Thursday, 2 October 2014
Questions without Notice
My question is addressed to the Prime Minister. Will the Prime Minister update the House on action the government is taking to ease traffic congestion in my home state of Victoria, and in particular, in the Deakin electorate.
I thank the member for Deakin for his question. I appreciate his interest in better infrastructure in Melbourne. It was good to be in Melbourne earlier this morning, as the infrastructure Prime Minister to stand beside one of our infrastructure premiers to affirm the Commonwealth's $3 billion commitment to East West Link.
Opposition members interjecting—
Melbourne is a great city. It is a great city, but it is choking on its own traffic. Thanks to coalition governments in Spring Street and in Canberra, East West Link is beginning. The contracts are signed and the construction will begin in December. The construction will begin in December, and thanks to the East West Link stage 1, there will be almost 4,000 new jobs; 23 sets of traffic lights will be eliminated; 15 minutes will be shaved off the journeys—100,000 journeys every day—and Alexandra Parade, Flemington Road and Hoddle Street will once more be boulevards rather than traffic canyons.
But all of this could be put at risk by the Victorian Leader of the Opposition, who says he will tear up the contracts because he would rather pander to the Greens than build a stronger Victoria. He would rather give away $3 billion which has been pledged for East West Link, and for nothing else, than build a stronger Victoria.
I do acknowledge the shadow Treasurer—who is playing on his iPhone at the moment—who said what should have been said by the Victorian opposition leader. He said, 'Labor honours contracts'—quite properly. He just has to get the Victorian Labor leader to adopt the same sensible position. Melbourne is an economic powerhouse. It needs the roads of the 21st century if it is to prosper as it should, and the only way Melbourne will get the roads of the 21st century is through coalition governments in Spring Street and in Canberra.
There was a lot of talk from members opposite for six years about building infrastructure. They talked; we act. The time for talking has passed; the time for building is here.