House debates

Monday, 25 November 2019

Questions without Notice

Infrastructure

3:01 pm

Photo of Michael McCormackMichael McCormack (Riverina, National Party, Leader of the Nationals) Share this | Hansard source

I thank the member for Dawson for his question. A $1.9 billion road and rail package for Queensland, to boost the economy, create jobs and certainly help Dawson is what was announced last week when the Prime Minister, the member for Moncrieff, the member for Forde and I were at the M1 motorway. We announced the Queensland package. This government will bring forward nearly $650 million in funding and provide more than $680 million in new funding, with the Queensland government committing a little bit over $600 million. The package includes 20 critical infrastructure projects. For example, there's $225.6 million for the Bruce Highway upgrades. I know how important they are for Dawson. That's the 1,652 kilometre road between Brisbane and Cairns. And there's $18½ million for Roads of Strategic Importance upgrades.

In the member for Dawson's electorate, I know he had a rather novel way of putting forward his case for the Mackay Ring Road—once seen, it cannot be unseen. But, by George, we're going to put a ring on it! The Mackay Ring Road: $51 million for that particular project, fast-tracked. I wouldn't urge and encourage members go and look at George's novel way of trying to get encouragement for that, and I don't want anyone else to bring forward those sorts of initiatives to get infrastructure funding.

The member for Moncrieff and I stood at the platform of the Gold Coast to Burleigh light rail project. It's 6.7 kilometres, and we're investing $157 million of new funding. As we were there and after we'd made the announcement—it was a great announcement—this woman bounded across the road. We've all had them. You think, 'What on earth is she going to come up and talk to me about?' She buttonholed me and said: 'Finally we've got governments coming together to build this important piece of infrastructure. This restaurant precinct that people will be able to visit will be good for tourists. It's going to be good for the economy. It's going to be good for jobs. Thank you, Deputy Prime Minister. Thank you, local member Angie Bell.'

In Tasmania we've brought forward $175 million worth of projects, $95 million of which will be spent over the next 18 months. That includes $46.4 million for the Bass Highway corridor improvements and $45 million for the Hobart to Sorell corridor, including the Hobart Airport exchange. But the value that you see in these sorts of projects is getting people to where they need to be sooner and safer, helping tradies in their utes get to their jobs quicker, helping the school bus get to school safer. They're all aspects of what we do when we build infrastructure. We thank the state governments for getting on board with our $100 billion national infrastructure program, and there's more to come.

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