Wednesday, 9 May 2018
Questions without Notice
My question is to Senator Scullion, the Minister representing the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport. Can the minister update the Senate on how the budget's record infrastructure investment is connecting our regions, improving safety and creating jobs?
I thank Senator O' Sullivan for the question. I'm really thrilled to be standing in this place today to update the Senate on what we are doing as a government to meet the future infrastructure needs of our nation. For all Australians, no matter where they live, we on this side have got a real plan and we have put real money on the table to deliver on that plan—$75 billion over the next 10 years. That is record funding to build the infrastructure of the 21st century. We're investing in a credible, decade-long pipeline of infrastructure projects focusing on driving economic growth, increasing productivity and connectivity and also creating, of course, new employment opportunities. This pipeline will create around 50,000 additional direct or indirect jobs over a decade.
There is $5 billion for construction of a rail link to Melbourne Airport, $1.1 billion for Perth's METRONET program, $400 million to duplicate a section of the Botany rail line to construct the Cabramatta loop, $390 million for the upgrade of the Beerburrum to Nambour line on the Sunshine Coast, $300 million for the Brisbane Metro project, $220 million for the electrification of the Gawler line, $1 billion for the M1 motorway corridor, $3.3 billion for the Bruce Highway—I know that will be very welcome—$1.4 billion for Adelaide's North-South Corridor, $971 million to build the Coffs Harbour bypass, $1.75 billion for the new North East Link in Melbourne, $560 million to deliver stages 2 and 3 of the Bunbury Outer Ring Road in Western Australia, and $280 million for regional roadworks and jobs in the Northern Territory. This is real investment not only in infrastructure in the future but for Australia's jobs, for our economy and for growth.
Thanks to the fiscal discipline of this government—and I acknowledge and thank the finance minister for the wonderful job that he's done in putting together this fantastic jobs and growth package—this budget commits an additional $3.3 billion for the Bruce Highway upgrades, taking our total commitment to $10 billion. We are committing an additional $1 billion for the M1 Pacific Motorway upgrades. There's new funding for the Beerburrum to Nambour rail upgrade, Brisbane Metro and the Cunningham Highway from Yamanto to Ebenezer. Also, a total of $5 billion has been committed for job-creating projects for Queensland.
The real question for Queenslanders is: do they want a continuation of our record investments in infrastructure, which is this government's record; or do they want the other side, with their promises of reckless spending, job-killing taxes and more hard-earned taxpayers' funds being spent on servicing an ever-ballooning debt?
Through budget 2018-19, we have a credible, decade-long pipeline of infrastructure projects that will increase productivity and connectivity and, most importantly, create new job opportunities for Australians. In total, we're investing over $24.8 billion towards transport projects over the next four years. This is not back-of-the-beer-coaster planning like those opposite are used to putting together. It is serious, considered investment by a fiscally responsible government.
Tasmania is an important priority for the Turnbull-McCormack coalition government. In Tasmania, this will mean $520.8 million for priority regional infrastructure in Tasmania, in addition to the $400 million of road funding, including for the Bass Highway. This means more jobs for Tasmanians and better transport options for hardworking families across the state, including in the electorate of Braddon. It is only the coalition government that is delivering jobs and economic growth in Tasmania.