House debates

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Questions without Notice


2:06 pm

Photo of Anne WebsterAnne Webster (Mallee, National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Deputy Prime Minister. Our government is rebuilding this nation. Whether it's in our most heavily populated cities or in remote corners of the country, we are delivering the infrastructure all Australians need and deserve. Will the Deputy Prime Minister update the House on the steps the Morrison-Joyce government is taking to achieve this, and is the Deputy Prime Minister aware of any alternative policies?

2:07 pm

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

JOYCE (—) (): I thank the honourable member for her question and note the immense work that she has done for the people in the seat of Mallee. To date, she's achieved in excess of $1.1 billion worth of infrastructure from total federal contributions for the seat of Mallee. I note the work she's done for the Henty Highway, from Horsham to Warracknabeal. I note the work she's done on the Western Highway upgrade, from Stawell to the South Australian border. I note the work she's done on the Calder Highway, with further overtaking lanes north of Hattah. I note the work the member for Mallee has done on the Sunraysia irrigation scheme, the Sunraysia modernisation project. I note the work that she continues to do.

By reason of being a regional member, I note that she is welcoming of the new appointments to the Infrastructure Australia board: Ms Vicky Meyer, Councillor Meade, Ms Amanda Cooper, Ms Elizabeth Schmidt, Dr Vanessa Guthrie, Mr Robert Moffatt and Mr Col Murray. This allows us to have a board that is both 50 per cent women and 50 per cent men. I think that is a very good outcome. I note that, of the 12 candidates on the initial board, only two were women. We are making sure we address that because we believe we need people with qualifications from being in business and also from being in public service and local government and also the qualifications of such people as Dr Vanessa Guthrie, a PhD in geology, amongst other things, and Mr Robert Moffatt, who has been the chief executive officer of the Australasian Centre for Rail Innovation. These are the people that show the proper representation across the length and breadth of Australia, both regional and urban Australia and both male and female. This is incredibly important to the member for Mallee, as it is to the member for Capricornia.

We acknowledge the work that continues to be done as we drive forward to get the Emu Swamp Dam built at Stanthorpe. I noted today correspondence that we must drive the Queensland government to get that project completed. We also note projects such as Dungowan Dam. We are looking forward to it. I have been having strong conversations with Deputy Premier Paul Toole to get that from studies to actual construction. It is vitally important that we build the infrastructure to make this nation strong. Our job is to make this nation as strong as possible as quickly as possible, and we are doing precisely that. I welcome the new members to the Infrastructure Australia board to assist in that process.