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Wednesday, 10 February 2010
Page: 1082

Mr HAYES (9:56 AM) —Day in and day out, we hear from the opposition that our stimulus plan has done nothing to cushion the Australian economy. We know that they voted against it on each and every occasion, and they still come in and talk about stopping it. However, the fact is that our stimulus package, the Nation Building and Jobs Plan, has kept our nation free from recession. Ours is the only advanced economy that generated positive growth in 2008-09. The Intergenerational report released last week shows how critical the plan is for future investment, productivity building, and investment in skills and infrastructure. It also shows that the decisions that we took over the last four years will be critical to building economic prosperity and living standards over the next 40 years.

People in the south-west of Sydney know full well that the Rudd government is working hard and investing in new and vital infrastructure. They have embraced our economic responses to the global recession, and I am confident that they can come together again and tackle the big challenges of the future.

I draw the House’s attention to the fact that, as part of the economic stimulus package, the south-west of Sydney has welcomed over $500 million in funding from the Rudd government to help local economies respond to the global financial crisis. That includes $337 million on 414 education projects; $10.8 million for 55 community infrastructure projects; $152 million for new social housing units and repairs and maintenance; 4,624 applications for home insulation; and 1,989 applications for solar hot water rebates. This funding will help deliver the local infrastructure which has a direct impact on the quality of life for residents in our local communities. Most of these important local projects are well and truly underway, and many are completed and being used by our community and its people.

Let us remember these are grassroots projects such as sporting fields, the upgrade of cycleways, new homes, social housing and school refurbishments. These projects are making a real difference to the region, building opportunities within the community and also providing the opportunity for jobs for local people. This is a welcome relief to our community in the south-west of Sydney, who are feeling the pinch. It is only a Labor government that is determined to tackle the big issues. We have seen that time and time again. We need to ensure that we keep on with this very strong agenda. (Time expired)