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Monday, 26 February 2018
Page: 1812

Ms RYAN (LalorOpposition Whip) (13:33): In September 2015 I wrote to then Minister Joyce about Werribee South growers and our irrigation district—a place in this country that is part of Melbourne's salad bowl. I asked that the federal government give their share—$11 million—to a $33 million project. I raised it here in 2015 and got no response.

In December last year, when the new minister, the member for Maranoa, was appointed I wrote to him. What have I heard? Nothing—just silence from the new minister. It's time this new minister got back to his day job. On Friday he was in my electorate, dirtying his RM Williams up in some Werribee South dirt, standing there in the lettuces. He needs to get serious. The federal government needs to match the Labor state government's commitment to these farmers. The state has committed $11 million. The stakeholders have committed. We are waiting for a federal government commitment, but we aren't surprised, because it's just another example of this government ripping off Victoria when it comes to infrastructure spending. It is a terrible, terrible indictment of this government that they cannot find funds for growers in my electorate. They cannot find funds for Victoria, no matter how hard they look. It's time they did their day jobs and worked for Victoria.