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Tuesday, 2 April 2019
Page: 14459

Infrastructure


Mr O'DOWD (FlynnDeputy Nationals Whip) (14:55): My question is to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development. Will the Deputy Prime Minister update the House on how the government is investing in roads to boost production, create jobs and get people home sooner and make them safer on our roads? How might a different approach hurt jobs and construction in regional communities and also in Queensland?


Mr McCORMACK (RiverinaDeputy Prime Minister, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development and Leader of The Nationals) (14:56): I thank the member for Flynn for his question. I don't know why they yell out when the member for Flynn asks a question. He has run more businesses successfully than any of those on the other side ever would. The only businesses they've run is running them into the ground! I'm glad that the member for Lilley is here, because it was in 2012 that he stood in this spot and said, 'The four years of surpluses I announce tonight'—. Well, tonight he finally can watch a surplus budget be delivered—by the Liberals and the Nationals. Yes, how good is that going to be?

Opposition members interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Wills is warned!

Mr McCORMACK: Tonight's budget is all going to be about infrastructure. The age of infrastructure is upon us. The age of infrastructure is here. We've already rolled out $75 billion and there is going to be more. I tell the member for Flynn that the eight councils in his electorate are going to benefit from a record—a part of the $2.2 billion investment in road safety. We all know how important road safety is—$2.2 billion, including Roads to Recovery. For the 537 councils across Australia, many of them in Labor electorates, this is going to be so beneficial. For the eight councils in Flynn, that will roll out better roads, getting people home sooner and safer, as the member for Flynn asked about. That's what it is all about: making sure they can get home to loved ones and spend less time in congested traffic. Whether they are in Gladstone or in Melbourne or wherever they are right across this nation, it is making sure that people have road safety provisions. It is delivering for the people of Gladstone in the budget tonight. The Liberals and Nationals have committed up to $100 million to upgrade road access to Queensland's largest multicommodity port of Gladstone. It's a busy port—I've been there recently. We want to make it even more busy. Gladstone residents will benefit from fewer heavy freight traffic vehicles on our local roads. The budget is going to address the safety concerns caused by heavy vehicles interacting with local and general commuter traffic, as well as supporting more efficient movement along key freight supply chains. This is big news for the big employing industries in Gladstone, big news for agriculture and big news for the mining sector. They are writ large in Flynn and the member for Flynn backs them all the way.

But we heard from those opposite that they do not back industry. No, they want to nationalise Queensland's land-clearing laws. Gone is Labor's view of appreciating the farmers who produce food and fibre.

Mr Burke interjecting

Mr McCORMACK: They want to nationalise land-clearing laws—that's what I said, Member for Watson. You might like to pay a bit of attention. What you people want to do is take on Greens preferences and ignore our farmers—here instead: a tax on tradies and a tax on our farmers. When our farmers and our tradies wonder why it has all happened, wonder why their industries have been destroyed, they'll say, 'The butler did it.'