The Victorian Government issued a media release this week expressing fury over their funding allocation of nine per cent from the $9.7 billion lease of the Port of Melbourne.
According to the release, the Federal Government is accused of ‘blatantly ripping off Victoria’, opting to spend Victorian taxpayer dollars in New South Wales.
Minister for Ports Luke Donnellan was quoted in the release saying “Sydney-centric Malcolm Turnbull is ripping off our state and not giving Victoria its fair share of infrastructure funding.”
This outrage from Victoria has come after the Port of Melbourne was successfully leased at the staggering price of $9.7 billion to the Lonsdale Consortium, comprising of the Future Fund, Queensland Investment Corporation, infrastructure fund manager GIP and Canadian pension fund OMERS.
Port Of Melbourne Leased In Jaw-Dropping Deal Worth Billions]The Government then pledged to use the funds allocated to the state from the 50-year lease's bigger-than-expected gain, under the federal government's asset recycling scheme, to upgrade current and undertake new infrastructure projects.
According to the release, one of the Andrews Labor Government’s higher priorities was to remove 50 of the state’s most dangerous and congested level crossings, creating thousands of jobs.
The funding would also allow them to afford a new station at South Yarra as part of the Melbourne Metro project, according to The Age.
The government was expecting 15 per cent - $1.45 billion – under the scheme, but would only receive $877.5 million, which is equivalent to nine per cent of the price.
It was expressed in the release that Victoria’s government believes Mr Turnbull was already ripping Victorians off by sending their taxpayer money to fund projects in his hometown of Sydney, with nine per cent of the national total going to Victoria and 31 per cent going to New South Wales.
“Victorians are entitled to the full 15 per cent that was promised by Malcolm Turnbull to fund road and rail upgrades that our State needs and voted for,” Mr Donnellan said.
Earlier this month The Age reported that in response to the allegations, Treasurer Scott Morrison's office claimed Victoria will receive $877.5 million because of their failing to finalise a deal by June 30.
"An agreement was not finalised with Victoria, despite them having the time to do so," Mr Morrison said.
It is unclear whether or not the result will change, but The Age reported that Morrison's office stated, “the Commonwealth will now work in good faith with the Victorian government to determine an agreement on how the $877.5 million of ARI [asset recycling] funds set aside for Victoria could be allocated."