Senate debates

Wednesday, 30 March 2022

Questions without Notice


2:53 pm

Photo of Simon BirminghamSimon Birmingham (SA, Liberal Party, Minister for Finance) Share this | Hansard source

ator BIRMINGHAM (—) (): Thank you, Senator Smith, for the question in which you seem to have assumed that there's only one measure in the budget papers relating to regional Australia when in fact there are many measures in the budget papers relating to regional Australia. Yes, there is one measure that is particularly focusing on resource and energy hubs and providing investment in terms of infrastructure and spending in those resource and energy hubs, but there is also support in other ways for regional Australia. Two billion dollars of the regional acceleration program, that Senator McKenzie spoke of before, will help ensure that whether it is across manufacturing or the skills agenda, or exporters from regional South Australia, they will have a greater opportunity in relation to accessing those areas of regional funding.

In relation to the infrastructure spending, I've noticed commentary in non-South Australian media, in the Financial Review or elsewhere, suggesting that South Australia is receiving a disproportionate share of infrastructure spending. In fact, up to 17 per cent of new infrastructure commitments are going into South Australia. So you have to be careful when you start trying to pick and choose in those regards, because what we've seen in relation to delivery of the North-South Corridor, investment in the South Eastern Freeway and support for the Horrocks Highway is that in South Australia there is a surge in infrastructure spending and investment supporting SA. Of course, in terms of our government, there is perhaps the most significant impact for South Australia, which is what we have done to turn around defence industry investment. Those opposite, when they were in government, commissioned zero vessels in terms of naval shipbuilding, versus, on this side, 70 vessels as part of a strategy supporting SA and WA.


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