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Monday, 7 November 2016
Page: 3023

Mr MORTON (Tangney) (11:52): What a delight to have the opportunity to speak on economic management and infrastructure—even more so in the context of the great state of Western Australia; a state made great by the hard work of Colin Barnett and his Liberal team. Liberal governments make decisions and they get things done, and nothing is truer for Colin Barnett and his Liberal government.

In 2008, the people of Western Australia could not recall three things that the then Labor government had achieved, because they were all talk and no action. When people go to vote at the March 2017 state election, they will be in no doubt about the things that Colin Barnett and his government have done and are doing to support economic growth and jobs.

All we have seen from Labor is opposition for opposition's sake and a constant handbrake on getting things done and built. Let me run through a few things in WA that Labor are against and, if they were elected, would not have happened: the new Perth Stadium, the new museum, uranium mining, Elizabeth Quay and Perth City Link. Infrastructure spending creates employment and drives growth. Tens of thousands of jobs, direct and indirect, would not have existed, if Labor had their way. What a sad, pathetic position for the Labor Party to find themselves in. The Labor Party is anti-WA jobs.

We should not be surprised: we cannot forget that WA Labor leader Mark McGowan was the most ineffective education minister WA has ever seen. He oversaw the biggest teacher shortages in our state's history. Anti-infrastructure, anti-economic development and anti-jobs—that is WA Labor. And what project is most at risk by Labor? The Perth Freight Link. This project is essential for my community and for Western Australia. I support the Roe 8 project and I support the Fremantle bypass tunnel, a tunnel that is needed to take that traffic from Stock Road to connect to the Stirling Highway near High Street. Roe 8 and Fremantle Tunnel will bypass 14 sets of traffic lights on Leach Highway and Stock Road, reducing stop-start traffic, crashes and exhaust emissions; and 12.5 minutes will be saved between Fremantle and the Kwinana Freeway.

By 2021, railway will carry in excess of 6,900 trucks and 74,000 light vehicles per day, taking them off Farrington Road, South Street, Leach Highway and other local roads into this dedicated free-flowing highway. The Fremantle Tunnel will carry 4,700 trucks and 40,300 light vehicles, removing traffic congestion and improving safety on local roads. Property values will increase due to improved transport connectivity in the southern suburbs and the removal of heavy freight from local roads. The project will create 2,400 direct jobs and 10,000 indirect jobs.

The member for Burt and the Labor Party want to take funding away from a project that Infrastructure Australia rates as one of only five highest-priority projects nationally yet to begin construction. It is bonkers! Labor wants to make our streets less safe and more congested. The member for Burt wants to move this money to a bridge that the community does not want.

Mr Keogh interjecting

Mr MORTON: Not even the people of Armadale want this bridge, member for Burt! If they did want it the member for Burt may have been here a year earlier, rather than being defeated by the member for Canning at the Canning by-election.

What can we say about Labor's plans to make our streets safer and less congested? Nothing: deafening silence. Just like when the people of WA could not nominate any achievements of the past Labor government in WA, they cannot nominate any plans to make our streets safer and less congested. Why? Because Labor does not have any. The federal member for Fremantle should be very worried about the impact of this shocking position on his community. The state Labor candidate for Bicton heads into the state election campaign with a position that will mean more cars and trucks on our local roads. It is shameful.

Today I end by thanking the member for Burt, because in his motion he highlighted the very strong commitment of the federal Liberal Party to Western Australian and to this important project. The federal Liberal government has committed $1.2 million as requested by the Barnett Liberal state government to build both Roe 8 and the Fremantle bypass tunnel. That is what this funding is for. Let me be very clear: these funds cannot, should not and will not be made available for any other purpose.

I look forward to the state government reconfirming the full project so that planning and environmental approval works can commence. I am standing up for my community and my state for jobs, for growth and for what is right.