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Thursday, 28 June 2018
Page: 6858


Mr CREWTHER (Dunkley) (16:46): Infrastructure is a critical component of the Australian economy, and a matter of great importance for my constituents in Dunkley. With such a vast country, yet with such density in our cities, it is important that we invest in the infrastructure that we need to grow and function as Australians deserve. Few major cities around the world do not have a train line to the airport, for example. Melbourne's sprawl makes it more important that we are get to where we need to go sooner, due to the fact Melbourne is to be more populous than Sydney by 2030. It is important to keep businesses functioning; to allow tourists to move between places; to allow people to visit relatives, family and friends; and to allow access to more services, opportunities, and education.

Importantly, the service that would be created through the Tullamarine rail link between Melbourne City and the airport means that people can maximise their time with family and friends and those who matter most. Professor Peter McDonald from the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health told news.com.au:

When a city reaches five million people, it only performs effectively with the best public transport systems and infrastructure.

Infrastructure planning and delivery has to be a long-term vision. I raised in my maiden speech that it is important to invest in infrastructure, not only in the inner cities but also in outer metro areas and in regional and rural Australia. When you build the infrastructure, you allow industries to grow, you allow jobs to be created and you allow people to move to locations and stay in locations, and, therefore, to assist their families. At the same time, we have been more reliant on cars as our public transport network has been placed under increasing strain, particularly in cities like Melbourne with growing populations.

Through the recent budget, work has been done on rail infrastructure investments, such as the Tullamarine rail link, and on investment in my electorate. Dunkley is in an interesting position in this point in time, with a massive investment in infrastructure of $228 million that was budgeted in the recent budget to connect Frankston to Baxter—to extend the metro rail line from Frankston to Baxter via Frankston Hospital, Monash University, Karingal and Langwarrin. The Frankston Hospital and university stations will mean an estimated 20 per cent increase in enrolments in the local university and help free up the parking issues at Frankston Hospital, increasing accessibility for people using health services and visiting others in hospital. There will be a train station servicing Karingal, right next to Jubilee Park, where I'm currently working with the minister to move $5.2 million into a major sporting infrastructure investment. In addition, there will be a Langwarrin station, along with park and ride for at least 1,000 cars. This will provide service to a region with about 37,000 people who currently don't have a metro rail service and who haven't had a train station since the 1980s. Lastly, Baxter will also be connected by metro rail and will also have park and ride there. That means people all down the peninsula and in Frankston will be connected to a rail station closer to their homes. It will mean the freeing up of parking at Frankston, Seaford, Kananook and Carrum stations. But it will also mean there's an opportunity for the state government to change its mind on building stabling yards at Seaford because this provides the opportunity to move the stabling yards further down the line.

One example of a business that would be impacted by the stabling yards in Seaford is Page Bros Jayco. This is a business that's been there for 50 years and has 50 employees. They will soon be subject to a compulsory acquisition by the state Labor government in order to put stabling yards in their place. This is terrible for those employees, but it's also terrible for the other six businesses and the 200 employees in total whose jobs will be at risk. I also note, from the federal level, that Page Bros Jayco has a turnover of between $40 and $45 million, so on 1 July they'll go down to a tax rate of 27.5 per cent. If Labor comes in, it's proposing to move them back up to 30 per cent. Not only will they have their land taken away and their 50-year-old business and 50 employees put at risk; they're also going to suffer the consequences of Labor's proposal, if Labor ever gets into government, of increasing their taxes at the same time.

We definitely need to stop that. We need to invest in infrastructure. We are managing the budget well on this side of the House so that we can invest in essential services and infrastructure and, at the same time, lower taxes for individuals and businesses. Labor needs to get on board with our plans. We are the ones who are managing the economy, nationally and in Dunkley.