Tuesday, 25 August 2020
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure. Will the minister update the House on how the Morrison government's urban infrastructure program is boosting the economy and creating thousands of jobs as we come out of the other side of coronavirus?
I thank the member for Reid for her question. As she knows, COVID has had a devastating impact on the economy right across the country and particularly on jobs. Hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost and even more will be lost in Victoria, as the Treasurer has outlined. This has an enormous impact on individuals' lives, livelihoods and—as the member for Reid knows, as a trained psychologist—mental health as well. One of the ways that we are supporting the COVID recovery is through a massive investment in job-creating infrastructure. As members would know, we already have a $100 billion pipeline of infrastructure projects across the country, and that, even today, is supporting 85,000 jobs in those projects which are already underway. Since then, we've announced so many more projects which will get started shortly, and that will be tens of thousands of jobs more.
These will be jobs right across our great continent, including in our great capital cities. For example, in the member for Reid's home city of Sydney, we've got some enormous projects which are underway or just about to kick off. The Western Sydney rail, which we announced just a few weeks ago, in itself will create thousands of jobs—an extra 14,000 jobs. The Western Sydney Airport, of course, is supporting 10,000 jobs itself. The WestConnex project, of which one stage is done and the next stage is starting, supports a further 10,000 jobs also.
In my home state of Victoria, which has been so particularly devastated by this second wave, we've got huge investments going on. The massive North East Link, where we have a $1.75 billion investment, will create 10,000 jobs as a standalone project itself, before the M80 investments, the Monash investments and so many other projects which we have going on in Victoria. And then, of course, there's the North-South Corridor in Adelaide and the METRONET in Perth. There's the Bridgewater Bridge in Hobart and the M1 up in Queensland. All of these other great projects are supporting jobs. And these jobs aren't just supporting individuals—of course, they do support them to have a living, get out of bed and go to work each day—but also support local companies who are doing the work in each of these capital cities across the country. These are not just local construction companies but the associated services as well: the cafes and all the other support services that assist the tradies when they're doing that work. We have a massive program underway: 85,000 jobs already and 10,000 more. It's a critical part of our COVID recovery.