Monday, 2 December 2019
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure. Will the minister outline to the House the Morrison-McCormack government's achievements in delivering critical infrastructure across Australia and how the government will continue to work in a stable and certain way to deliver this infrastructure for Australians? Is the minister aware of any alternative policies?
I thank the member for Moncrieff for her question. Just a couple of weeks ago she joined the Prime Minister in delivering a further $157 million to the Gold Coast Light Rail stage 2A, and that means that project can get underway right now, along with many other projects. We would not be able to make projects like the Gold Coast Light Rail a reality if it weren't for our stable and economic plan.
It's this plan that has enabled us to carve out $100 billion of infrastructure funding over the next decade. That means we're able to fund massive projects like the Gold Coast Light Rail but also projects in other places such as Sydney, with the WestConnex project, which is providing 10,000 jobs. People already using the M4, part of the WestConnex project, are saving up to 5½ hours per week. The Western Sydney Airport is also underway, transforming the Western Sydney landscape as we speak. Inland Rail, another project under our $10 billion pipeline, as the DPM said earlier in the day, is a $10 billion project underway and will transform the way freight is moved inside Australia. There is NorthLink in Western Australia. By the year's end, that project will be complete and will save commuters up to an hour every single week. Similarly, with the North-South Corridor in South Australia, the first section is already done, saving people up to an hour a week. Another three sections of that massive project are also underway. There are 130 major projects underway as we speak and another 140 in the planning phase. These are only able to be done because we're able to manage the budget and fund things accordingly.
Contrast with when Labor was last in office. Because they couldn't manage money, they stuffed the budget. They prioritised spending money on pink batts, school halls and sending cheques to dead people. It means they didn't have the money to fund the major infrastructure projects—not even ones which they themselves said were critical, such as the Western Sydney Airport. The Leader of the Opposition, back in 2009, said in relation to the Western Sydney Airport, 'It is vital that we commence work now'. Nothing happened. He talked about fast rail up hill and down dale but didn't put a cent towards it. He talked about Inland Rail being absolutely essential. Again, not a sod was turned. None of these projects were able to be delivered, because they couldn't manage money. They stuffed the budget. They prioritised other things above infrastructure. Only the coalition can manage money and get on with the job.