Tuesday, 17 October 2023
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Prime Minister. While the Prime Minister has been distracted with his divisive $450 million referendum, hundreds of lifesaving road projects have stalled at a time when the road toll is rising alarmingly. Why has the Prime Minister's 90-day review of infrastructure projects blown out to 170 days and counting.
Opposition members interject ing—
Order, members on my left. The Prime Minister has the call.
The Leader of the Opposition will cease interjecting. It's far from helpful; it's the opposite. Can I call the Prime Minister, and I'd like him to be heard in silence, just as the member for Dawson was heard in silence.
Thanks very much, Mr Speaker. The member for Dawson asked about the cost of the referendum. But in fact half of the cost of the referendum was in the forward estimates provisioned by the former government—by the former government! It was there in the Liberal Party's budget handed down by Josh Frydenberg, but they just forgot to do it! Election after election, they went to elections and said they would hold a referendum. They provided funding to hold a referendum.
Government members interjecting—
In 2007 they went to an election promising a referendum. It's been the Liberal Party's policy ever since: 2010; 2013—they were elected; 2016—they were elected; 2019—they were elected. They went to the 2022 election having made provisions in the forward estimates for a referendum, but then, of course, they decided, no, to oppose it. Then they ask questions about the cost!
The Leader of the Opposition in his interjection across the chamber spoke with the sort of arrogance that we're coming to see. He said, 'You'll find out how much it will cost when you're in opposition,' to those here. That's what he said, at the dispatch box as well—100 per cent. They want a 100 per cent increase in cost because they want to hold another one. He just confirmed that across the chamber.
The member for Dawson asked about infrastructure because, there again, they didn't make provision to actually deliver what was needed to fund projects. They had a $33 billion blowout in their infrastructure, unlike the former Labor government, which promised and funded properly the Mackay Ring Road, for example, the Bruce Highway upgrades to the south and the Peak Downs Highway to the west. We funded those things properly. We funded them, we built them, we made a difference and we got it done. Those opposite, of course, were big on promises, but they didn't ever worry about providing the funding to build what they were promising. They just added it on and never did it.
I've just named three in his electorate that we delivered. The fact is that we have had to clean up the mess, like in so many areas, that the incompetent former government left.
Opposition members interjecting—