Jun 6, 2013

Consideration in Detail – Federal Labor’s Invesment in the Bruce Highway

Mr ALBANESE (Grayndler—Leader of the House, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport and Minister for Regional Development and Local Government) (10:52):  I am very pleased to get this question from the member opposite. It seems he does not understand budgets and he does not understand infrastructure the way that it happens. The Department of Main Roads Queensland, his Tory colleagues, run the projects in regards to the Vantassel Street issue that he raises, in terms of that upgrade. The process of the implementation, the management of the projects is done by the Queensland LNP government. Okay? It is not that hard, mate. You should be able to work that out. So in terms of issues with regard to specific details of construction we provide money to the Department of Main Roads, you have a contract between the federal and state governments and they then manage the project.

With regard to the funding that is in the budget, he also does not seem to understand that what you have is line items in the budget of funding for the Bruce Highway. He has produced some ads on the Mackay ring road, which is bizarre because of the quotes he uses to say what the promise is. I read from his ad. He said that the Prime Minister said funding would be sourced from a federal infrastructure scheme known as Nation Building 2. That is the commitment of the Prime Minister.

Mr Christensen interjecting—

Mr ALBANESE:  According to you. This is your ad. The broken promise he says is Infrastructure Australia are now in a position to release a preliminary schedule of new projects to be funded and delivered over the five-year life of our next nation building program, which is Nation Building 2. We said we would fund it under Nation Building 2. Your ad says Nation Building 2—

Mr Christensen interjecting—

Mr ALBANESE:  Nation Building 2, you nong. It is in the ad that you produced. 2014-15—

The DEPUTY SPEAKER (Ms Saffin):  Minister—

Mr ALBANESE:  I withdraw. That is a compliment. 2014-15 to 2018-19. It is there in your ad. You cannot help some people. We already have funding to progress the planning.

Funding is already there for the community consultation for the Mackay ring road, which I announced in Mackay, which closes next month.

Mr Christensen:  It’s already underway, mate.

Mr ALBANESE:  We’re funding it, you nong! We’re funding it!

The DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Minister, will you not use that language. Withdraw.

Mr ALBANESE:  I withdraw. It is not that complex, mate, and you should talk to the member for Gippsland about the way that he approaches infrastructure investment in his seat. He makes approaches, as a member of the National Party. He gives credit when it is there; he says, ‘This is a good thing for my electorate,’ and he asks for more. That is what he does. That is what a good local member does.

You have got money for planning—$10 million, and not a cent from the state government but totally funded by us, to do the planning. We have released, now, for community consultation, the proposed route. That is out there. As to the community consultation, that funding has already been provided under Nation Building 1. We have a program for the Mackay ring road: planning in Nation Building 1, and then construction in Nation Building 2. That is what the Prime Minister said. That is what is there.

And in yesterday’s state budget, 85 per cent of the $690 million the Queensland government said was being committed to the Bruce Highway is funding from us—85 per cent is from the federal government.

Mr Christensen interjecting—

Mr ALBANESE:  And you have not promised a zac, a cent, of funding for the Bruce Highway, but you come in here and get critical about funding for your electorate! You are one of the only members of parliament I have ever seen in the entire time I have been here, 17 years, who has complained about funding being in your electorate. You have campaigned against it, and you need to do your job. (Time expired)