Federal Politics


Governments have run out of money to fund infrastructure, says Joe Hockey

Treasurer Joe Hockey says governments are out of money and can only fund vital infrastructure with funds from the private sector.

Mr Hockey told the B20 summit of business leaders in Sydney that infrastructure is a key part of meeting a 2 per cent increase in global economic growth set by G20 leaders.

However, it could not be funded by further easing of interest rates or stimulus programs from governments.

''Governments basically all around the world have run out of money,'' he told the gathering of 400 business chiefs from the world's biggest economies.

''How can we have a growth agenda with tightening monetary policy and tightening fiscal policy?


''Governments have run out of money to fund the infrastructure needs that the community has and therefore we need you and we need your money.''

Mr Hockey pointed to the asset recycling program introduced in the federal budget to encourage privatisation of state government assetsĀ  as Australia's effort to put ''sugar on the table'' to attract private sector investment.

Mr Hockey asked business to publicly support governments' efforts to fund new infrastructure.

''You need to all become preachers of the change that we are thinking about to the investment regime globally because we can't do it alone - as finance ministers we need your support,'' he said.