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Monday, 21 October 2019
Page: 4750

Infrastructure


Mr ALBANESE (GrayndlerLeader of the Opposition) (14:59): My question is addressed to the minister for infrastructure. Can he confirm that the gap between what the government promised on budget night and what they've actually spent on infrastructure is: on black spots, $123 million; the heavy vehicle safety program, $134 million; Bridges Renewal, $154 million; cattle supply, $96 million; Northern Australia Roads, $266 million; western Sydney infrastructure, $915 million; Major Road Projects, $2.8 billion; and the Asset Recycling Initiative, $1.5 billion? (Time expired)


Mr McCORMACK (RiverinaDeputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure,Transport and Regional Development and Leader of the Nationals) (15:00): I'm happy to provide an update to the opposition leader about all of those projects. But, rest assured, we're getting on with the job of building a better future, building a better Australia. When it comes to providing funding for projects, there are many, many members who are delighted to get the infrastructure that their electorates need. Certainly, when it comes to regional programs, there is the black spot funding, the tripling of Roads to Recovery and that sort of funding, which is provided to local councils where they can make the decisions at a local level, and that is so important. That is the difference, perhaps, between the Liberals and the Nationals and what we saw over six years under the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd years when the member who asked me the question, the opposition leader, the member for Grayndler, was the infrastructure minister. I know he would have been absolutely thrilled to have the sort of infrastructure spend that we have been investing in on this side of the House since we came to government in 2013.

And not only are we providing that infrastructure spend but the rubber is actually hitting the road. We are getting on with the job. If there is one thing that those opposite could do when there are projects and programs that they feel are necessary, it is pick the phone up, particularly to their Labor infrastructure ministers at a state level, and ask what they are also doing to work in conjunction with the Commonwealth to make sure that we get these programs and projects delivered. That would be a great start. We have had good support, I have to say, whether it's been from Mark Bailey in Queensland or Jacinta Allan in Victoria. They are two Labor ministers prepared to come to the table. I know that the Prime Minister met with Premier Daniel Andrews just last Friday. We want to build infrastructure. We need to build infrastructure. Indeed, we're getting on with the job of building infrastructure. The Australian government is spending, as I say, $100 billion over a 10-year pipeline of investment. The 2019-20 budget included $23 billion of new commitments, including $2.6 billion for Queensland, $6.1 billion for New South Wales, more than $6 billion in Victoria, $933 million for Western Australia, $1.8 billion for South Australia, $68 million for Tasmania, $60 million for the Northern Territory and $50 million for the Australian Capital Territory. That's investment, that's delivery, that's the future, that's building a better future for Australians. That's the Liberals' and Nationals' way.