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Thursday, 20 June 2002
Page: 4065

Ms VAMVAKINOU (2:16 PM) —My question is to the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations. Minister, I refer to your earlier answer on the Scoresby Freeway. Can you confirm that a contract on a major road project in Victoria—the $306 million Craigieburn Bypass—has already been let since the election without caveats on industrial relations? Are you aware that this project is proceeding on time and on budget without those draconian conditions? Does this not show that you are just playing politics and interfering in road projects when it is not necessary?

Mr ABBOTT (Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service) —I want to make it absolutely crystal clear to the member for Calwell that this government is absolutely 100 per cent totally committed to building the Scoresby Freeway. The Scoresby Freeway will only be built because of this government, because this government has had the guts to make a commitment to building the Scoresby Freeway. We want the Scoresby Freeway built and we want it built under principles of industrial and workplace freedom.

The one thing we are very conscious of is the appalling record of the Victorian government in bringing projects in on time and on budget. The classic case is Federation Square, where the budget has blown out from $110 million to $450 million, thanks largely to industrial anarchy. We are determined to ensure that construction projects are built under the rule of law and not the law of the jungle. Members opposite should be just as committed.