Feb 13, 2014

Statements by members – Melbourne metro

Mr ALBANESE (Grayndler) (13:48): I also wish to join the member for Chisholm in speaking about the impact on jobs of the Toyota closure. I note that the Prime Minister has spoken about the need to reinvigorate the Victorian economy and about infrastructure. I have a suggestion: do not cut the $3 billion that has been allocated to the Melbourne metro project. This project was recommended by Infrastructure Australia and will create jobs. The regional rail link project had more than 3½ thousand at its peak working directly on the project, thereby keeping the Victorian economy going in recent times. As that reaches completion, the Melbourne metro project needs to be stepped up. This is a vital project for Victoria and indeed for the nation, one that will boost jobs and boost productivity. It is a part of what a government would be interested in doing if it were serious about infrastructure and dealing with urban congestion. When the former Labor government came to office, Australia was ranked 20th out of 25 OECD countries for investment in infrastructure. The latest figures show that in both 2012 and 2011, we were ranked first in the OECD. That was the inheritance those opposite received when they got into government. To deliver on infrastructure, you actually have to invest, not just talk. (Time expired)