Wednesday, 4 March 2020
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development. Will the Deputy Prime Minister inform the House on how the Morrison-McCormack government is working to boost the Australian economy through the bringing forward of the government's $100 billion infrastructure pipeline?
I thank the member for Flynn for his question. The member for Flynn has been here four terms; this is his fourth term. The people of Gladstone, Emerald and surrounds have sent him to do a job for them, because they trust him. They know how industrious he was when he was delivering fuel to all those outposts, to those businesses. He wasn't one who picketed out the front of a small business; he worked for them. He made sure they got the delivery of the fuel supplies, the diesel and everything else, because he is a business person. He understands business. He understands when business has the back of the government then the economy is doing well.
This morning the urban infrastructure minister and I wrote to our state counterparts to bring forward projects of significance, be they large or small, to get them fast tracked and to help the economy. For those projects, in between three and six months, we want to get shovels in the ground and excavators busy. We'll do it as part of the $4.2 billion bring forward that we announced last November, and for Queensland that's certainly going to be beneficial. It complements the existing $26.3 billion that that state was receiving as part of the $100 billion 10-year infrastructure rollout.
We've expedited $118½ million for the Roads of Strategic Importance. There's a section of road which runs from Townsville to Roma. That $118½ million is going to be so beneficial for that particular stretch of road. The crucial supply road carries 56,000 trailers transporting cattle and 46,000 trailers transporting retail fuel annually, of which the member for Flynn knows all too well.
The $40 million Springsure to Tambo project is really important. Sealing of this route will cut eight hours off the trip and save cattle producers up to $1,400—that's $1,400 that goes straight on their bottom line. When you're a business person trying to make ends meet as best you can, $1,400 is a lot of money. It's good for the cattle industry and it's good for the transport industry. The member for Flynn knows this all too well.
The mayor of the Central Highlands Regional Council, Kerry Hayes—he's a good bloke—said, 'Belief in our region: as a freight route and tourism corridor, this link'—talking about the Springsure to Tambo route—'is critical to the economies of the central highlands and western Queensland.' He understands it. He understands how important Roads of Strategic Importance are. He understands how important it is to get product sooner and safer to where it needs to go. The member for Flynn, he gets it too. We, on this side of the House, get it. We understand infrastructure. That's why we're rolling out $100 billion of infrastructure over the next decade. Regional Australia and central Queensland are certainly a large part of that, because when the regions are strong so too is our nation.