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Monday, 26 February 2018
Page: 1828


Mr McCORMACK (RiverinaDeputy Prime Minister, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Leader of The Nationals, Minister for Veterans' Affairs, Minister for Defence Personnel, Deputy Leader of the House and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC) (14:22): I thank the member for Wide Bay for his question. This government is about delivering for all Australians, including $384 million for section C of the Cooroy to Curra upgrade to the member's seat of Wide Bay, which is now complete. Only the coalition are delivering jobs and infrastructure to our regions for our nation. We are building and expanding dams. We are upgrading our major transport routes because this is what keeps regional communities going.

Our farmers and our country towns hold a special place in Australia. They do. These communities are the very heart of our economy. This government is working hard to ensure that regional Australia can grow and prosper. I should know this. I am from Marrar. It is a little village of 368 people. How good is it that a nation can have a Deputy Prime Minister from a little village like Marrar? That says a lot about Australia.

We on this side have invested $220 million in the Mobile Black Spot Program. When those opposite were in power, not one single cent was spent on mobile black spot problems. They want to keep regional Australia in a black hole of silence. They do. We have invested heavily in major roads including the Bruce, Pacific and Warrego highways, and in the northern beef roads. Our record $75 billion in infrastructure links regional communities and creates jobs—1,100 jobs a day were created last year by small and medium enterprises thanks to the good economic policies of the Liberal National government.

But we didn't stop there with jobs for our children and grandchildren for generations to come. Regional investment programs such as the Building Better Regions Fund only go to rural and regional communities. It doesn't go to the member for Watson's electorate because that is in an urban community. But when Labor were in power, the regional programs funding went to city-based electorates and that was wrong. Our regional jobs and investment package is delivering $220 million to create jobs in regions which need a kick start.

This government has done so much, as far as infrastructure is concerned. And, when it comes to infrastructure, there's no better project at the moment than the Inland Rail—the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail. Ten billion dollars is going to deliver economic growth across the country. There is that word: delivery. The Regional Investment Corporation will deliver $4 billion of farm business concessional loans. I could go on; unfortunately I've run out of time. But we are all about delivery and jobs.