House debates

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Questions without Notice


2:20 pm

Photo of Kelvin ThomsonKelvin Thomson (Wills, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Treasurer. Will the Treasurer update the House on the contents of the Access Economics Investment Monitor and the importance of ongoing investment in infrastructure?

Photo of Wayne SwanWayne Swan (Lilley, Australian Labor Party, Treasurer) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for Wills for his question because overnight we have seen the release of the Access Economics Investment Monitor, which puts the total project pipeline underway or in planning at around $770 billion. That is an increase of over $85 billion on the previous year and there is something like $270 billion in projects already underway or committed. There is something like $100 billion of mining projects either under construction or committed and a further $200 billion in mining projects under consideration. By any measure by any country in the world, this is a very substantial pipeline of investment.

And it is not just in mining; the good news is that it is broader than that. There are upgrades in manufacturing, transport and other industries. So we have strong fundamentals in our economy and they are underpinned by a remarkable pipeline in investment. So the economy is making that transition from stimulus, which was necessary during the global financial crisis and the global recession, and moving over to private investment which is producing and supporting very substantial job creation in our economy.

Of course, it also brings with it the challenges of mining boom mark 2, ones which the government is preparing the country for. We know we need to invest in infrastructure, particularly in our mining regions. We know we have to build the capacity of our economy. We know that over 25 years important reforms have been put in place, starting with the Hawke and Keating governments. We know that we have put in place fundamental pillars of reform from the floating of the dollar, to the bringing down of the tariff wall, to the introduction of national superannuation policy, competition policy and the reform of our financial sector. All of these things have been very important in making our economy so strong.

We know that it is the reform of today that builds the prosperity of tomorrow. We know that over the past week those fundamental pillars have been questioned by those opposite. We have had the shadow finance minister threatening to intervene, saying the country needs to intervene in the float of the dollar. We have had the shadow Treasurer who wants to undermine decades of consensus about the independence of the Reserve Bank and somehow intervene there. We have had the shadow communications minister—

Photo of Christopher PyneChristopher Pyne (Sturt, Liberal Party, Shadow Minister for Education, Apprenticeships and Training) Share this | | Hansard source

Mr Speaker, on a point of order, I simply make the point yet again that the Treasurer cannot be directly relevant to the question when he is commenting on the opposition’s policies and slagging and bagging the opposition when he should simply be answering the question.

Photo of Harry JenkinsHarry Jenkins (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

Order! The member for Sturt will resume his seat. The Treasurer knows the requirement for him to be directly relevant to the question. I will listen to the conclusion of his answer very carefully.

Photo of Wayne SwanWayne Swan (Lilley, Australian Labor Party, Treasurer) Share this | | Hansard source

We have had the shadow communications minister wanting to undermine the shadow finance minister and the shadow Treasurer because they have been undermining these essential pillars of our future prosperity. We have had that. For our part, we will go on with building a stronger economy with the essential reform which is required to create jobs.