House debates

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Questions without Notice

Queensland: Infrastructure

2:28 pm

Photo of George ChristensenGeorge Christensen (Dawson, National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport. Will the Deputy Prime Minister update the House on recent regional infrastructure announcements that are creating local jobs in rural and regional Queensland, including in Central and North Queensland?

Photo of Michael McCormackMichael McCormack (Riverina, National Party, Leader of the Nationals) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for Dawson for his question and thank him also for his advocacy for Central and North Queensland. I visited the electorate of Dawson on 8 March to announce an important project. It was the Haughton River Floodplain project upgrade, and the contract was announced today. We've committed $411.4 million to this project. It includes 13½ kilometres of the Bruce Highway near Giru in the Burdekin, a new Haughton River bridge, two cane rail overpasses and nine rural intersections. More than just being part of the $6.7 billion Bruce Highway upgrade, this is going to save lives.

I'm asked about jobs. There will be 544 jobs created from this particular project. Contractors have been asked to demonstrate their commitment to engaging local employees and businesses, which is good news for the Burdekin. The Haughton River Bridge will be built to withstand a one-in-100-year flood. This project will increase safety for families, truckies and the many visitors who go to that fine region.

I was with Craig Lowndes today, a great sportsman, as well as Russell White, a road safety advocate, launching a road safety and Fatality Free Friday initiative. The government has also announced $32.9 million worth of additional spending to 144 black spot projects, half of which are going to be in regional areas. The members for Gilmore, Hinkler and Wide Bay were there at the launch. This is delivering infrastructure that Australia wants, needs, demands and expects.

I'm asked about alternatives. The Leader of the Opposition, I have to say, is a man conflicted. Should he back workers or should he back his union mates? Should he back coalminers in regional Queensland, in the member for Dawson's seat, or should he vote for inner-city Greens with what he says and what he does? Should he back tax cuts—he used to believe in tax cuts—or will he throw out sound economics and damage people's hopes for a job, for a future? Should he raid the nest eggs of thousands of pensioners and retirees, or will he backflip on that too? The Australian people know this man cannot be trusted—not with the truth, not with his words, not with his actions, not with people's pensions, not with people's money, not with the economy, and certainly not with the jobs of our children and our grandchildren. Whether they are in the member for Dawson's electorate or wherever they might happen to be, people will always pay more under Labor. We know that. The member for Maribyrnong said he believed in jobs when he was in government. He doesn't say it when he is in opposition. Don't believe what this Leader of the Opposition says; believe what he does. (Time expired)