House debates

Wednesday, 1 September 2021

Questions without Notice

Regional Development

2:10 pm

Photo of Milton DickMilton Dick (Oxley, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question as to the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development. I refer to the announcement made by the minister for regional development of $8 million for the Fitzroy Community Hospice. Why did the minister allow Senator Pauline Hanson to gazump him and the member for Capricornia and announce the grant the day before?

2:11 pm

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

I would like to note that, of course, we have Labor Party members who lobby us for grants, especially in regional areas, because we love regional areas.

Hon. Members:

Honourable members interjecting

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

Yes, we do. I can give you the letters.

Honourable members interjecting

It goes very well. And of course we have senators who lobby us. And I can tell you, Mr Speaker, the member for Capricornia—who, because of COVID, can't be here today—and the member for Flynn, sitting up there are why we have Rookwood Weir, in the member for Flynn's seat. It's the member for Capricornia who got the Keppel Bay Sailing Club $20 million. She was instrumental in that. And I can tell you the Rocky sports stadium—

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

Just resume your seat for a second.

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

I look forward to continuing on about the Rocky sports stadium.

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, it goes to relevance. The question goes to why Senator Hanson is making government announcements prior to the minister.

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

The Leader of the Opposition will resume his seat. I listened carefully to the Deputy Prime Minister at the beginning of his answer and I appreciate that he mightn't have answered in the way the Leader of the Opposition wishes. But I do think he was relevant to the question, and he's now giving some context. So I'll keep listening.

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

And context I am happy to give. So, although I note that Senator Hanson has lobbied, I can tell you right now that the member for Capricornia has for the Rockhampton Hospital car park, $7 million; the Rocky sports stadium, $23 million; Rookwood Weir, $183 million; the Rocky Ring Road; Beef Australia—

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

I do think the Deputy Prime Minister's now straying from the one example that was given in the question to a whole lot he wasn't asked about.

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

I apologise, Mr Speaker. I would say that, quite obviously, it is the case that, if we have an announcement then a whole range of people—you know what they say about success and failure and parentage. But success is driven by government. Announcements are driven by government. The government has the Expenditure Review Committee that approves the money. The government has the cabinet that approves the policy. And this government, this side, has the member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry, who has been an absolutely tireless worker for her electorate, just as the member for Flynn has, just as the member for Hinkler has, just as the member for Calare has, just as the member for Riverina has. It has been a great team that has brought so much to regional Australia.

I look forward to working with the member for Capricornia on many other further announcements—because the people of Central Queensland realise that, when the other side were in government, they were forgotten about; they were taken for granted. They were taken for granted—

Opposition members interjecting

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

Members on my left!

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

And you know what the final insult was for the people of Central Queensland, where this piece of infrastructure is? The Leader of the Opposition went up there, but he didn't want to take the media to Moranbah. We all remember that!

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

You're well and truly straying now, Deputy Prime Minister.

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

There we go. He was like a gnome in the grass. The only way to find him was if the lawn mower accidently hit him! The member for Capricornia, I know, is making sure that she will continue to frequent my office lobbying for things, as no doubt other senators will, as no doubt members— (Time expired)

Ms Butler interjecting

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

The member for Griffith, I have been very tolerant and it's now ended. I realise there aren't a lot of people here, but I'll still use 94(a).