Wednesday, 24 November 2021
Questions without Notice
Barnaby Joyce (New England, National Party, Leader of the Nationals) Share this | Hansard source
I thank the honourable member for his question and note his absolute diligence to the great state of Western Australia. I note his work in certain areas, especially in his attention to the agricultural industry and his personal involvement in the great exports of that state, particularly in the grain industry, and also his continued support of live sheep exports, where I think it's so vitally important that we earn export dollars. So it's an area where he manages to stand up for his state when so many others are trying to let it down, especially regarding live sheep exports.
The honourable member asked questions with regard to the infrastructure spend by this side of the House, by this government, in Western Australia. Since 2013 we've committed over $17.3 billion towards infrastructure projects in Western Australia. These have been far and wide, from urban Perth right out to the Tanami Road going up to Halls Creek—an incredibly important investment project for the Indigenous people from that part of the world to allow them to get, especially, from Alice Springs up towards Halls Creek along the Tanami Desert. It's also projects such as the Outback Way, which is also so vitally important in opening up the gold precincts around Laverton. Even in the seat of O'Connor, such projects as the Western Australia agricultural supply chain improvements are vitally important. The freight vehicle productivity improvements are vitally important. The Albany Highway from Kelmscott to Williams, the pavement rehabilitation, the Albany Ring Road, the Great Eastern Highway—these are all parts of the projects that are so vitally important in making sure that we stand with Western Australians in allowing them to earn the export dollars which are so vitally important for our nation.
Regional Australia is doing its part. And it was very, very, very sad yesterday, when the first question the member for Ballarat wanted to ask on regional infrastructure was this slurring, snide approach, that regional Australia will be represented on Infrastructure Australia and ever have a chair from regional Australia. She asked the question yesterday: 'Is it true?' Of course she knew it was true, because Mr Murray had contacted Mr Albanese. But, of course, very sneakily they pretended that that call hadn't been made. Very sneakily they disclosed, most likely, a private call into a public forum. And of course she knew the answers. It's very sneaky when you know the answer to a question and ask if it's true. But we know that, unless you're in sight of Ultimo, for the Labor Party you ultimately don't matter. (Time expired)