THE Federal Government has expressed frustration at opposition attempts to prevent the passage of legislation to allow continued funding for its Roads to Recovery Program.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the government was forced to withdraw the legislation from the Senate last week, because it was clear the legislation would not have passed without major amendments, many of which are unacceptable to the government.
"The government's legislation, which passed the House of Representatives in spite of Labor and the Greens' objections, is just 23 pages long. Amendments proposed in the Senate would add eight pages to the Bill," he said.
"Many of these amendments are not even directly relevant to the Bill and would add needless bureaucracy and red tape.
"The primary intent of the Land Transport Infrastructure Amendment Bill 2014 is to enable the Australian Government to get on with the job of delivering the biggest infrastructure agenda in Australia's history.
"Importantly, our record investment includes a massive new injection for the Roads to Recovery Program, including an extra $350 million in 2015-16 to double funding to every council in Australia next financial year.
"There is no valid reason for Opposition members in the Senate to delay passage of the Bill with a range of extraneous measures, putting the delivery of $2.1 billion of road funding to local councils at risk."
Mr Truss said the Coalition Government will work to bring the Bill to the Senate again in late August - giving the Senate another chance to do the right thing by local councils.
"We hope that the Senate will pass this very simple legislation and extend the Roads to Recovery Program for another five years, locking in billions of dollars of road funding for local councils and their communities.
"The Australian Government will continue to strive to deliver the local and national infrastructure Australia needs for economic growth and prosperity."