House debates

Wednesday, 16 February 2022


Western Australia

7:32 pm

Photo of Matt KeoghMatt Keogh (Burt, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Defence Industry) Share this | | Hansard source

Western Australians are absolutely sick and tired of this Liberal government. You see, Western Australians are not silly. They know that this Prime Minister's double pike backflip with a twist in relation to WA's border is nothing more than a desperate vote grab only weeks before an election. You simply can't believe a word he says. For this Prime Minister every problem is someone else's fault and every crisis is someone else's responsibility. He spent the entire pandemic attacking Mark McGowan over the Western Australian government's strong border stand and safe COVID management. The Liberals sided with Clive Palmer in an effort to bring down the WA border. The Prime Minister personally attacked Western Australians, calling us cave people. Only Labor will stand up for WA. Western Australians want to see a partner for our state in Canberra. They don't want a federal government that's constantly working against them. Only Labor will be the partner that WA needs here in Canberra. Our strong federal WA Labor team will be standing up for WA every single day to support working families with child care and other costs of living; to secure good, secure, well played jobs with better skills; and to create a future made in Australia so that we can generate new jobs and industries to diversify our economy and become more self-reliant.

As the federal member for Burt, I've been working every day to make sure our community gets the infrastructure it needs and deserves. Working in partnership with WA Labor, I've helped secure funding to remove Denny Avenue Level Crossing, replacing it with an underpass, making our commutes faster and safer and rejuvenating our Kelmscott town centre at the same time. We're raising the rail through the Armadale CBD and extending the Thornlie railway line with two new stations at Canning Vale. We've widened Armadale Road and built the new Armadale Road bridge over the freeway. We're extending the Tonkin Highway, with upgrades at the intersections of Kelvin, Welshpool and Hale roads.

There's more in the works. Just last week, I announced that a federal Labor government will deliver $4 million to build the Langford Indoor Netball Centre. For too long, talented netballers in Perth's south-eastern suburbs have been missing out. They have been forced to travel huge distances to compete in elite sport. They deserve better, and that's why we'll deliver a state-of-the-art netball centre. The Southern Districts Netball Association at Langford is the training ground for great Aussie netball legends like Courtney Bruce and Caitlin Bassett. The construction of the new facility will mean that the next generation of superstars can train and play at the elite level locally, following in the footsteps of these two great players. This new facility will be an absolute game changer for Southern Districts and a game changer for netball players in my community. It means a better future our young sports players.

Only an Albanese Labor government will stand up for Perth's south-eastern suburbs. Families in my community—in fact, families across Australia—are facing skyrocketing costs of living, stagnant wages, insecure work and skills shortages. They can't afford another wasted decade under this government. We want the economy to recover strongly, but there's no doubt working families are really feeling the pinch right now. The federal Labor government will help ease that burden with policies for cheaper child care and reducing other costs of living. We'll make secure, well-paid jobs a priority, so that Australians who work hard can actually get ahead. It's reforms like these that will help our nation's economic recovery not just from this pandemic but from the most wasteful federal government in history.

We shouldn't just return to how things were pre COVID-19. We want a better future for Australians. Don't be fooled by the latest Liberal scare campaign. It's an increasingly desperate attempt to distract from their diabolical failures on rapid antigen tests, boosters, supply chain, wages and debt. The Prime Minister is now, quite literally, clutching at straws. Australians can do so much better than another wasted decade of missed opportunity under this Morrison government. Only Labor will stand up for WA and ensure a better future for all Australians.