Thursday, 21 February 2019
Future Drought Fund Bill 2018, Future Drought Fund (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2018; Consideration in Detail
I rise to indicate, as well, my supports for the amendments, which do introduce some level of transparency. I must say that the member for Indi has a triumph of hope over experience in saying that the Productivity Commission is going to look at environmental outcomes—I mean, seriously. That is not what the Productivity Commission do. If you look at any of their reports on any issue, at any time, under any government, you would know that.
What you are doing, in supporting this legislation, is taking over $3 billion of infrastructure investment away. That is what you are doing. You are undermining Infrastructure Australia through the abolition of the Building Australia Fund. There is no link between the Building Australia Fund and drought resilience, just like there was no link when they tried to abolish the Building Australia Fund to fund the NDIS or to fund the privatisation of assets through the recycling scheme. This mob have hated the Building Australia Fund because it's not a slush fund. It has to be used for infrastructure that's on the priority list.
I say to the honourable members who have approached me about infrastructure commitments that you've just reduced the budget by $3 billion on infrastructure if we are elected or if they are elected, for that matter. That is what you are doing with this legislation. Bear that in mind next time there's a request, because it's very clear that this is a con by the government. There is no linkage between the drought fund and infrastructure except that they both have National Party ministers. That's all it is. Michael McCormack, the Deputy Prime Minister, is so weak. He couldn't stand up to this bloke. He has allowed him to rip $3 billion out of the infrastructure investment that is there, that is protected and that is for priority projects.