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Wednesday, 23 May 2018
Page: 4352


Mr ALBANESE (Grayndler) (15:07): My question is to the Prime Minister. I refer to Budget Paper No. 2, which says the Melbourne Airport rail link should be financed off-budget instead of with traditional grant funding. Is the Prime Minister aware the Grattan Institute has said:

If infrastructure projects are never going to make a commercial return, the government should stop pretending they will.

Isn't it a fact that, if the government maintains its sham funding proposal, the rail line to the airport will never, ever be built?

Mr TURNBULL (WentworthPrime Minister) (15:08): I thank the honourable member for his question. I recognise that the honourable member, when he was responsible for infrastructure, paid no regard to getting value for the Australian taxpayers' dollar in infrastructure—he paid no regard whatsoever. He adopted the lazy approach of just throwing money out like an ATM to states. That was his approach.

We're determined to deliver the economic infrastructure Australians need, and we're determined to ensure that the Australian taxpayer gets the value they deserve. That means that, where it is appropriate, the Commonwealth will take an equity stake in that infrastructure, as we have in Snowy Hydro and as we are in the Western Sydney Airport. We look forward to being able to build a rail line to Tullamarine Airport in partnership with the state government. We hope that it'll be a Liberal state government, later in the year, but we look forward to building that with the state government.

I can say to honourable members we will do all we can to ensure that we bring in as much cooperation and investment from other parties from the private sector, to make sure that that rail line is not just a line from the city to the airport but one that is city shaping, that strengthens communities and that enhances amenity and creates value. That's the difference. The lazy Labor approach is lazy with other people's money, reckless with other people's money. The approach we're taking is one of commitment, of enterprise, using the most innovative and modern financing techniques to get better value for Australian taxpayers and the infrastructure Australians need and deserve.