House debates

Wednesday, 16 February 2022

Constituency Statements

Rankin Electorate: Infrastructure

10:00 am

Photo of Jim ChalmersJim Chalmers (Rankin, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Treasurer) Share this | | Hansard source

CHALMERS () (): Mr Deputy Speaker, thanks for the opportunity to speak about critical infrastructure in my community, around Queensland and around Australia. On the eve of the last election, in 2019, the Morrison government promised 13 congestion-busting road projects in a swag of marginal seats in Queensland. One of the 13 projects is the Priestdale and Rochedale roads intersection upgrade, on the border of my electorate and the member for Bonner's. Almost 20,000 vehicles use the intersection each day and, given its proximity to five local schools, there is often a lot of congestion during peak hours and around school drop-off and pick-up times. There is also a lack of safe crossing points, which makes it difficult and dangerous for pedestrians and schoolkids to cross at the roundabout. Everyone in my community remembers the heartbreaking accident in 2018 when a young boy was hit by a car at that very intersection.

That's one of the reasons why it is really disappointing to know that, three years since the Morrison government said they'd make this intersection safer, work still hasn't started on improving and upgrading it to make it safer. It was announced before the last election, and now the government say we've got to wait until after the next election before work will start on what are not particularly complex roadworks. At the last election, we committed $14 million to fast-track the upgrade of the intersection. Unfortunately, the government have not acted with the necessary urgency. It's been three years already, and now they say our community has to wait even longer.

As we've come to expect from this government, there was a big announcement, there was media, there were cameras, there were government ministers and members patting themselves on the back, congratulating themselves on a job well done, but, as I said, three years later nothing has changed at the Priestdale Road and Rochedale Road intersection. Of the 13 projects announced by the government, only one has been finished and only one is under construction. And this isn't a one-off; it's a continuous pattern of behaviour with this government. There's the big announcement, the big photo opportunity, the cameras. They tell everyone how good they are and then they disappear.

Also, we got confirmation on Monday that the government has spent only $33 million of the $1.6 billion they promised Queenslanders in the last budget. This again is a pattern of behaviour: lots of big promises spraying the cash around but then failure to actually deliver. What it means is that my community, the community in Bonner and other communities represented here in this House—local families and communities like ours right across Queensland and Australia—have to cop the consequences of a government that promises big and then fails to deliver. What it also means is that in this election, no matter what those opposite promise in communities right around Australia, you can't trust them to deliver it.