Feb 11, 2015

Constituency statements – Infrastructure

Federation Chamber 

Mr ALBANESE (Grayndler) (10:53): The government admitted that they have been a bad government since their election in 2013 when the Prime Minister made the extraordinary comment, ‘Good government begins today’. It is as if they were so pleased at having graduated from opposition they decided to have a gap year. Yesterday, we saw another example of how this government is failing when the Deputy Prime Minister, in answer to a question in question time, outlined a series of projects that were commenced by the former Labor government and then attempted to take credit for it. That is what happens when you actually breach a promise that was made that there would be cranes in the sky and bulldozers on the capital cities’ streets on new projects—none of which have commenced.

The Deputy Prime Minister went through a series of projects on the Pacific and Bruce highways, none of which are new initiatives of the government. He then went on to speak about Adelaide’s north-south transport corridor; the South Road Superway is part of that and was promised, funded, built and opened due to the former Labor government. The Torrens Road to Torrens River section was funded in the 2013 budget. Preconstruction work began in 2013, and it is proceeding. Sydney’s F3 to M2 project—claimed to be a new project because it has a new name, NorthConnex—was agreed to in a formal agreement, signed by me as minister and by New South Wales roads minister Duncan Gay in June 2013.

But perhaps the most absurd is the Northern Sydney Freight Corridor upgrade. Here is a press release from then Premier Barry O’Farrell and me—in 2011, when construction began, after three years of preconstruction work. Mr O’Farrell said: ‘That is why this is a Christmas gift for Sydney.’ It was supposed to be a Christmas gift for 2011; not for 2012 or 2013 or 2014—let alone 2015—but 2011. This is after three years of preconstruction work. This is a vital project, to boost freight and to separate the freight and passenger lines. This is a government that has no new ideas and is being punished for it. (Time expired)