Maldon-Dombarton

Mr STEPHEN JONES (Whitlam) (13:45): There was a time when this parliament was fascinated with nothing more than the building of infrastructure. But, sadly, that time has passed, and we discovered yesterday in Senate estimates exactly why that is the case. Yesterday we discovered that this government has imposed a 35 per cent cut on its own infrastructure budget. That is $33 billion that they told Australians they were going to spend on infrastructure, but now they are not going to do that.

Mr Deputy Speaker Coulton, if you look at the document, you will see that, in the year 2019-20, there will not be one single cent spent on rail infrastructure. Now, that should matter to all Australians, but it matters deeply to the people in my electorate and throughout the Illawarra because since 1988 we have been waiting on a government to complete the Maldon-Dombarton rail link. It was commissioned by the Wran Labor government in 1983 and then cancelled by the Greiner government in 1988.

In government, Labor committed to $25 million toward the design and engineering works to get the project back up and running. We commissioned the New South Wales government to do that work. It is time this government, a federal Liberal government, leant on the New South Wales Liberal government to get the job done and to get the work underway, because in Senate estimates yesterday we heard that there has been an unacceptable delay, and it will be months and months and months before Infrastructure Australia can get some straight answers from New South Wales— (Time expired)

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