Senate debates

Wednesday, 28 February 2024

Matters of Public Importance

Dunkley By-Election

4:28 pm

Photo of Bridget McKenzieBridget McKenzie (Victoria, National Party, Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development) Share this | Hansard source

It gives me great pleasure to rise in the chamber today to speak to this motion. This Saturday the men and women of the seat of Dunkley, the communities of Frankston, Carrum Downs, Baxter, Mount Eliza will have their opportunity to send this very bad government a strong message.

This government have chosen to back their corporate mates like Alan Joyce over dealing with cost-of-living crises. They've chosen to back a $450-million Voice that broke the hearts of Indigenous communities and also tried to divide Australia, and Australians, particularly in the seat of Dunkley, stood up as one and said, 'No, thank you.' And this community has been struggling under the cost-of-living crisis created by the Albanese Labor government. Mortgages have gone through the roof in Dunkley because these guys and gals can't get their spending under control and have absolutely sent productivity to zero, which means the RBA has had to lift interest rates.

But for me, being on the ground with Nathan Conroy, the Liberal candidate for Dunkley, a man that has the commitment and passion to continue to deliver for his community, as he has done as mayor, has been fantastic. People were coming up to him in the street, at the bowling club, in the main street of Frankston, saying: 'I've been a Labor voter my whole life, but I've seen what you've done as mayor. I like the cut of your jib, and I will be voting Liberal for the first time in my life because Nathan is actually the candidate.' Nathan knows, as a young man who has a family in the local community, how tough it is for the community. He has a strong track record of delivering infrastructure projects the community actually needs.

I know the Labor Party doesn't want to talk about it, but my team just printed off, from the Prime Minister's own website this afternoon, the 'Labor will deliver the Frankston Baxter rail' press release. This was a promise made to this community over two elections by the Labor Party when Anthony Albanese had my job, when he was the shadow minister for infrastructure and transport. He went down to that community, and he said, in his press release, that a Labor government 'will move quickly to deliver the much-needed Frankston to Baxter rail upgrade'. Guess what this guy did when he became Prime Minister? He cut the project. So the communities, the young people who need to get to Monash University to study nursing or teaching, aren't able to get on an upgraded Frankston to Baxter rail. Peter Dutton and I, and Nathan, made a $900 million commitment and a promise to that community to build that electrification project so that this community has the new stations, the mobility and the connectivity it needs to get around.

It's not just their failure to deliver infrastructure to this community and another broken promise; you can't believe this Prime Minister on anything he says. He says he promises he's going to deliver the Frankston to Baxter rail upgrade. What does he do? He cuts it. He says he's going to deliver the stage 3 tax cuts. What does he do? He changes them. The infrastructure commitments made by the Labor Party have been on hold; they're almost phantom commitments. There is nothing being delivered to this community.

And just how is the Labor Party again kicking this community in the teeth? Do you know what the top four cars are in Frankston, in Dunkley? The Toyota HiLux, the Ford Ranger, the D-MAX and the Mazda CX-5—all of them are going up in price starting next year, thanks to this government's family car tax. Every primary school car park is full of these types of cars, and this government, right in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis, is going to make young families find an additional $15,000 to buy the car they need and love to drive in this community.

We don't take Dunkley for granted. Dunkley needs to send Albo a very strong message and vote Liberal on Saturday.


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