House debates

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Questions without Notice

Hobart City Deal

2:32 pm

Photo of Andrew WilkieAndrew Wilkie (Denison, Independent) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Prime Minister. Prime Minister, yesterday you spoke glowingly of the city deals being struck around the country. But I understand that the Hobart City Deal, as it currently stands, won't include any funding other than for the Bridgewater Bridge, which has already been announced, and doesn't include light rail. Prime Minister, city deals are good in principle, but are just thinly disguised election pork-barrelling if the Commonwealth contribution only flows to seats you want to win or hold. Prime Minister, can you confirm that the Hobart City Deal will be finalised before the election? Will it include funding other than for the Bridgewater Bridge? And will it include a commitment to light rail?

2:33 pm

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

I will ask the Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population to respond, but I would add that a total of $2.2 billion in transport infrastructure in Tasmania included $921 million for projects we announced in this year's budget. That's true—that includes $461 million for the Bridgewater Bridge. It includes $400 million under the Roads of Strategic Importance Initiative. It includes $400 million to upgrade and improve safety on the Midland Highway in Tasmania. It includes $38 million towards the $40 million Hobart International Airport runway extension, recently completed, which created 360 jobs. There was $17½ million for the Huon Highway and Summerleas Road intersection upgrade, creating 350 jobs. And there was $119.6 million earlier in our government for the freight rail revitalisation project, supporting 200 jobs and improving freight transport links to key domestic and export markets throughout Australia and the world.

Our government is delivering for Tasmania, and I will ask the minister for cities to add to that.

2:34 pm

Photo of Alan TudgeAlan Tudge (Aston, Liberal Party, Minister for Cities) Share this | | Hansard source

Thank you very much to the member for Denison for his question, and to the Prime Minister.

I can confirm to the member for Denison that the deal will be completed before the next election. Indeed, we hope that the deal will be completed by the end of this year. It will be a terrific deal for Hobart and, indeed, it will make Tasmania the first state or territory in the country to have two city deals signed. So we're looking forward to that. Just a few weeks ago, I was down in Tasmania with the state Treasurer, Treasurer Gutwein, as well as the mayors from the local councils, discussing what the shape of that City Deal is going to look like. We have foreshadowed that the centrepiece of that deal is going to be the redevelopment of the Macquarie Point precinct and the creation of a new Antarctic and science precinct at Macquarie Point. That will build on the very significant world-class research that Tasmania already does.

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

The member for Denison on a point of order?

Photo of Andrew WilkieAndrew Wilkie (Denison, Independent) Share this | | Hansard source

On relevance: the question is very pointed. I asked very specifically whether it goes to additional funding other than the Bridgewater Bridge and also whether there will be a commitment to light rail.

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

I just say to the member that there was a long preamble to the question, which, as I've mentioned to all members previously, does open up the scope for the answer. I acknowledge that there were three very specific questions right near the end of the 45 seconds. I think the minister is being relevant to the question. To confine him to those three areas would have meant simply asking about those three areas.

Photo of Alan TudgeAlan Tudge (Aston, Liberal Party, Minister for Cities) Share this | | Hansard source

Thank you. I was talking about the shape of the city deal for Hobart. Macquarie Point will be the centrepiece of that. It, through our contributions, will contribute to Hobart being one of the world centres for Antarctic research. Of course, we have the $2 billion federally funded icebreaker, which will be arriving soon. It will be docking at Macquarie Point as well, adding to that. There will be other elements of the city deal as well, and those details will be revealed, including the funding commitments, when we sign that city deal, possibly later this year but certainly by early next year, well before the election. Of course, this adds to all of the other city deals we've announced in recent times, including the terrific Geelong City Deal, the great Darwin City Deal and the city deals for Western Sydney, Launceston and Townsville.