15 February 2017

Labor fails on long term transport infrastructure


I am quite amused by the member for Burt’s contribution today. He spoke of the Canning by-election. He seems to have forgotten that we actually have the member for Canning, who defeated him in that by-election, here on our side of the chamber. Clearly, he has not done a very good job in that by-election, and he has missed the point completely. And I have a message for the people of Western Australia: you vote a Labor government in at your peril—a $48-billion Renewable Energy Target—50 per cent—from Labor is coming your way. A mining tax, a carbon tax and, as for communications infrastructure, in six sorry years under Labor, not one dollar was spent on one mobile base station—not in Western Australia; not anywhere in Australia—under Labor. So shame on Labor! They have completely neglected the people of Western Australia and they have completely neglected regional Australia. Labor’s track record on communications infrastructure is a national disgrace, particularly for the people of Western Australia.

Mr Deputy Speaker, it is my great pleasure to speak on this MPI and, in doing so, I make reference to the people’s choice, the member for Grayndler. I am quite fond of the member for Grayndler but, unfortunately, in the six years that he was the infrastructure minister in a Labor government, he started off his time saying no to Avalon Airport. Avalon Airport is one of the wonderful regional infrastructure precincts in our country and in our region. When AirAsia X wanted to fly internationally between Asia and Geelong, opening up an international airport, Labor said no. And that is well on the record. Unfortunately, Avalon Airport is still struggling from that terrible decision. We are very, very proud that we have now put Avalon Airport in the regional package. The fact of the matter is that under Labor they blocked AirAsia X flying in to Avalon Airport. It was a terrible decision. In fact, the member for Corio is on the record trying to justify it on national security grounds. To the member for Grayndler: you can check the records. That is one example of how the Labor Party have failed to stand up for very important infrastructure projects in our region.

The Regional Rail Link, a $3.65 billion project—$2.7 billion from the Commonwealth, $1 billion from the state.  It is a Labor project. It is a Labor project and with the project it now takes longer for the people from Geelong to travel to Melbourne, and we now have an inferior rail connection between Geelong and Melbourne. I put on the table that we need a 30-minute fast-rail connection between the booming city of Geelong rather than the cumbersome and shocking Regional Rail Link, which is now taking longer. It is servicing the people of Western Melbourne, but it has completely failed the people of Geelong. We have heard some mention of the East West Link. My colleague here talked about the $1.1 billion that Daniel Andrews wasted. It has actually gone up to $1.24 billion. He said that scrapping that project would not cost a cent. That was absolutely untrue. Labor spent $1.24 billion not to build that road, supported by Infrastructure Australia, supported by Infrastructure Victoria and previously supported by the member for Maribyrnong.

15 January 2017