That all words after 1(b) be deleted and replaced with the following:
“(c) regrets that only 1 per cent of this Federal funding is available in 2018-19;
(d) also regrets that 85 per cent of the Federal funding is outside the four-year forward estimates; and
(e) calls upon the Government to not fund projects into the never never.”
I raise this because you hear a lot of rhetoric from those opposite about infrastructure. The fact is, though, that they have been asleep for the last five years. They haven’t funded projects. Indeed, they haven’t even put back the money they’ve cut from projects such as Cross River Rail. They had an opportunity in this budget to undo the damage done by that cut in the 2014 budget. When it comes to this project, less than one per cent of the $1 billion is available for these two projects on the M1 in the next financial year, and across the four years of the forward estimates only 15 per cent of the funding is there. It’s typical of what this government says: ‘If you re-elect us next year and in three years time then something might happen after that.’
It is quite pathetic and stands in stark contrast to what we did when in office. We increased annual spending on infrastructure from $146 for every Queenslander to $270 for every Queenslander. Under our program we committed and invested some $6.3 billion in South East Queensland, more than the Howard government had spent over a similar time across the entire state. That included upgrades: $420 million for the Pacific Motorway on the Gold Coast, $195 million for the Bruce Highway on the Sunshine Coast, and $2½ billion for the Ipswich Motorway. We also invested in rail and light rail. The Redcliffe rail line, first promised in 1895, was delivered by a federal Labor government working with Queensland Labor and the local council. Importantly, the Gold Coast Light Rail, such a success in getting people around during the recent Commonwealth Games, was funded with $365 million from the Commonwealth, an investment that made a real difference in real time.
We also invested in community infrastructure in South East Queensland, including, of course, on the Gold Coast at the stadium where the Commonwealth Games were held. That was some $37 million—the largest grant out of the Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program. Not only has funding been cut by this government; they haven’t spent the money that has been allocated to them in the budget. Whether it’s major road projects, the black spots, the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program, the Northern Australia Roads Program—all of these have seen massive underspends by the coalition government: some $4½ billion of underspends over their first four budgets. The fact is that we have called for this funding to be invested on the M1 because this is a congested corridor. The need to fix the Pacific Motorway to Gateway merge; the need for the Mudgeeraba to Varsity Lakes project; these are important projects, as well as the upgrades between Varsity Lakes and Tugun and between Eight Mile Plains and Daisy Hill. These are all critical projects. It is only Labor, though, that invests in nation-building infrastructure, whether it be roads, rail or light rail. That’s why Queenslanders are increasingly sceptical about the gap between this government’s rhetoric and its actual investment.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mr Buchholz ): The member for Grayndler is seeking to move an amendment to the member for Forde’s motion. Is the motion seconded?
Mrs Elliot: I second the motion and reserve my right to speak.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: The question is now that the amendment be agreed to.
Leader of the Australian Labor Party, MP for Grayndler, Rabbitohs Life Member. Authorised by Anthony Albanese, ALP, Canberra.
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