Thursday, 9 February 2017
Is that it? Is that the first contribution by the Labor Party this afternoon on their notice of motion in regard to a lack of investment in public transport infrastructure—they allege—by the Turnbull government? We did not hear one convincing bit of evidence. There was lots of rhetoric and lots of wishful thinking about the future of a possible Labor government in Western Australia. But there was nothing convincing in Senator Pratt's contribution this afternoon. I hope that other Labor senators will rise to the occasion and at least put their hearts into the motion that Senator Gallagher moved.
I am surprised, I have to confess, about Labor's choice of subject for this afternoon's motion. Here is Senator Sterle—it will be interesting to see Senator Sterle's contribution this afternoon. It will be interesting to see whether he is tempted to digress into the rhetoric of Mark McGowan and future Labor governments that they hope for.
I am very surprised at Labor's choice of a discussion topic this afternoon in the Australian Senate. I think it is very odd that the Australian Labor Party in this place would be looking to talk about public transport this week. I will be particularly interested if any Labor senators from Queensland are planning to take part in this afternoon's debate, given the week that the Labor government there has experienced, specifically in relation to public transport. The veracity of their claim around poor public transport infrastructure spending by the Turnbull government will be tested if there are any Labor senators from Queensland that participate in the debate this afternoon.
It is an odd choice of motion for another reason—and that one is a pretty simple one. The evidence just does not demonstrate a lack of investment in public transport by the Turnbull government. To accuse this government of the lack of care, concern or investment in public transport infrastructure requires one to live in a fantasy world because it is just not reflected in the reality. I will demonstrate that with not rhetoric but facts. Quite frankly, it is hard to think of a federal government that has done more for public transport infrastructure than the Turnbull government. That is not a difficult claim for someone like me to make.
Senator Sterle interjecting—
Senator Sterle, I hope you will sit through my whole presentation because I am going to put the facts and the evidence on the table. That will be your challenge—to put the facts and the evidence on the table.