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Wednesday, 27 June 2018
Page: 47

Infrastructure


Senator MARTIN (Tasmania) (14:21): My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Senator Scullion. Can the minister advise the Senate how the coalition government is supporting the economic aspirations of all Australians, particularly of those in regional areas, through its record investment in infrastructure?


Senator SCULLION (Northern TerritoryMinister for Indigenous Affairs and Leader of The Nationals in the Senate) (14:22): I thank Senator Martin for the question, and I acknowledge his very strong advocacy for the people of regional Tasmania. I'm so proud to be part of a government that's put in place a $75 billion decade-long pipeline of transport infrastructure projects. It's just remarkable. For those on the other side who are wondering, 'How did you do that?' what we do is deliver a strong economy. We've got a great economic team delivering a strong economy, and the benefits of that strong economy have to flow back to Australians.

We are now able to invest—a $75 billion investment—but that's just not roads that connect people. That's not just vital infrastructure. That's jobs. You've been wondering how the coalition's been doing those jobs. There are 1,100 jobs today that would not have been there for families across Australia if Labor had been on the Treasury benches. There are 1,100 families who would not be saying, 'I've got a new job today!' or 'I've got a new breadwinner today!' It is simply beyond Labor.

We're connecting our cities with regional communities, productivity from our industry—connecting regional Australia and their product with the markets in the cities. We're building the roads, rail and airports that Australians and, indeed, Tasmanians require. We're building a legacy, not only building a good economy and investing in infrastructure. We are leaving a legacy of jobs, jobs and jobs. That's why we've grown our economy. All these projects are job-creating superchargers. There are 50,000 direct and indirect jobs right across our nation. There is the $600 million Northern Australia Roads Program. We continue to strengthen the budget position. We can continue to invest in vital infrastructure across Australia.

The PRESIDENT: Senator Martin, a supplementary question.



Senator MARTIN (Tasmania) (14:24): Can the minister advise the Senate on the new infrastructure investment in my home state of Tasmania?


Senator SCULLION (Northern TerritoryMinister for Indigenous Affairs and Leader of The Nationals in the Senate) (14:24): I thank the senator for the question. This government is investing significant funds in Tasmania building on our prior commitments under which 12 projects are complete and five projects are still providing jobs. There is an ongoing investment of $400 million in the Midland Highway upgrade. There is $461 million to replace the Bridgewater Bridge. There is $400 million under Roads of Strategic Importance. There is $59.8 million to deal with the second tranche of the Freight Rail Revitalisation program. We might have some sparks from those opposite, particularly those Tasmanian senators who don't like us to deliver for Tasmania and for Braddon. Unfortunately for them, we are going to keep doing that. Electorates like Braddon will receive millions of dollars in additional funding. Importantly, this creates jobs for Tasmania. They have their share of the 1,100 jobs that we create every day because we run the economy and make investments so that Tasmanians can benefit.

The PRESIDENT: Senator Martin, a final supplementary question.



Senator MARTIN (Tasmania) (14:25): Can the minister advise what impact this investment is expected to have on jobs and small business opportunities in Tasmania?


Senator SCULLION (Northern TerritoryMinister for Indigenous Affairs and Leader of The Nationals in the Senate) (14:25): The voters of Braddon will have a real choice in the coming election. They know there is only one side of this parliament that is going to keep the budget under control. There is only one side of this parliament that is going to be able to reinvest the hard work of Tasmanians and those voters in Braddon back into Tasmania. We have indicated $119.6 million for tranche 1 of the Freight Rail Revitalisation program. This is delivering benefits to people in Braddon. This investment will all be at risk if Labor gets back into power, introduces their job-killing agenda and wrecks our budget, just like they did last time.

I know that the people of Braddon must be a bit confused. We have even had the member for Bass indicating he is not sure who is going to be the boss later. They cannot vote for a completely dysfunctional party who will not deliver for Tasmania. (Time expired)