The majority voted against an amendment introduced by Greens Senator Scott Ludlam, which means that it was unsuccessful. This amendment would have added the following provision: "Financial assistance granted as mentioned in this Part must not be expended on toll roads."
Senator Ludlam explained that this would prevent the Asset Recycling Fund from effectively "subsidising private profit in toll roads".(Read Senator Ludlam's full explanation here. ) Because the majority voted against this amendment, it was unsuccessful.
Background to the bills
The Asset Recycling Fund Bill 2014 and the related Asset Recycling Fund (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2014 were introduced to create the Asset Recycling Fund ('ARF').
The ARF is the fund from which grants to states and territories will be sourced under the Asset Recycling Initiative ('ARI'), which was developed to assist states to privatise assets and to speed up the construction of transport infrastructure in capital cities.(Read the Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss's comments on the initiative on ABC's PM program here. ) Under the ARI, states and territories will be encouraged to sell assets, including transport infrastructure, and use the proceeds to fund new public infrastructure. By way of encouragement, the Commonwealth will provide a financial contribution of 15 per cent of the asset value of the sale that is used to fund the new infrastructure.(See the bills digest for more information. )