House debates

Monday, 15 June 2020

Statements by Members

Inland Rail

4:44 pm

Photo of Barnaby JoyceBarnaby Joyce (New England, National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I rise today to talk about the Inland Rail and how excited I am that it's now going to take its next iteration in a more speedy form. There are things that punctuate your political career, and I believe, I would have to say on an egotistical level, the Inland Rail would have to be one of my highlights. I remember the negotiations for it—negotiating with then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull as part of the coalition agreement.

In brief form, it was something that had been spoken about for years and years and years, but just never happened. Everybody always had great plans for it and desire for it. I remember when I first arrived here, the then transport minister—you might have heard of him—the member for Grayndler, by the name of Mr Albanese, noted that he had no real interest in it and that it might happen in the next two decades. Unfortunately it didn't even happen then.

What we have to do is make sure that this piece of critical infrastructure for the development of our nation is made to happen and in as quick a form as we can possibly do it. It will be a corridor of commerce. It will bring the development of inland cities. It will have the capacity to bring real wealth to the Narrabris, to the Parkes, to the Toowoombas and, dare I say, to the Morees. This is a piece of infrastructure that I'm so proud to have played my part in, with others, in bringing it about. Now I'm absolutely thrilled to see that it is going to be put at the front of the queue to make it happen quicker.

Photo of Sharon ClaydonSharon Claydon (Newcastle, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

In accordance with standing order 43, the time for members' statements has concluded.