurer to tell Territorians what the expected spend for this financial year will be.
The infrastructure spend is not being used to stimulate the economy, or create jobs, like Labor says it is.
It is vital, particularly in the current economic climate that the government leads by example, working to get projects awarded and started as quickly as possible.
The recent Master Builders NT Industry Forecasts (December 2017) report shows a significant decrease in residential building, houses and other dwellings work being undertaken, reiterating the need for government to lead the way with its capital works, minor new works and repairs and maintenance spend.
Gary Higgins (pictured)
Leader of the Opposition


  1. Gary, a major issue is the sheer number of tenders going out to select contractors. The shrinking pool of public works is effectively further reduced.
    There is a vast amount of tenders not going out to the open market in what appears to be violation of Procurement Policies:
    So when Labor minister Lauren Moss says: “Local Alice Springs construction company Scope Building has been awarded the $1.5m contract to fit-out the exhibition space…” what she fails to make mention of is that the project went out to a select tender process, effectively depriving the majority of the local industry to make a competitive bid on the works and potentially causing the tax payer to be out of pocket of hundreds of thousands of dollars if a true open procurement process had occurred.
    Industry cannot, nor should it, sustain such reckless contravention of procurement policy indefinitely.


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