Tuesday, 1 December 2015
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development. Will the Acting Prime Minister please update the House on infrastructure projects that are currently underway in my electorate of Page?
I thank the honourable member for Page for the question. Earlier today I had the privilege of presenting the government's second annual report on infrastructure projects around Australia. It reported on our $50 billion commitment—the biggest in our nation's history—to build road and railway lines across the nation, and, of course, $14.9 billion of that investment is in New South Wales.
One of the biggest and most important projects in regional Australia is our $5.6 billion commitment towards the Pacific Highway. That work is now very much starting to focus on the member's electorate. So far 60 per cent, or 397 kilometres, has been upgraded to a four-lane divided road, and construction on another 149 kilometres is currently underway. The first contract has been let for 155 kilometres, the final section, much of which is in the honourable member's electorate, to complete that four-laning of the Pacific Highway.
This could never have happened had Labor been in office. Our commitment of $5.64 billion is $3 billion more than what Labor had committed to the project and, once more, $2 billion of what Labor had proposed to provide was not available until after 2019-20.
Mr Albanese interjecting—
We are committed to finishing it before the end of this decade. Labor would never have delivered on that formula. In addition to that, Labor was demanding that the New South Wales state government pay 50 per cent of the cost. Earlier today the shadow minister actually blamed the New South Wales state government because Labor had underperformed on the Pacific Highway. The reality is that Labor was trying to change the formula so that the project would never be built. It had no commitment to the Pacific Highway. We have restored the 80:20 funding link. That has made the project possible. That is why the people of New South Wales, and indeed all of those travelling up the coast, will have a four-lane highway all the way from Sydney to Brisbane before the end of this decade—something that Labor would never have delivered.