Mr ALBANESE (Grayndler) (13:54): Nothing signifies this government’s neglect of regional Australia more than having a look at the gap between the rhetoric and the reality when it comes to infrastructure. Let’s have a look. Black spots: promised $220 million over three years; actual: $115 million. Heavy Vehicles Safety and Productivity Program around those regional roads: promised $171 million in the first three years; delivered: $64.6 million, cut by $107 million—the Bruce Highway cut and the Pacific Highway cut. The Northern Australia Investment Facility: not a single dollar actually spent. The only money that has gone out is for the board meetings that are held in the CBD in Sydney! Not a single dollar out of that program! Financial assistance grants: frozen.
Then comes the New England Highway—the Bolivia Hill upgrade, the Tenterfield bypass and the Scone bypass, funded by the previous federal Labor government: nothing done in 2014, nothing done in 2015 and nothing in 2016. It’s taken the member for New England facing a by-election before they’ve even called tenders!
What a joke! This is a government that has contempt for regional Australia until they face a by-election. Then they turn themselves to action.