House debates

Monday, 15 June 2020

Questions without Notice

Road Infrastructure

2:12 pm

Photo of Ms Catherine KingMs Catherine King (Ballarat, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Prime Minister. Why has the Prime Minister left the people of Murrumbateman and Yass behind by failing to announce an investment in the full duplication of the Barton Highway today?

Photo of Michael McCormackMichael McCormack (Riverina, National Party, Leader of the Nationals) Share this | | Hansard source

We're spending $100 million on the Barton Highway. Those opposite had six long years, and they didn't invest in the Barton Highway. But I'll tell you what they are backing—

Opposition Members:

Opposition members interjecting

Photo of Michael McCormackMichael McCormack (Riverina, National Party, Leader of the Nationals) Share this | | Hansard source

We are making sure that when it comes to the Barton Highway, when it comes to the people of Eden-Monaro, we are investing in their infrastructure. On Saturday, at Merimbula, they were no doubt cheering the fact that they're getting $4½ million for their airport, and that's going to be important. It's a gateway to tourism for that wonderful South Coast town. I was at Tumut airport, where the mayor, James Hayes, was very pleased to be receiving $152,000 towards the Tumut airport, which is going to be so valuable, particularly after the bushfire season that we had. That money is going to be invested in strengthening and lengthening the apron and the taxiways of that airport.

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

The Leader of the Opposition on a point of order?

Photo of Anthony AlbaneseAnthony Albanese (Grayndler, Australian Labor Party, Leader of the Opposition) Share this | | Hansard source

Yes, planes are important, but they can't land on roads, and this question was very clear. It was about the Barton Highway—nothing else but the Barton Highway.

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

Some planes can land on roads, but your point's right, nonetheless. I'd just say to the Deputy Prime Minister that it was a specific question, and, whilst he has compared and contrasted some of the infrastructure projects, he can't do that for the rest of his answer.

Photo of Michael McCormackMichael McCormack (Riverina, National Party, Leader of the Nationals) Share this | | Hansard source

The Barton Highway is important; it absolutely is. I travel it, probably more than most. When I come over here from Wagga Wagga to attend parliament I travel on the Barton Highway and, yes, it does need duplication—no question about it. But as part of our $100 billion infrastructure we have also prioritised the Barton Highway, as you'd expect us to, and we are investing heavily. And every time I go on the Barton Highway there are road signs, slowing people down, because of the activity that's going forward. There's a lot of work being done on the Barton Highway. As I drive through Murrumbateman I see that on this side of Murrumbateman there is a lot of work being done. The other night I was wandering past the opposition leader's office and I felt this strange whiff of—

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

No, Deputy Prime Minister—nope! No—the Barton Highway does not run past his office!

Photo of Michael McCormackMichael McCormack (Riverina, National Party, Leader of the Nationals) Share this | | Hansard source

Mr Speaker, it is also incumbent upon the opposition leader to explain what dodgy, shoddy deal he's done with the shooters party—

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

The Deputy Prime Minister will resume his seat—

Honourable members interjecting

I appreciate the member for Ryan being on his feet. If the Leader of the Opposition and the Prime Minister can just pause for a second. Even though no-one has jumped except for the member for Ryan—

Mr Perrett interjecting

The member for Moreton!

Photo of Graham PerrettGraham Perrett (Moreton, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Assistant Minister for Education and Training) Share this | | Hansard source

I'm just trying to help!

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

You never help—you might be trying, but you never help! I just don't want the call to get out of order, so it's the Independent's question. I knew I couldn't avoid it!