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Wednesday, 24 October 2018
Page: 10945


Mr ALBANESE (Grayndler) (14:20): My question is addressed to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development. I refer to reports in the Herald Sun on 2 September that, in the budget, funding for 10 infrastructure projects—including the Rockhampton Ring Road, the Mackay Ring Road stage 2, the Linkfield Road overpass and the Western Sydney rail—were all secretly approved but not announced. At a time when road toll is rising and congestion in our cities is worsening, why is the government sitting on these projects and not delivering them?

Mr McCORMACK (RiverinaDeputy Prime Minister, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development and Leader of The Nationals) (14:21): We are delivering the infrastructure that Australians want, expect, need and deserve. We are rolling those infrastructure projects out. I would have thought that the shadow minister for infrastructure, having sat with me in a very bipartisan way about road safety, would not have brought road safety into that question. I know the shadow minister for infrastructure has road safety on his mind, just as I do. I've heard the shadow minister for infrastructure talk about the Kempsey bus crash.

With the $971 million Coffs Harbour bypass, he has talked about it; we have actually delivered it. We're getting on with the job of actually building it. That's what we do. Those opposite talk. We deliver. We build. We build for road safety. We build for better connectivity. We're getting on with the job. We have $75 billion—a record amount—worth of infrastructure that we are rolling out. We're rolling it out now. We're rolling it out into the future. It's a decade-long pipeline of investment. That's what we're doing. That's what we'll continue to do.

The SPEAKER: The member for Grayndler, on a point of order.

Mr Albanese: It goes to relevance. It was a specific question about the 10 projects that they've funded but they won't do anything about actually announcing, let alone building.

Mr McCORMACK: We are getting on with the job of building these projects and others. We will continue to do it. We will continue to employ Australians, and we will continue to make sure local procurement is something that is important for all of those projects that we are rolling out. They are creating jobs. They are creating opportunities. The member talks about the Rockhampton, in Capricornia. We've got on and we're investing in the $176 million Rookwood Weir. Those opposite could only dream about water infrastructure. The member for Watson, when he had carriage of that portfolio, wanted to take the water away from the irrigators.

We're building infrastructure to make sure that we store more water, because it is Australia's most valuable resource. That's what we're doing. Not only are we building infrastructure; not only are we building the rail, with $9.3 billion for the Inland Rail, which is that 1,700 kilometre corridor of commerce between Melbourne and Brisbane; not only are we developing our ports; not only are we developing remote airstrips and getting on with the job of building better roads but we are also building confidence and we are building strength in our economy. You know what? We'll keep doing it—now, next year, the year after that and the year after that. Australians know it. They have every confidence in us to deliver that pipeline of investment. You'll talk about it. We'll just get on and we'll do it.