Browsing articles in "Shadow Ministerial Media Release"
Feb 12, 2018

Joyce’s Inland Rail line to Tasmania

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce today nominated his Government’s investment in the Inland Rail Link between Brisbane and Melbourne as evidence of his Government’s commitment to Tasmanian infrastructure.

In Question Time today I cited Budget papers to ask why the Turnbull-Joyce Government plans to cut Federal infrastructure investment in Tasmania from $175 million this financial year to $52.6 million in 2019-20.

Mr Joyce struggled to answer.

He began by claiming the Coalition was responsible for the Midland Highway upgrade. In fact, the project was funded by the former Federal Labor Government and subject to a $100 million cut by the incoming Coalition Government in 2013.

As Labor MPs pointed out the error to Mr Joyce, he began to promote the benefits of Inland Rail, a project that will be of no benefit to Tasmania.

The Coalition has dudded Tasmania on investment in rail, roads and other infrastructure.

Indeed, since taking office, it has not commenced a single new federal funded major infrastructure project in the state.

With such a record of cuts and neglect, it is no wonder Mr Joyce struggled to address the facts today.

By contrast, the former Federal Labor Government invested heavily in Tasmania over six years in office, lifting investment from $157 per Tasmanian per year to $264.

Feb 12, 2018

Joyce a shambles on Infrastructure portfolio

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce today proved that he is not up to the job of Infrastructure Minister with a shambolic Question Time performance in response to clear evidence of a collapse in nation building investment under his Government.

In Question Time Labor MPs used the Government’s own Budget papers to ask Mr Joyce about cuts to rail and road funding.

But Mr Joyce did not have a clue. He refused to address our questions, which referred to:

  • Evidence that Victoria is receiving only 9.7 per cent of Commonwealth infrastructure grants despite being home to one in four Australians.
  • The looming collapse in Commonwealth infrastructure grants to Tasmania from $174 million this year to $53 million by 2019-20 and the Government’s failure to commence a single new major project in Tasmania since it took office in 2013.
  • The significant cut to Commonwealth infrastructure investment in South Australia from $921.4 million this year to just $95 million by 2019-20. This represents just 2 per cent of federal infrastructure investment.
  • Evidence in the Budget papers that while the Government allocated $100 million last financial year to the important Northern Australia Roads Program, it actually invested only $12 million, an 88 per cent underspend.

Since taking office the Coalition has cut infrastructure investment.

Things are about to get worse, with total Commonwealth infrastructure grants to the states set to fall off a cliff from a promised $9.2 billion in 2016-17 to $4.2 billion by 2020-21.

Mr Joyce, appointed Infrastructure Minister in December, faces a huge challenge to convince his Cabinet colleagues to increase investment as a way to drive productivity and economic growth.

But judging from his performance in Question Time today, his knowledge of his portfolio goes no further than the proposed Inland Rail Link between Brisbane and Melbourne, which goes through his own electorate and does not go to a port anywhere.

When answering any question about infrastructure, Mr Joyce boasts about Inland Rail. At one point today Mr Joyce appeared confused, offering Inland Rail as evidence of his commitment to infrastructure investment in Tasmania.

In fact, Inland Rail was commenced by the former Federal Labor Government, which conducted the early planning and invested $600 million upgrading parts of the existing rail system that will form part of the project.

We also provided a further $300 million in the 2013 Budget to progress the project.

Feb 12, 2018

Joyce clueless on SA cuts

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has refused to explain why he intends to cut Commonwealth infrastructure grants to South Australia to just 2 per cent of its national infrastructure budget in 2020-21.

In Question Time today Mr Joyce boasted of his Government’s generosity to infrastructure projects in SA, despite the fact that Commonwealth infrastructure grants to the state will fall from $921.4 million in 2017-18 to $95.2 million in 2020-21.

The absurd claim came as Mr Joyce struggled to answer a series of detailed questions about the Infrastructure ministry, which he has held since December.

Specifically asked about the SA infrastructure budget, Mr Joyce began talking about Commonwealth investment in the defence industry, which has nothing to do with his portfolio.

It is clear Mr Joyce doesn’t have a clue about infrastructure in SA, which requires increased investment to drive productivity gains and boost economic growth and job creation.

In particular, SA needs a Commonwealth contribution to the AdeLINK project, which will tackle Adelaide’s worsening traffic congestion, which acts as a hand brake on growth.

Labor has a strong record of investing in SA infrastructure.

Over six years in office, the former Federal Labor Government increased per capita annual investment in SA from $109 per person to $272 per person.

Feb 8, 2018

Airport Must be Connected to Passenger Rail Network

Today in Question Time Urban Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher refused to answer when asked whether the new Western Sydney Airport will be connected to Sydney’s passenger rail system from the day it opens.

Labor has already committed to start work on the new Western Sydney Rail line, which would extend the South-West rail link from Leppington via Bringelly to the new airport.

The Government should match this commitment.

If planned and developed properly, the Western Sydney Airport and surrounding business areas will attract investment that will generate thousands of jobs in aviation-related industries as well as tourism, education, advanced manufacturing, logistics and residential development.

If the people of Western Sydney are to benefit from these new jobs it is critical that it is connected to the passenger rail system.
THURSDAY, 8 FEBRUARY, 2018

Feb 8, 2018

Australian Tourism at Risk Because of Turnbull’s Climate Change Complacency

The Climate Council’s latest report Icons at Risk: Climate Change Threatening Australian Tourism highlights what is at risk for Australia’s top tourist destinations in the threat of imminent climate change.

In the report the Climate Council says Australia’s most important tourist destinations such as the Great Barrier Reef, the Red Centre and the Top End as well as our pristine beaches and ski tourism, are already feeling the effects of climate change and that the impacts will accelerate over the coming decades.

The Great Barrier Reef tourism industry, which has been valued at $5.7 billion, provides 64,000 direct and indirect jobs and attracts more than 2.2 million international and 1.7 million domestic visitors per year, has undergone two recent devastating bleaching events.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) global analysis of the potential impacts of climate change on tourism identified the Australia/New Zealand region as one of five Climate Change Vulnerable Hotspots saying: “Australian tourism was particularly vulnerable due to hotter summers, warmer winters, water scarcity, marine biodiversity loss, sea level rise, an increase in disease outbreaks and an increase in extreme weather events.”

In the year ending September 2017, Australia received 8 million international visitors. These visitors spent a record $41.2 billion.

Tourism is one of Australia’s most valuable export earners and has been identified by Deloitte as a super growth sector.

Yet under Malcolm Turnbull, pollution is continually on the rise and the 2017 Climate Change Review offered not a single new climate policy.

Only Labor has a plan to combat climate change to protect our tourism assets.

THURSDAY 8 FEBRUARY 2018

Jan 31, 2018

Latest figures confirm plunge in nation building investment

Total annual infrastructure investment in Australia has plunged by 17 per cent under the Coalition from the level it inherited from the former Labor Government, according to the latest Commonwealth figures.

The 2017 Australian Infrastructure Yearbook says that while Labor was in office, the public and private sectors invested an average of $57.7 billion a year on transport, energy, telecommunications and water infrastructure.

This included funding for WA’s largest ever road project, Gateway WA.

But under the Coalition’s stewardship, total investment has averaged $48 billion a year.

Produced by the Government’s Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE), the Yearbook also says average annual investment on critical transport infrastructure – rail, roads, bridges, and ports – is down by 22 per cent under the Coalition.

The Yearbook also shows that private investment has fallen 47 per cent to $18.8 billion in 2016-17 from its peak of $34.8 billion in 2012-13, reflecting the decline in investment in the mining sector.

While the Commonwealth should be lifting its investment to make up for this private sector decline, the independent Parliamentary Budget Office has found that Commonwealth infrastructure investment as a percentage of GDP will halve from 0.4 per cent to 0.2 per cent over the coming decade.

The Coalition’s cuts defy the national economic interest.

Well targeted infrastructure investment lifts national productivity, clearing the way for increased economic growth and job creation.

Australian businesses, particularly in regional areas, need great railways and roads to make it easier to get products to market so they can thrive and create more jobs for Australians.

And our cities desperately require investment in public transport to address the traffic congestion that is eroding our quality of life and acting as a hand brake on growth.

While the Government has spent years trying to fool Australians into believing it has increased infrastructure investment, the evidence of its cuts is clear in its own figures.

The Government must increase infrastructure investment in May’s federal Budget, including by partnering with state governments to deliver important urban public transport projects like the Morley to Ellenbrook line in Perth, Melbourne Metro, the Western Sydney Rail and Brisbane’s Cross River Rail project.

Jan 31, 2018

Media Release – Latest figures confirm plunge in nation building investment – 31 January, 2018

Average annual infrastructure investment in Australia has plunged by 17 per cent under the Coalition from the level it inherited from the former Labor Government, according to the latest Commonwealth figures.

The 2017 Australian Infrastructure Yearbook says that while Labor was in office, the public and private sectors invested an average of $57.7 billion a year on transport, energy, telecommunications and water infrastructure.

This included funding for WA’s largest ever road project, Gateway WA.

But under the Coalition’s stewardship, total investment has averaged $48 billion a year.

Produced by the Government’s Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE), the Yearbook also says average annual investment on critical transport infrastructure – rail, roads, bridges, and ports – is down by 22 per cent under the Coalition.

The Yearbook also shows that private investment has fallen 47 per cent to $18.8 billion in 2016-17 from its peak of $34.8 billion in 2012-13, reflecting the decline in investment in the mining sector.

While the Commonwealth should be lifting its investment to make up for this private sector decline, the independent Parliamentary Budget Office has found that Commonwealth infrastructure investment as a percentage of GDP will halve from 0.4 per cent to 0.2 per cent over the coming decade.

The Coalition’s cuts defy the national economic interest.

Well targeted infrastructure investment lifts national productivity, clearing the way for increased economic growth and job creation.

Australian businesses, particularly in regional areas, need great railways and roads to make it easier to get products to market so they can thrive and create more jobs for Australians.

And our cities desperately require investment in public transport to address the traffic congestion that is eroding our quality of life and acting as a hand brake on growth.

While the Government has spent years trying to fool Australians into believing it has increased infrastructure investment, the evidence of its cuts is clear in its own figures.

The Government must increase infrastructure investment in May’s federal Budget, including by partnering with state governments to deliver important urban public transport projects like the Morley to Ellenbrook line in Perth, Melbourne Metro, the Western Sydney Rail and Brisbane’s Cross River Rail project.

WEDNESDAY, 31 JANUARY, 2018

Jan 30, 2018

Community views critical to rail planning

Federal Labor strongly urges Perth residents to have their say in the public consultation process for the construction of the Morley to Ellenbrook railway line.

This important project will be a boon for Perth’s growing north-east suburbs.

Federal Labor has already announced that if elected at the next federal election, we will provide $700 million to help build this new line in partnership with the McGowan Government.

The money would be drawn from Federal Labor’s $1.6 billion Fair Share for WA Fund, to be established by a Federal Labor Government in recognition of WA not receiving a fair share of GST receipts.

With less than a fortnight to go before the close of the State Government’s online community survey about the Morley-Ellenbrook line, it is critical that the people of Perth – who will be the users of the line – provide their input.

If the community is clear about its needs and expectations regarding the project, planners will have the information they need to design a world-class rail line, with construction to begin next year.

It is great for WA that the McGowan Government has a clear agenda to invest in public transport to tackle the traffic congestion which is eroding our national quality of life and costing the economy $16.5 billion a year in lost productivity.

In the absence of transformative projects – such as METRONET – the cost of traffic congestion in Perth will increase more than eight-fold from $1.4 billion to $15.9 billion by 2031.

When the Federal Coalition Government took office in 2013, it foolishly cancelled all Commonwealth investment in public transport.

This included $500 million that had been allocated to Perth public transport projects.

By contrast, the former Federal Labor Government invested more money in urban public transport than all previous federal governments combined since Federation.

The next Federal Labor Government will build on that record.

To participate in the online consultation survey for the Morley to Ellenbrook line, go to www.metronet.wa.gov.au before February 11.

Jan 23, 2018

Local knowledge to boost tourism jobs under Labor

Federal Labor will establish a local advisory panel to provide expert advice on the delivery of a Shorten Labor Government’s $1 billion Northern Australia Tourism Infrastructure Fund.

Labor’s local advisory panel will include representatives from major regional tourism centres – like Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton, Darwin and Broome.

The panel will consist of community leaders, business owners, tourism operators and other important stakeholders – to help determine what local projects should receive support under the Fund.

It will be established in the next few months so that it can start providing advice and recommendations to Labor this year – and funds can start being delivered as soon as possible in government.

Labor is committed to injecting $1 billion to help build new tourism infrastructure in Northern Australia – including throughout Queensland.

Northern Australia sits on the doorstep of the world’s fastest growing middle class in Asia. By 2030, there will be three billion middle class consumers just to our north.

Labor wants them go to Northern Australia for their holidays.

Tourism employs around 225,000 Queenslanders both directly and indirectly. The Great Barrier Reef alone supports 64,000 jobs.

Tourism attractions like the Great Barrier Reef have unlimited potential – but communities which rely on tourism for local jobs are being let down by ageing infrastructure which is not keeping up with the needs of the market.

Labor wants to kick-start a tourism infrastructure boom – and a jobs boom for Northern Australia.

That’s why we will invest $1 billion in upgrading airports, tourist trails and ports to make it as easy as possible for tourists to enjoy all Australia has to offer.

Since announcing our $1 billion Tourism Infrastructure Fund nearly six months ago, Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Tourism, Anthony Albanese, and Shadow Minister for Northern Australia, Jason Clare, have been consulting with industry and local communities on the priorities for the fund.

One thing is clear – locals know what their communities need, and Labor wants to listen and learn from local experts.

The local advisory panel will advise on issues such as:

  • Building regional airport capacity;
  • Developing cruise ship infrastructure;
  • Identifying required road infrastructure;
  • Attracting international tourists and international airlines into regional centres;
  • Attracting tourists from Asia;
  • Developing new experiences and attractions;
  • Job-creation opportunities in tourism.

Locals who wish to be considered for the panel are encouraged to write to [email protected] to express interest.

The Northern Australia Tourism Infrastructure Fund will be fully offset by the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility – which is yet to invest a single dollar or create a single local job in Queensland.

 

Jan 16, 2018

Hobart City Deal – An Agreement to Work on an Agreement

Today the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Premier Hodgman could not have picked a better site to showcase their governments’ inaction when it comes to cities policy.

The fact is in 2012, the former Federal Labor Government invested $50 million to kick start the Macquarie Point precinct as a major urban renewal project.

The purpose of this funding was for remediation works, which would have opened up the site to a range of possibilities including tourism and scientific opportunities as well as low cost and medium density housing.

The do-nothing Tasmanian Hodgman Government have not progressed the redevelopment in their term and the Federal Coalition has ignored this transformative project.

Malcolm Turnbull first floated the idea of a City Deal for Hobart in 2016, however what is crystal clear is that it has taken the upcoming state election to compel him into action.

It is extraordinary that it has taken more than a year to produce today’s announcement, which is simply a to-do list with no new funding attached.
It is an agreement to work on an agreement.

I also note the commitment to create a Greater Hobart Transport Vision. At the July 2016 election, Labor announced it would create a Greater Hobart Transport Plan to serve this exact purpose.

While it is refreshing to see such a ringing endorsement of Labor policy, it does beg the question – what took the Prime Minister so long?

The fact is people in Hobart need real investment, not just more rhetoric.

Labor has a strong track record when it comes to investing in Tasmania.

The former Federal Labor Government almost doubled annual infrastructure spending from $157 to $264 per Tasmanian.

In contrast all that the Coalition Government has delivered is cuts.

In its first four Budgets, the Coalition Government said it would spend $589 million in Tasmania’s infrastructure, but they actually spent $479 million – $110 million less than promised.

The truth is the Coalition Government has cut funding for major road projects, cut funding for major rail projects, and cut funding for fixing dangerous blackspots on local roads.

This comes on top of the fact that within months of being elected, the Coalition Government also cut all funding allocated to Hobart’s light rail project.

TUESDAY, 16 JANUARY 2018

Contact Anthony

(02) 9564 3588 Electorate Office

Email: [email protected]

Important items

Enrol to vote Parliament of Australia Australian Labor Party Clean Energy Future