Monday, 2 December 2019
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister representing the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Senator Canavan. Can the minister outline how the Liberal-National government is addressing real issues of importance for Australians, including record investment in infrastructure, and how this will better connect our cities and regions, particularly in my home state of New South Wales?
I thank Senator Hughes for her question and I recognise her strong passion to support infrastructure in New South Wales and especially in regional New South Wales. We are getting on with the job of investing in nation-building infrastructure in this country, which helps to boost jobs, cut travel times, make for safer roads and also unlock the enormous potential we have in our nation's regions. We are investing a record amount of more than $100 billion in infrastructure over the next 10 years, as I said in this place last week. The 130-odd projects we're investing in across Australia will support 85,000 jobs. That is more jobs than people who have come to watch the second cricket test match between Australia and Pakistan, in Adelaide, in the first three days. There's a lot of jobs in that. Also, I am sure Senator Colbeck can confirm that it is more people than the number who turned up to watch our politicians versus the press cricket match yesterday in Canberra!
Across New South Wales, we are investing $5.6 billion in the Pacific Highway, saving up to 2½ hours on that journey. That is going to support 2,800 direct jobs and 8,400 indirect jobs. We are investing in the WestConnex program in Sydney, which will save 40 minutes for people coming from Western Sydney into the city. That's a huge saving for those who have to put up with that commute. There are 10,000 jobs in that project alone. We're also supporting Western Sydney Airport, a real nation-building project for our country and a second major airport for Sydney. It is a $5.3 billion dollar project, with 11,000 direct jobs and, more than that, there will be 13,000 ongoing jobs in that project. All of these projects help to support jobs in our economy, directly in their construction, and, almost more importantly, they unlock our nation's potential over the long term to create even more jobs and stronger industries.
We are not only investing record amounts in infrastructure but we have been working hard to look at ways of bringing forward those investments in order to support our economy and get those enormous benefits I've described out to the Australian people as soon as possible. Obviously, we've had to work with state and territory governments to bring these projects forward, because all of them are done in coordination with state and territory governments. It was great news that last month the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister announced that in New South Wales alone more than $500 million of road investments would be brought forward. They include $185 million on the Toowoomba to Seymour road upgrade, most of which goes through New South Wales; a $200 million investment in the Newell Highway, which is a really important project because, by bringing jobs to those depressed areas, it helps to support communities that are affected by one of the worst droughts in our nation's history; and $145 million on the Princes Highway as well. All of these bring-forwards will mean jobs coming to the Australian economy and to a town near you, as soon as possible. We are working hard to deliver those jobs.
With that question, I might go through some of the specifics. I've mentioned in general terms the total number of jobs—a football stadium worth of jobs—but let's go to specific projects. The Coffs Harbour bypass is a $1.2 billion project that will support 600 direct jobs and 1,800 indirect jobs and will save the people of that region up to 12 minutes on their commute. The NorthConnex project, a nearly $3 billion project, is under construction right now and is supporting nearly 9,000 direct and indirect jobs. Again, it will save 15 minutes for people on that journey. The Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan is a $3 billion project that is under construction now. It will support 4,000 direct and indirect jobs. It's going to future-proof our economy and create even more jobs in the future. The Moorebank Intermodal Terminal will create another 1,300 indirect jobs and will enhance freight routes in our country. The Nowra Bridge is a $310 million project that will create 300 direct jobs and provide a three-minute time saving. I am not going to have time to go through the whole list, but there are thousands of jobs being created by the fact we have— (Time expired)