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Thursday, 24 May 2018
Page: 4594


Mr HOWARTH (Petrie) (14:26): My question is also to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport. Will the Deputy Prime Minister please update the House on how the government is investing in nation-building, job-creating infrastructure in Queensland, including in my electorate of Petrie? Is the Deputy Prime Minister aware of any contrasting propositions?

Mr McCORMACK (RiverinaDeputy Prime Minister, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport and Leader of The Nationals) (14:27): I would like to thank the member Petrie for his question, and for his hard work in representing his electorate, and for representing Queensland and for representing the best interests of the nation. He knows all too well how this government, the Liberal-Nationals government—the Turnbull-McCormack government, indeed—

Opposition members interjecting

Mr McCORMACK: A rousing cheer! He knows how we're investing in infrastructure such as the Deception Bay Road interchange upgrade. Let me give you a few details.

Opposition members interjecting

Mr McCORMACK: Even the member for Griffith is yelling and she hasn't even got a voice! The Deception Bay Road interchange upgrade is a $120 million Commonwealth commitment to a new six-lane overpass. It increases safety; it reduces travel times; there will be less congestion. This is a congestion-busting budget, championed by the member for Petrie. He's getting on with the job, just like all Liberal-Nationals are doing. The Deception Bay project is part of a wider package of works on the Bruce Highway, where we've just committed funding to section D. I know how much that means to the member for Wide Bay and, moreover, the people he represents. Our commitment is now up to $10 billion, a historic amount. Communities along the entire Bruce will benefit from our record $75 billion 10-year pipeline of investment. This is nation-building infrastructure, building our future, boosting productivity and creating local jobs—50,000 direct and indirect jobs, including in communities in Longman, where a substantial part of the more than $1.4 billion Pine River to Caloundra Road interchange upgrade will be built. It's a 60-kilometre corridor and the most heavily trafficked section of the Bruce Highway. This funding is going to create hundreds of jobs in that particular region, improving travel times, flood immunity, road standards and, of course, safety.

We've also committed to rail development in Queensland, particularly the Beerburrum to Nambour rail upgrade to the north of Longman, which is set to benefit—

Honourable members interjecting

Mr McCORMACK: I hear team Queensland saying 'Hear, hear!' The members for Fisher and Fairfax are right behind it, as all Queenslanders should be, including the member for Griffith, who has lost her voice. Long called for, won by team Queensland and LNP members, and funded by the LNP government, this project will upgrade 40 kilometres of rail infrastructure, increase freight and passenger capacity on the North Coast line, reduce travel times and increase travel reliability.

I'm asked what the alternatives are. Well, it's the banana republic over there on the opposition side, who build absolutely nothing anywhere near anything. What they stand for is higher taxes and fewer jobs.