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Campbell…Road Kill Again Minister Doesn’t Know What his Job is

Does Howard’s newest Minister, Senator Ian Campbell, know what his job is? Question Time in the Senate today reveals that he doesn’t.

“I asked the Minister a direct question today, asking him to outline his responsibilities, which he was unable to answer.”

“I recognise that the Minister is new on the job, but he should at least know what his job is.”

9 October 2003


Please find following the proof Hansard of the question and answer from today’s Senate Question Time.

For further information contact Senator Cook’s office on 08 9022 4700

Roads: Administration

Senator COOK (2.42 p.m.)—My question is to Senator Ian Campbell, Minister

for Local Government, Territories and Roads. I ask whether you are aware that the

Deputy Prime Minister welcomed your appointment in a media statement but said:

In regard to roads, I will be retaining direct responsibility for Auslink, Roads to Recovery and


Minister, what precisely do you do as minister for roads?

Senator IAN CAMPBELL—I thank Senator Cook for the question. It is very

nice not to have to go to my own questions committee to organise dorothy dixers

when Cookie and I can work out a little deal between us as Western Australians to

get a dorothy dix from the other side. So thank you, Senator Cook. As the cabinet

minister, of course Minister Anderson has direct responsibility for Auslink. But he

also now has a minister for roads because he respects the fact that having a full-

time minister responsible for roads is a very important improvement and shows the

government’s commitment to the importance of roads in Australia.

For example, Senator Cook has shown a specific interest in the development of

the Peel deviation. For those non-Western Australians who do not know what a

Peel deviation is, it is of course a very crucial and potential piece of infrastructure

for Western Australia which will help create infrastructure for Western Australians

to be able to travel south of Perth. Rather than create massive traffic jams through

that burgeoning town of Mandurah, it will in fact create a bypass.

The Commonwealth, because it has been urged regularly by the member for

Canning, Mr Don Randall, to build this new road for the people in the southern

suburbs, has made it very clear to the state minister for transport, who could never

be called the minister for roads—

Opposition senators interjecting—

The PRESIDENT—Order on my left!

Senator IAN CAMPBELL—You could never call Minister MacTiernan the

minister for roads. You could never do that. She is the minister for transport.

Minister MacTiernan rips money out of roads, ensures that things like the Roe

Highway do not get built, ensures that things that the Peel deviation will never get

built under a state Labor government and ensures that all of the taxpayers’ money

is put into her favourite southern railway project. That is why you could not under

a Labor government have a minister for roads and that is why the federal Liberal

government has a minister for roads.

Yesterday in question time Senator Cook said that the state Labor government

had in fact done all the work required on the Peel deviation. The Minister for

Transport and Regional Services, Mr Anderson, has confirmed that we have

nothing from the state government in relation to the Peel deviation. We have made

repeated requests for full planning details for the Peel deviation. In fact, we have

made it clear to them that with the progress of the Auslink program, which Senator

Cook referred to in his question, we would welcome a full submission on the Peel

deviation to be considered under the Auslink program, and we have heard nothing.

In fact, all we have heard from Minister MacTiernan and the state Labor

government is a submission for funds for—guess what?—her favourite program:

the southern railway.

So she wants money for the southern railway and she has cut $200 million out

of the state budget for roads—ripped it out of regional and rural areas. While the

federal government has put in $200 million a year into roads, the state Labor

government, Senator Cook’s comrades in Western Australia, are ripping it out. I

suggest Senator Cook goes home to Western Australia and suggests to his

comrades in the WA Labor Party that they follow the lead of Minister Anderson

and Prime Minister Howard and ensure that we actually do have a minister who is

interested in roads in Western Australia.

Senator COOK—Mr President, I ask a supplementary question. Given that Mr

Anderson has responsibility for Auslink, Roads to Recovery and black spots and,

Minister, since you did not spell out, as asked, precisely what you do as minister

for roads, would you now tell us exactly what programs you administer in the


Senator IAN CAMPBELL—I will be happy to provide Senator Cook with a

full list of all of the programs I administer. I would also like to reconfirm that I

will be assisting the minister for transport in administering those three particularly

important programs—programs that did not exist under a Labor government. The

Roads to Recovery program has seen hundreds of millions of dollars go into

regional and rural roads. What do the state Labor government do when we give

them hundreds of millions of dollars under the Roads to Recovery program? They

rip all the money straight back out of it again, cut regional and rural communities,

cut road funding and pump it into Alannah’s white elephant.