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Wednesday, 18 March 2015
Page: 2779

Road Infrastructure

Ms SCOTT (Lindsay) (14:39): My question is to the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development. Will the Deputy Prime Minister please update the House on how projects like WestConnex will improve travel times and deliver jobs to people in Western Sydney?

Mr TRUSS (Wide BayDeputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development) (14:40): I thank the honourable member for Lindsay for her question, which draws attention again to the vital task of providing infrastructure for the growing areas of Western Sydney. New South Wales suffered from 16 years of underinvestment with the former Labor government. It was 16 years of not getting on with the job. The coalition, federally, has worked with the coalition in New South Wales to turn that around and start getting some of these vital projects for Sydney and the rest of New South Wales underway. As the Treasurer has said, the worst thing that could happen in New South Wales would be some kind of a thought bubble that allowed people to go back to a Labor government after the election in New South Wales. That would mean the end to so many of these critical projects that are making such a difference, particularly in Western Sydney.

The $3.6 billion Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan is providing major upgrades to four of the key trunk routes in the area, as well as investments on local roads. Work is already underway on stage 1 of the $500 million Bringelly Road upgrade, and local projects are about to start or already commenced. This road upgrading will create 8,000 construction jobs in Western Sydney. How important is that to the economy of that region? Projects like WestConnex, which the member referred to, will remove up to 52 sets of traffic lights, cut travel time between Parramatta and Sydney airport by 40 minutes, remove 3,000 trucks a day from the Parramatta Road and half the commute time between the inner west and the city for those travelling by bus. That is significant reform. It is significant investment in infrastructure delivering real outcomes for local people. The WestConnex project provides 33 kilometres of continuous traffic-light-free motorway to link the west and the south-west of Sydney with the city and the airport and the port. This project will create at least 10,000 jobs in Sydney.

Opposition members interjecting

Mr TRUSS: It is 10,000 jobs that Labor obviously considers to be unimportant. This is what will make a difference to Sydney's transport task. It is real investment in projects that make a real difference and create jobs that deliver a lasting benefit to the people of Sydney, particularly Western Sydney.