House debates

Thursday, 8 October 2020

Questions without Notice

Budget

2:13 pm

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

I can hear the shouts of joy from those opposite, because they know, too, how important the regions are and they know how vital it is going to be to supercharge those regions as we lead out of the COVID situation. It is writ large, the recovery, in our infrastructure investment, agricultural investment and various regional development measures designed to boost, promote and build our resilient regional communities. And when the Treasurer stood at this point on Tuesday night, he delivered a budget for infrastructure, for jobs and for the regions. In the member's electorate of Flynn in Central Queensland the regional recovery package will back-in existing regional development plans to do just that: deliver jobs, better outcomes, economic recovery and economic diversification.

We see the resilience and tenacity in regional Australia every single day. We are optimistic about regional Australia. I know the member for Flynn is optimistic about regional Australia. Give us a cheer everybody who is optimistic about regional Australia!

Honourable members interjecting

Absolutely! By identifying the strengths, giving people the right tools, recognising the adversity and investing in the resilience, regional Australia will have the support it needs to recover and grow from this pandemic.

Water infrastructure is at the very heart of everything that we are trying to do to grow our town populations and grow our country areas. The member knows the value of adding water, and in Queensland we're doing just that. Add water, grow output. Grow agricultural output, grow water by growing jobs. Our more-than-doubling of investment to $3½ billion, through an additional $2 billion under the National Water infrastructure Development Fund, will create hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs and boost agricultural productivity through a more reliable water supply. We have Rookwood Weir in the member's electorate, we have Big Rocks Weir, Emu Swamp Dam, Hells Gate Dam, the Hughenden Irrigation Project, Urannah Dam, Mareeba-Dimbulah, the South Burnett scheme—$3½ million. We're backing that. We're backing that area. We're backing Flynn. We're backing water. We're backing jobs. (Time expired)

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