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Wednesday, 21 October 2015
Page: 12006


Mr HUTCHINSON (Lyons) (15:00): My question is to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development. Will the minister update the House on the delivery of key infrastructure projects in my home state of Tasmania?

Mr TRUSS (Wide BayDeputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development) (15:00): I thank the honourable member for his question and acknowledge what a great advocate he is for building infrastructure in Tasmania. Our $50 billion infrastructure program is benefiting not just the north island but also the south island of our country, and there are a large number of projects already underway. I was pleased to announce with the Tasmanian government just a couple of days ago another $60 million project, which is a part of this 10-year action plan, with $500 million to be spent on the Midland Highway. This is a project that will duplicate the section of the Midland Highway from Perth to the Breadalbane roundabout, and it will contribute significantly to building safer roads in that section of the highway. It is an important artery for Tasmania and we are committed to upgrading the project.

Members will be aware that this government has committed over $1 billion for infrastructure projects in Tasmania—$1 billion between 2013-14 and 2019-20. Of this, about $175 million will be provided this year. The member will also be particularly interested in the Tasmanian rail revitalisation project, which we are funding in partnership with the Tasmanian government—a freight network upgrade worth about $120 million. This will create new jobs, boost Tasmania's civil construction industry and provide opportunities for a better transport system in the state. I should not let this occasion pass without also recognising our $38 million contribution to upgrading Hobart's airport. This will mean a longer runway, which will equip Hobart to be the headquarters specifically for Antarctic research, but it will also be a runway long enough to take aircraft providing international services into Hobart from Asia and other places.

These are real, critical injections of capital into the infrastructure bank in Tasmania, helping to make the state more competitive, making sure that freight and people are able to move effectively around the state, and build Tasmania the strong economy it needs, the strong economy it wants and the strong economy that this government is committed to deliver to our island state.