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Monday, 21 May 2018
Page: 3873


Mr FALINSKI (Mackellar) (11:13): When I first saw this motion on the Notice Paper, I thought it might be that the Labor Party was coming in here to apologise for all their failures in infrastructure throughout Australia. After all, what the Labor Party could tell us about infrastructure the Babylonians could tell us about proper treatment of the Cretans. I come from a part of Sydney that has three out of the 10 most congested roads in Australia and the state Labor opposition has decided even before the project has begun that they will cancel the first piece of proper road infrastructure in my part of the area before it has even started. What do Luke Foley and the New South Wales Labor opposition have to say about the road tunnel Beaches Link? They call it a vanity project because that's what they think about infrastructure in New South Wales. They're so sick and tired of cancelling their own projects that they've started cancelling our projects instead.

This is a party that is wedded to cancellations. When you think about the previous state government in New South Wales, all you can think of is a history of incompetence, ineptitude and cancellations of infrastructure from one end of the state to the other. The one piece of infrastructure that they deigned to build was the Macquarie Park railway, which was a contract signed by the previous Fahey government. But they couldn't leave that alone; they decided to halve the length and double the cost of it. I mean, this is a party that cannot deliver on anything. The New South Wales Labor Party under Bob Carr, Morris Iemma, Kristina Keneally and, of course, Nathan Rees—let's not forget him—announced 28 infrastructure projects, but cancelled 32. In fact, they were so keen to cancel projects that sometimes they didn't have time to actually announce them.

What was Bob Carr's answer to all of this? 'Sydney's full. Everyone leave Sydney, because we can't be bothered actually building, much less funding, an infrastructure project in Sydney.' They cannot bring themselves to actually make the lives of people in cities better off. But there are some pieces of infrastructure that they'll build. They were very keen on starting coalmines in New South Wales as long as you happened to be a member of the New South Wales cabinet or a friend of someone in the New South Wales cabinet. This is the state branch that spawned Bob Carr, Mark Latham, Ian Macdonald, Joe Tripodi, Eddie Obeid, yet they have the gall to come in here and lecture Australia about how they need better infrastructure.

Compare that to the New South Wales state government at the moment. It's delivering $77 billion worth of state transport infrastructure, and has plans to deliver another $111 billion over the next four years. This includes Sydney Metro Northwest, which will be extended underneath the harbour all the way to Bankstown, which will move 45,000 people an hour on driverless, state-of-the-art trains run by the same company that runs the train system in Hong Kong, compared to what Sydney Trains currently does, which is 25,000 people an hour. They're building NorthConnex, a piece of infrastructure that was first planned for Sydney in the 1950s. They're building WestConnex, another piece of infrastructure that was first planned in the 1950s, but never, not once, did the state Labor Party in New South Wales get anywhere close to doing it. Beaches Link—which is now being planned for the Northern Beaches to alleviate the pain and suffering of tens of thousands of families on the Northern Beaches, families that Luke Foley and the New South Wales Labor Party don't care about—was initially planned in the 1950s, and what did Labor do? I'll tell what they did. Neville Wran sold off the road corridors so that it couldn't be built, and now it has to go underground.

When you think at a national level about what Labor delivered in terms of transport infrastructure, you think of pink batts and school halls. A lot of good that did to alleviate the suffering of people who could not get home to see their families and who could not get to work on time and the stress and anxiety that the congestion in our major cities is causing. And what's Mark Latham's answer? Mark Latham says we should tell foreigners to go away. He has no answer in terms of how to alleviate the problem of people who are actually living in our cities right now. The New South Wales Liberal Party is doing it and so are we at a federal level. We are investing a record $75 billion from 2019 to 2027 in air, rail and other transport infrastructure to improve the lives of all Australians.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mr Rob Mitchell ): The time allotted for this debate has expired. The debate is adjourned and the resumption of the debate will be made an order of the day for a later hour.