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Thursday, 4 April 2019
Page: 14867

Infrastructure


Mrs WICKS (Robertson) (14:33): My question is to the Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population. Will the minister update the House on the government's investment in congestion-busting projects, including fast rail, and the benefits this is delivering for my constituents and for residents on the Central Coast? And what are the alternatives to this approach?


Mr TUDGE (AstonMinister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population) (14:34): I thank the member for Robertson for her question. It is great to be busting congestion in her electorate, with $35 million going into new commuter car parks at Gosford and at Woy Woy, taking hundreds of cars off the streets in that area. Of course, the member for Robertson is also a very strong supporter of the NorthConnex project, another fantastic project, which will make it easier for people on the Central Coast to be able to get down and work in Sydney, if they do that on a regular basis.

These congestion-busting projects are just part of a $100 billion infrastructure plan which the Treasurer announced just a couple of nights ago. This is for massive congestion-busting in every single capital city. It includes national rail and road projects which the Deputy Prime Minister has been talking about, and of course it includes making our roads safer as well. Part of our $100 billion plan includes a fast rail plan. Our plan is to connect the satellite cities to the large capital cities of Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane respectively. That would include, for example, connecting Newcastle to Sydney so that residents of the Central Coast would be included. It would also include, for example, connecting the Gold Coast to Brisbane as well as connecting places like Wodonga and Shepparton to Melbourne. The very first one which we are getting going on our fast rail plan is the Geelong to Melbourne fast rail. We've put $2 billion into the budget to get it going, and it will start in a couple of years time. It will enable a 32-minute journey from Geelong to Melbourne, and the member for Corangamite is one of the strongest supporters of this.

I can tell you, Mr Speaker, they're laughing on the other side, but we on this side of the table are united in relation to getting on board the ScoMo Express. It's going to be starting in two years time. It will make a real difference for the people of Geelong. The people of Geelong are on board the ScoMo Express as well, and I know the people of Gosford equally want to see their fast rail done. The challenge tonight for the Leader of the Opposition is to change his mind and join us in jumping on board the ScoMo Express. Here's your opportunity, Leader of the Opposition. Don't stand with your Labor union mates campaigning against us on our fast rail plan. Join our fast rail plan. Join the people of Geelong. Join the people of Gosford. Back our fast rail plan so that people can get to their capital cities sooner and faster. Tonight is the night for the Leader of the Opposition to let us know what his plan is.