House debates

Monday, 29 July 2019

Constituency Statements

Gorton Electorate: Infrastructure

10:47 am

Photo of Brendan O'ConnorBrendan O'Connor (Gorton, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Employment and Industry) Share this | | Hansard source

The Morrison government is failing the good residents of my electorate of Gorton in many ways. The lack of investment locally by this government is destructive, insulting and unacceptable. At the May election Labor made a number of local commitments that would help build our community as well as deliver local jobs. The Liberals made not one commitment for Gorton. Disappointed as I am at the election result, I am devastated for all the people who will now miss out on Labor's commitments. For Gorton sporting clubs Labor promised a $1.8 million spend to the 100-year-old Rockbank Football Sporting Club, $1 million to resurface the playing surface for the Westside Strikers Football Club, and $60,000 to Diggers Rest football club for upgrades, including a new scoreboard.

I would like the sports minister to explain to Gavin Sporle of Rockbank why his footy club rooms don't deserve an upgrade; and explain to Maria Ekladious why the Westside Strikers, whose club is in such great demand, have to turn away kids because they can't get new facilities; and explain why the Diggers Rest Burras still struggle to make out how many goals they are piling on because their old scoreboard desperately needs replacing.

The government must now also match Labor's commitment to providing 40 full-time Department of Human Services jobs in Melton. This would inject around $3 million into our local community and provide the families, carers, students and pensioners of Gorton with better Medicare and Centrelink service delivery.

With the economy struggling and anaemic, there is an urgent need for the government to bring forward big infrastructure spending. The government allocated $50 million to upgrade the Calder Highway, but it is not working with the Victorian state government to use this money efficiently. The Western Highway and the Calder Highway both need more investment. They are very important transport links not only to Ballarat and Bendigo but of course, in the case of the Western Highway, to South Australia as well. It is a very important road. It is also critical that the federal government now commit to funding improvements for the Western Highway to ease the ever-growing congestion. The required upgrade to the Western Highway includes extra lanes and new interchanges to serve the Melton West and Rockbank areas. It is genuinely needed to serve not just the community but also the 60,000 vehicles that travel in each direction every day. The federal government needs to stop ignoring and neglecting the residents of Gorton. The Prime Minister likes to say that he wants to provide good infrastructure for the nation. He likes to call himself 'the infrastructure Prime Minister'. We see no evidence of that in my electorate. More needs to be done.