Thursday, 5 March 2020
Urban Congestion Fund
My question is to the Prime Minister. Can the Prime Minister confirm the Urban Congestion Fund was announced in the 2018 budget? Can he also confirm that, despite spending $17 million on an advertising and marketing campaign ahead of last year's election, not one cent from this fund has been spent reducing urban congestion?
I thank the member for her question. I can confirm that already we have nine projects which are either under construction or are out to tender as we speak and that this year we will have 69 projects which will be under construction, and we expect the remainders to be under construction the following year. Of course, we're working very closely with our state and territory counterparts to see that they are done as quickly as possible. And, even in Victoria where we have the vast majority of those projects, as the minister herself has said, they are working as quickly as possible to get those projects done. In most cases, they are the delivery partner.
I can also confirm that we have literally thousands of projects across Australia underway right now as we speak. This is supporting 85,000 jobs right now as we speak. There are more which are coming. Just this weekend, there'll be another great project, which is going to be opened in Adelaide, the Northern Connecter, as I know the members from Adelaide will be only too aware. There are more which are in planning, which are going to be underway very shortly as well. We have the Monash stage 2 freeway, which will be kicking off next week, providing a minimum of a thousand jobs.
I can also confirm that we have a $100 billion pipeline of projects, which is a record amount, and that the amount of infrastructure that we are spending this year, next year and the year is double what the Labor Party was spending in their last year in office. We are able to do this because we have carefully managed the budget and we have managed our finances well so that we've got this record amount to spend on critical pieces of infrastructure, pieces of infrastructure like the Western Sydney airport. That is a project that the Labor Party and the Leader of the Opposition talked about day in and day out but could never get underway, because he couldn't deal with the issues on the ground and he didn't have the money to be able to do it. You can only do these infrastructure projects when you have sound fiscal management and actually have the money to be able to build them. We've got $100 billion. We've got projects right across the country underway as we speak, 85,000 jobs being supported as we speak and more on the way.