House debates

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Questions without Notice


3:02 pm

Photo of Jamie BriggsJamie Briggs (Mayo, Liberal Party, Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development) Share this | Hansard source

I thank the member for Hindmarsh for his question. Last Friday, he, along with the infrastructure Prime Minister and the Treasurer of South Australia, the Honourable Tom Koutsantonis, turned the first sod on the Torrens to Torrens project, which of course confirms yet again that this government has delivered upon the billion-dollar commitment to both the Torrens to Torrens project in the member for Hindmarsh's electorate and the Darlington project in the member for Boothby's electorate, which will begin very shortly. I commend the South Australian government for the work that it is doing to deliver these projects in conjunction with the federal government.

As the Treasurer said, we are committed to ensuring there are jobs created through our infrastructure investment. As the mining investment phase comes off, we are investing heavily in infrastructure—a $50 billion budget commitment to the infrastructure of the 21st century. We are building projects across the country: the East West Link in Victoria; the WestConnex project in Sydney; the NorthConnex project in Sydney; we are building the Toowoomba Second Range project for the Minister for Industry to ensure that that part of Queensland can take advantage of the mining boom as well; and in Perth we are delivering the Perth Freight Link, which will deliver thousands of jobs and a more efficient and more productive freight route in Perth to take advantage of that great state even further. Our Infrastructure Investment Program is targeting productive infrastructure. We are looking at creating jobs, we are getting on with delivering these projects as quickly as we can, and state governments should be commended for the work that they are doing with this government to ensure that that is the case.

In the nearly 12 months we have been in government, we have been working to ensure that we would have a pipeline of investment that did not exist previously and ensure that we have projects actually happening and not just talked about. We have reformed Infrastructure Australia to take the political element out of Infrastructure Australia, because the states would not work with Infrastructure Australia because it had been politicised utterly. That is what every state government's feedback was. We are working to reform the institutions. And we have had a Productivity Commission report into public infrastructure which says that we are going to ensure that we have infrastructure projects delivered cheaper and more effectively in the future. The Productivity Commission report into public infrastructure pointed to the NBN as the worst project ever in Australia's history—that it had been misused for political purposes, and the member for Grayndler takes responsibility for that, of course. This is a government that is getting on with the job, not just on the Torrens to Torrens but right around the country, led by an infrastructure Prime Minister delivering a stronger economy for Australia.


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