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Fletcher was also asked if there was any arts funding expected in the budget — you know, that other portfolio he has — and he said he would not foreshadow what was in the budget.

Despite spending the previous five minutes foreshadowing what was in the infrastructure budget.

We are maintaining our business as usual spending of $750 million a year on the arts.

Last year we announced $800 million in new arts funding, including $400 million of a location incentive designed to attract global film and television and so far we have attracted 23 productions…it has generated some 13,000 jobs.

Paul Fletcher, the minister for communications, urban infrastructure, cities and the arts (quite a list) has told the ABC’s Patricia Karvelas that the $10bn in infrastructure funding to be handed down in tomorrow’s federal budget has been allocated according to need.

So he’s not at all worried about people making allegations of pork barrelling or targeting marginal seats.

We draw on a range of sources and certainly on advice from the commonwealth department of infrastructure, transport, regional development [and] communications and we have engagement with state governments. So we formally approach state governments at the start of each year, asking them to propose to us a list of projects which, in their judgement, should be funded in their state. We take advice from Infrastructure Australia and obviously we take advice from other stakeholders in Australia, that is as you would expect.

In some ways, the work is never done because we have seen continued population growth and that will return reasonably soon once borders are open. I think we can be confident of that and we are seeing continued economic needs and social needs to get people moving around quickly and efficiently as possible and we are seeing some longer term trends that we are seeking to respond to …

Infrastructure investment pipeline is a major economic tool but also a tool that goes to the lifestyle of Australians, how quickly and conveniently can you get to and from work because every minute you can be at home with your kids rather than stuck in traffic is a lifestyle benefit.

Continue reading…

Read the original article at The Guardian

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