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Tuesday, 7 February 2017
Page: 69


Ms MADELEINE KING (Brand) (16:15): It is not only the Turnbull-Joyce government that has failed local workers. The Abbott Liberal government started the rot, and it had a committed partner in neglect—the WA state Liberal government, led by Colin Barnett. The voters of Western Australia will soon have the opportunity to turn their state around and get the WA economy moving again, and have the chance to vote to ensure more jobs are created for Western Australian workers and to ensure that there are more opportunities for Western Australian families. Where Liberal governments have failed local workers and Western Australians, WA Labor will not. WA Labor will bring a fresh approach for the state. WA Labor has set out a comprehensive plan for jobs, a plan that will put more Western Australians back into work.

Mark McGowan is the member for Rockingham and he understands everyday Western Australians. He lives with his young family in my electorate in Brand, in the beautiful beachside suburb of Rockingham, where I grew up in small business. I have contest with the Minister for Urban Infrastructure, who believes that Labor members of parliament have no experience of small businesses. I am a daughter of a draper and I worked long in small business as I grew up. Mark McGowan lives in the beautiful suburb of Rockingham, as I was saying, it is our own beachside paradise. There is no need for a Premier of Western Australia to seek to annex the Cocos and Christmas islands when we have the wonderful beachside paradises of Shoalwater and Rockingham.

I pay tribute to Mark McGowan and his colleagues in my electorate: Roger Cook, the member for Kwinana; Paul Papalia, the member for Warnbro; and Reece Whitby, the Labor candidate for Baldivis. All are working on the frontline of those communities in outer metropolitan Perth that have borne the brunt of the failure of Barnett's Liberal government and the failure of this federal Liberal government to invest in infrastructure projects that will support local workers and create local jobs that will provide a future for WA families.

In my electorate it is frankly mind-boggling to witness how this government and its WA state Liberal counterparts have turned their backs on the Kwinana industrial strip. This industrial area has powered both the WA and the national economy since the 1950s. Thanks to the hardworking women and men who work at the many industrial plants, and the commitment by industry itself, this strip is vital to Western Australia and the national economy. It is home to the largest oil refinery in the country, the largest grain-handling facility in the southern hemisphere and it is home to the largest Royal Australian Navy base. It is estimated that the Kwinana industrial area produces an output of $15.7 billion annually into the WA economy. Further investment is needed to ensure the continued productivity of this centre for infrastructure. Investment is needed to ensure local jobs are created in WA for local workers.

Since the sixties, there have been plans for an outer harbour in Kwinana, to be ready for the day when port infrastructure at Fremantle inner harbour reaches its full capacity. Since the sixties, successive state governments, both Labor and Liberal, have supported the need for the outer harbour, to ensure WA's further economic development. More plans were considered in the eighties, and in 1996 the Liberal state government gave cabinet endorsement for a new outer harbour to be built in Kwinana. It is a long-term nation-building project that will create much-needed jobs and economic opportunities for the people living in local communities across the electorate of Brand, but moreover for the state generally. Yet this government and Barnett's WA Liberal government failed to support this critical project, and in so doing they both failed WA workers.

It is a project that ticks all the boxes. It grows the economy, it creates an estimated 25,000 new direct jobs and will encourage innovation through the application of modern technology to port operations. Despite all of this the federal government does not seem to understand that this is actually necessary infrastructure—unlike an expensive piece of road, known as Roe 8, that has started off smashing through the Beeliar wetlands and will finish as a vanishing road to nowhere some kilometres short of the port. It is an extraordinary failure, not only in infrastructure but in planning.

Most Australians have to wait a little while longer to vote out an incompetent, divided, clueless and failing Liberal government. Western Australians, however, can vote out the incompetent Barnett Liberal government on 11 March. Western Australians can vote out a tired and incompetent Barnet Liberal government and make way for Mark McGowan and WA Labor's fresh and strong approach for Western Australia. Mark McGowan and his Labor government and his excellent team of hardworking women and men will work to build the Metronet, they will stop this road to nowhere and they will invest in planning for the future infrastructure needs of Western Australia. They will build game-changing projects that will support local workers and Western Australians. It is time for Western Australia to move on from the incompetent and clueless Western Australian Liberal government led by Colin Barnett.