Thursday, 30 October 2014
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development. Will the Deputy Prime Minister outline how the government is working with the states to deliver the infrastructure of the 21st century.
I thank the honourable member for her question. It is especially appropriate that we would have a question like this today, after the Prime Minister has delivered the first of his annual reports on our progress in delivering the infrastructure of the 21st century. And what an impressive statement it was—what an impressive record of achievement in our first year in government! The infrastructure Prime Minister is delivering the infrastructure this country is going to need for the century ahead.
We have committed $50 billion towards this program, and it is anticipated that we will leverage at least $125 billion of expenditure from states and other tiers of government to really make a difference in bridging some of the infrastructure gap that we inherited from our predecessors. The states have now all signed up to the national partnership on asset recycling, along with the territories, indicating their intention to participate in this capacity to renew the infrastructure of our nation and to recycle assets in ways that can deliver new benefits to local communities.
The states have also signed the national partnership agreement on land transport infrastructure so that money can flow to those states, now, to deliver on the infrastructure plans that they have submitted to the Commonwealth for funding.
The member for Lindsay would also be noticing that some of this work is occurring in her own electorate. The work around Western Sydney will certainly make a real difference to the lifestyle of people in that region. There has been a $2½-plus billion commitment to the roads of that region—the major roads and also the local roads. Infrastructure is not just about the big national highways; it is also about ensuring that that last mile enables people to get to their workplaces or to the markets as quickly as they possibly can. WestConnex and other projects in New South Wales are also adding enormously to the job creation that this program will deliver to all Australians.
In Victoria the East West Link project, signed by the state government, will revolutionise traffic through Melbourne. It will take 100,000 vehicles each day on a new and faster route through the city. Already this work is beginning and we are seeing the results of a government that is serious about infrastructure and a Prime Minister who wants to be recognised, above all of his other great achievements, for what he has done in infrastructure. That will be a lasting legacy for all Australians that could only have been delivered by a coalition government that cares.