House debates

Monday, 24 June 2013

Constituency Statements

Blair Electorate: Infrastructure

10:33 am

Photo of Shayne NeumannShayne Neumann (Blair, Australian Labor Party, Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing) Share this | | Hansard source

I was pleased to see the front page of The Queensland Times today talk about the NBN rolling out jobs, with the nationwide NBN rollout boosting Ipswich jobs as well as internet access speeds. I congratulate Bremer TAFE for their participation in training to see jobs grow in the Ipswich region and trades and skills promoted. For nearly 12 years under the last coalition government Ipswich and Somerset were overlooked, ignored and neglected, which was evidenced by the state of our roads and community infrastructure. This federal Labor government invested $2.8 billion in the upgraded Ipswich Motorway between Dinmore and Darra—a proposal put forward by the Labor government and opposed by the coalition for three federal elections in a row. Now, as we roll out $279 million for the final stage of the Darra to Rocklea section of the Ipswich Motorway as part of our Nation Building Program, the coalition is silent on the issue. Indeed, Tony Abbott, the Leader of the Opposition, has said he will not do it. My LNP opponent has said nothing—she refuses to take phone calls from the local media, and the front page of The Queensland Times calls her out, as well as the LNP candidate for Oxley.

We currently see under construction the $93.4 million Warrego to Brisbane Valley interchange upgrade, commonly known as the Blacksoil Interchange. Of that funding, $54 million is from this federal Labor government, but that was voted against by the coalition; you voted against that funding upgrade. Indeed, my opponent has been completely silent in relation to that particular proposition, but it is under construction now against the opposition of those opposite, who refuse to do it.

This federal Labor government has invested $53.4 billion in financial assistance grants, $9.8 million in Roads to Recovery, and over $20 million in Regional and Local Community Infrastructure projects in my electorate, including recently—in the latest round—$349,000 provided for the Ipswich City Council and $219,000 to the Somerset Regional Council. I have already been in touch with those councils to see what we can do in relation to that particular funding for community infrastructure in our region.

I was pleased in the previous round to see $1.25 million granted for the Kilcoy Futures Complex: an 80-seat theatrette, an interpretative display area, a catering room, office space, public toilets, a car park, an outdoor area and a display terrace. There are 30,000 visitors to Kilcoy each year and this will become a beacon for tourism. It is the gateway to the northern part of the Somerset region. But those opposite oppose this particular funding commitment, as well as the Toogoolawah condensery arts and cultural project, the Somerset civic centre at Esk, the Robelle Domain parklands at Springfield, and every other community infrastructure project in the electorate of Blair. They should hang their heads in shame. Vote Labor at the next federal election in Blair.