13 December 2018

Labor’s infrastructure spending fail

Corangamite residents deserve faster and more reliable train services to and from Melbourne.

In the past two Federal Budgets, the Liberal and Nationals Government has committed $254 million for the Warrnambool to Geelong rail line, including $150 million to duplicating the track between South Geelong and Waurn Ponds, as well as upgrading platforms at Waurn Ponds, Marshall and South Geelong.

However, the Victorian Labor Government has sat on its hands for four years delivering only $20 million.

Months after this year’s State Budget Labor shamelessly announced a $147 million election commitment to the duplication project. This represents only 20 per cent of the required funding.  Labor’s attitude to this project demonstrates their disregard for the transport needs of the Geelong and surrounding communities – we need a better train service now.

Last week, through letters, Prime Minister Scott Morrison advised the Premier that we wanted to get on with this project, and others across Victoria which have been prioritised by the Liberal and Nationals Government, as soon as possible.

Despite attempting to take all the credit, Labor is only providing 10 per cent of the funding for passenger rail upgrades under the Victorian Regional Rail Package. It is the Liberal and Nationals Government which is making sure that these projects can be undertaken by providing $1.6 billion – the largest Commonwealth commitment to regional passenger rail in the nation.

Labor has also failed to deliver, over four years, a solution to fix the Regional Rail Link and provide fast rail to Melbourne.  A $100 million election commitment made at the eleventh hour before the state election is only a small fraction of what is required. Labor has no record of delivery for rail in our region and this pathetic commitment shows that Labor has no plan at all to deliver fast rail.

Geelong and Corangamite commuters have been completely conned by Premier Daniel Andrews and local Labor MPs.  While many billions is being invested in rail infrastructure in Melbourne, Geelong and Corangamite have been left out in the cold.

I am very proud to have delivered a $154 million City Deal for Geelong and the Great Ocean Road to drive jobs and boost the tourism economy. My record also includes:

  • Upgrading the Great Ocean Road;
  • Duplicating the Princes Highway;
  • Backing local jobs and manufacturing;
  • Standing up for traders and tourism;
  • Fixing mobile black spots;
  • Building new surf clubs;
  • Funding vital sports and community infrastructure and;
  • Delivering a new international terminal at Avalon Airport.

In 2008, Federal Labor and Richard Marles, when in government, refused Avalon consent to build an international terminal after the airport reached a deal with Air Asia. Corio Labor MP Richard Marles said the proposal did not “safeguard Australia and Geelong’s interests.” This is another example of Labor’s reckless economic decisions which sent our region backwards.

I fought hard for Avalon’s international terminal and I will continue to fight for Corangamite residents. That includes holding Labor to account when it fails to fix our trains, upgrade our roads, keep our community safe or provide equitable funding to all schools.

13 December 2018