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Wednesday, 3 April 2019
Page: 14717

Mr RICK WILSON (O'Connor) (10:34): If I were in Sydney on the weekend, I'd be there too, to support the Marrickville Golf Club.

Maintaining our vast road network across Australia has always been important to the Morrison government. In O'Connor in the last few weeks we've kicked a lot of goals on that front. In Albany we announced $140 million for the construction of the ring-road. I'm so proud to be able to deliver the most important project for Albany since I was elected in 2013. The ring-road will change the way we move around our region and it will benefit the entire community by making our roads safer. It will ease congestion on local roads by diverting traffic away from Mount Lockyer Primary School, Albany's largest primary school, and it will cut five minutes off the Albany-Denmark commute.

I've worked hard in Canberra to secure a commitment from my government for this vital project. I'm pleased that hard work has paid off and that I've secured the $140 million needed to ensure this $175 million project goes ahead. This funding has been set aside in the federal budget, and the project now hinges on the state government submitting the business case to Infrastructure Australia. Unfortunately, the state government have been dragging their feet, and I'm calling on them to pick up the pace and just complete the paperwork. I've put in the work to secure this massive funding commitment for Albany. Now it's up to the state minister, Rita Saffioti, to finish the job.

The investment in roads by the Morrison government is about getting on with delivering the critical infrastructure regional Australia needs. We'll invest $70 million in the Wheatbelt secondary freight network under our Roads of Strategic Importance initiative. Grain production is the lifeblood of the Wheatbelt communities and it's critically important for people in those communities that the government invest in a safer, more efficient road network. The strategic upgrades will target the freight network of more than 4,000 kilometres of roads that connect with state and national highways. I've worked closely with local governments in the Wheatbelt to secure funding for this important road network. Last year in Canberra, I hosted a delegation from the Wheatbelt shires, led by Brookton Shire President Katrina Crute, and I was able to facilitate meetings with key ministers to pitch that proposal.

We've also announced the latest allocation of $76.5 million for the Outback Way, Australia's longest shortcut, taking our total commitment for that project to more than $160 million. On completion, the Outback Way will comprise 2,500 kilometres of sealed road, linking Laverton in the northern Goldfields to Winton in western Queensland. This investment will reduce travel times and cut freight costs for our mining, agriculture and tourism industries and will significantly improve safety.

Nationally, we've allocated an additional $1.1 billion to the Roads to Recovery Program and another $550 million for the Black Spot Program. We've extended the Bridges Renewal Program and allocated $275 million to improve the safety of heavy vehicle operations. I'm proud that our government is investing in major road infrastructure— (Time expired)