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Thursday, 4 April 2019
Page: 14864

Economy


Mr CHRISTENSEN (Dawson) (14:21): 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 the benefits of a stronger economy for regional Australians, including for communities in North Queensland? How would a different approach to the economy affect jobs and investment?


Mr McCORMACK (RiverinaDeputy Prime Minister, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development and Leader of The Nationals) (14:21): The age of infrastructure is now. The age of infrastructure is here. The age of infrastructure is upon us. They're very noisy over there, Mr Speaker. There are more 'red coats' over there than there were at the Battle of Bunker Hill, and that was about taxes, too. But I'll tell you what: they like red over there, because usually it's at the bottom of their budgets. They like red, because usually their budgets are in the red—they are in a loss. No matter where you live, the Liberals and the Nationals are investing to get you home sooner and safer. That's what it is all about. It's about part of our $100 billion investment—yes, a $100,000 million investment—in infrastructure over the next 10 years, supporting the member for Dawson's electorate and supporting all of our electorates. Whether you're Labor, Liberal, National, Green or on the crossbench, the age of infrastructure is going to benefit your electorate.

The Liberals and the Nationals have committed $144 million towards stage 5 of the Townsville Ring Road. This will complete the ring road and make the movement of freight, passenger, tourism traffic along the Bruce Highway corridor better than ever. Townsville Chamber of Commerce CEO Marie-Claude Brown said, 'It's certainly one of these projects which is creating work and creating economic stimulus.' She continued, 'It links key areas like the Burdekin, to the south of Townsville, through the northern beaches, very quickly, and is also an important link for Lavarack Barracks, Annandale and the Townsville hospital.' Yes, that's what she said. Stage 5 of the ring road will complete the entire 22 kilometres of the route to four lanes, easing congestion. That's what we're doing. The Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities is helping to bust through urban congestion with that $4 billion fund—up fourfold. It is something that Herbert LNP candidate Phillip Thompson fought for, and we are delivering. It comes on the back of the Mackay Ring Road, the investment the member for Dawson fought for and we delivered. He fought for it in a rather novel way—he did a Borat, but we won't subject the parliament to that picture! It comes on the back of the Rockhampton Ring Road, which the member for Capricornia fought for and we delivered. It comes on the back of our investment in the Cairns Ring Road, which the member for Leichhardt fought for and we delivered.

That's what Liberals and Nationals do: we deliver. We deliver in every corner of Queensland—jobs, opportunities, safer, better roads. It's a budget for the bush, a budget for regional Australia, a budget for infrastructure—a surplus budget. Have you heard about that? A surplus budget—that's right. That's what the Liberals and Nationals are good at. It's what we delivered. Those opposite do not support the regions—unfortunately, they do not. They want to take Queensland's ridiculous land-clearing laws and nationalise them. They want to put a carbon tax on all of our farmers once again. They want to close down small business and put on more taxes. Shame on them. (Time expired)