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Thursday, 12 March 2009
Page: 2540


Mr PERRETT (3:32 PM) —My question is to the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government. Will the minister outline the government’s record road and rail infrastructure investment in Queensland through the Nation Building and Jobs Plan and any obstacles it may be encountering in delivering it?


Mr ALBANESE (Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government) —I thank the member for Moreton for his timely question. The government is investing $26.4 billion—Commonwealth funds on the table—for our nation-building program. There will be record investment in road and rail projects right around the nation. In Queensland alone, that investment is worth some $6.5 billion.

It is on the table through a memorandum of understanding with each of the state and territory governments. Every state and territory government has signed up to the nation-building program. Because Queensland is in election mode, it is unable to at the moment, but the Bligh government has indicated that it would sign up and therefore get Labor’s record $6.5 billion of funds for road and rail in Queensland.

The Leader of the Opposition in Queensland, Mr Springborg, said last week that he would honour the offer that was there and sign up and be part of the plan. But, of course, this lasted two days, and then he made a demand: ‘We don’t want $6.5 billion—we want half of that amount for Queensland.’ He said he would sign up if he got the same offer that Queensland got under AusLink under the Howard government—half of what the Rudd government is offering Queensland. We offer twice the capital injection, and the Leader of the Liberal National Party in Queensland says no. We have got on the table $1.14 billion for the Dinmore to Goodna section of the Ipswich Motorway—up to 1,000 construction jobs—and the Leader of the Liberal National Party says no. We have got on the table $455 million for the upgrade of the Pacific Motorway—up to 500 construction jobs—and the Leader of the Liberal National Party says—

Government members—No!


Mr ALBANESE —We have got on the table $55 million for the Douglas arterial—up to 200 construction jobs—and the Leader of the Liberal National Party says—

Government members—No!


Mr ALBANESE —No! We have got $300 million on the table for the upgrade of the Mains and Kessels roads intersection. The Leader of the Liberal National Party in Queensland says—

Government members—No!


Mr ALBANESE —The Prime Minister went to this road in the electorate of Moreton and made that election commitment. Last week Mr Springborg went to the same venue and said that it should not proceed and that they would intervene to stop the federal government spending federal funds to build roads in Queensland. What they do is—


Mr Lindsay —Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The Douglas arterial is in my electorate and Anna Bligh has said no.


The SPEAKER —Order! There is no point of order.


Mr ALBANESE —One of your best, Pete! The fact is that the Bligh government have said yes to partnership with the federal government in road and rail and nation building. But the Queensland opposition have said that they want a carbon copy of the Howard government’s plan from 2007, which is to have an election commitment cancelled on the Mains and Kessels intersection, to go back to the drawing board and to do nothing—just like when it comes to economic policy. They have one thing in common with the federal opposition, whether it is the Liberal National Party in Queensland or the Liberals or the Nationals or whatever they are called here: their strategy when it comes to nation building, when it comes to jobs and when it comes to economic stimulus is to do absolutely nothing.