Wednesday, 9 November 2016
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment. Will the minister explain how the development at Perth Airport will support Austria's tourism industry and create jobs and economic growth for Western Australia? How is the government supporting this project, and is the minister aware of impediments to its progress?
I am very pleased to get a question from the member for Swan. I know the member for Swan has been a great advocate for infrastructure in his electorate, including the grand gateway near Perth Airport. It is indeed a great vision and it is great to have his advocacy for it.
Western Australia welcomed some 888,000 international visitors in the last year, which represents an increase of some 19 per cent over the past three years. This is on top of the 9.2 million domestic visitors who travel to WA, which represents an increase of some 40 per cent since 2013—great news for the tourism industry in Western Australia and, particularly, for Perth Airport. I know that the member for Swan was at the official opening of the new airport terminal, which was opened by the member for Stirling, and that he has congratulated Perth Airport in the House on this development.
This is just the beginning of developments and investment in tourism at Perth Airport. The current vision for the airport is a world-class airport experience operating from one precinct, airport central, that will offer terminal and passenger facilities for some 40 million passengers a year and beyond. On top of this, the CEO of the Qantas group, Alan Joyce, has confirmed that the airline is looking seriously at a Perth to London direct flight, once the airline receives the new 787 Dreamliner. This is great news for employment and tourism in Australia's West Coast.
But I note the member also asked about any impediments to the development of Perth Airport. I bring to the attention of the House an article in The Australian newspaper from earlier this year that had the headline, 'CFMEU officials fined over Perth Airport project blockade.' The article said:
The Federal Court found senior officials from the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union have a "cavalier attitude" to complying with industrial laws as it handed out fines of $21,000 over a blockade at the $80 million Perth Airport expansion project.
In a judgment, the Justice found that 'the CFMEU arranged for about 100 protesters to blockade the airport project in 2013'. Does Labor ever say anything against the CFMEU on this? Do you ever hear from the shadow tourism minister about the militant and extreme CFMEU? You never hear a peep. The reason you never hear from them, the reason Labor never says anything about the CFMEU, the reason the Labor Party is silent about the direct links between the Labor Party and bikies, between the Labor Party, the CFMEU and, indeed, organised crime—the reason you never hear about complaints from the Labor Party—
I have not called the Leader of the Opposition yet. There will not be a debate about this across the chamber, Minister and Leader of the Opposition.
Mr Sukkar interjecting—
The member for Deakin will leave under 94(a).
The member for Deakin then left the chamber.
The interjections prevented me from hearing everything that the minister was saying. I am going to call the Leader of the Opposition on a point of order.
I hate to say, if the minister impugned a particular individual, the practice in the standing orders would be very clear on that. However, when it comes to a political party, it is quite a different matter, no matter how difficult or offensive that is.
A government member interjecting—
Whoever interjected from the right will be out. I have to say to the Leader of the Opposition that it is quite a different matter; it has been ruled very strongly, when the character of the Leader of the Opposition individually has been impugned, but, when it comes to a political party, that is a different matter. I am going to keep listening to the minister. I warn him he is on thin ice.
If the Labor Party do not like the links between the CFMEU and bikies, if they do not like the links with the militant and extreme CFMEU, they should do something about it, not take $11 million to look the other way, because the fact is: this is why we need a tough cop on the beat— (Time expired)