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Wednesday, 17 June 2009
Page: 6326


Mr CHEESEMAN (3:09 PM) —My question is to the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government. Minister, how is the government investing to support jobs today to build the public transport infrastructure that Australia needs for tomorrow?


Mr ALBANESE (Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government) —I certainly thank my colleague, who is a fine representative of the Geelong region, for that question. He along, with the member for Lalor, the member for Bendigo, the member for Ballarat, the member for Gellibrand and others, particularly in western Melbourne, have welcomed the government’s commitment to public transport investment.

Today, along with the Victorian Minister for Public Transport, I have announced that up to six new stations will be built as part of the $4.3 billion Regional Rail Express. In addition to the construction of stations at Manor Lakes in Wyndham Vale and Rose Grange in Tarneit, land has also been put aside for station development at Dohertys Road in Truganina, Davis Road in Tarneit, Sewells Road in Tarneit and Black Forest Road in West Werribee. The full construction is scheduled to start next year—construction which will support literally thousands of jobs. Through our nation building for recovery plan we are investing today in the infrastructure that we need for tomorrow. This is all part of our sweeping investment in rail. We are investing more in the next 12 months than the previous government did in 12 long years.

This has been well received by people in the infrastructure sector. Brendan Lyon, Executive Director of the peak organisation Infrastructure Partnerships Australia, has said this:

Urban rail has been neglected for too long.

                         …                   …                   …

This Budget marks the first time that a Commonwealth Government has recognised the importance of public transport to the mobility, liveability and productivity of Australia’s cities.

Don Henry from the ACF has said:

… $4.6 billion for urban public transport will be good for the planet, good for cities and good for jobs.

The Rudd government understands that a competitive, safe and reliable rail network is critical to lifting national productivity, critical to curbing the escalating cost of traffic congestion, and an important component of our whole-of-government approach to tackling climate change.