Transcript: Albanese Labor Government’s infrastructure cuts

JOINT DOORSTOP INTERVIEW WITH SHADOW INFRASTRUCTURE MINISTER SENATOR BRIDGET MCKENZIE

MELISSA MCINTOSH MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR ENERGY AFFORABILITY
SHADOW MINISTER FOR WESTERN SYDNEY
FEDERAL MEMBER FOR LINDSAY

 

SENATOR THE HON BRIDGET MCKENZIE

SHADOW MINISTER FOR INFRASTRUCTURE, TRANSPORT AND REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT
LEADER OF THE NATIONALS IN THE SENATE
SENATOR FOR VICTORIA

 

Tuesday, 30 April 2024

 

Subjects: Visit to Kemps Creek; Albanese Labor Government’s infrastructure cuts; Western Sydney Airport; Migration pressures to Western Sydney; Labor’s broken promise to fast-track Dunheved Road

 

Melissa McIntosh

The Shadow Infrastructure Minister and I are standing here in Western Sydney yet again because Labor has cut funding $15 million that they were meant to commit along with the NSW Government to upgrade roads around Western Sydney Airport just like this road. It has potholes. It is in severe need of an upgrade, but Labor's cut the funding. So, we're here today, because we want this funding back for Western Sydney residents.

Bridget McKenzie

Absolutely. Jim Chalmers and Catherine King have a job to do. If they want to see Western Sydney and Greater Western Sydney thrive in coming decades, nearly three million Australians are choosing to make this region home. It's the place to be, and yet they've cut two and a half billion dollars’ worth of funding. Now last week you will have heard senior shadow ministers from Western Sydney, eight local MPs from this region claim that Labor had increased funding to Western Sydney. Well, the reality is that Labor has cut 2.5 billion of funding from road projects, just like the ones behind us, for this growing region. And they're trying to spin it that they're investing. I mean, it's just classic Labor Party. They've cut $2.5 billion, whilst putting $500 million in. And it's the planning projects for these type of roads, the connectivity that this community needs to the airport. airport, into the CBD and to the Great West beyond for them to really realise the potential for Greater Western Sydney. You're dealing with the migration pressures right now from the Labor Party government here in this region as they bring in hundreds of thousands of new arrivals without investing in basic road and rail infrastructure.

Melissa McIntosh

I find it quite extraordinary that Catherine King, the Minister again has written to the media put out an op -ed today not from Western Sydney but back in Victoria. She does this all the time and she's making claims around infrastructure investment. One of those is Dunheved Road. Dunheved Road is a commitment that I made and fought for when we were in government, and Labor at the last election in 2022 promised to fast -track the upgrade to Dunheved Road. but now we are a year and a half behind schedule and she's putting in an oped as though it's an achievement, it's quite extraordinary.

Bridget McKenzie

It beggar's belief the Labor Party can say their increasing funding can talk about fast tracking projects. When you look at the budget papers, when you look at the facts, it tells a very different story. So, Jim Chalmers, Catherine King, Western Sydney is looking to both of you to actually make good on your word, invest in the projects that this community needs to grow and thrive, and stop using coalition-funded money to back your false promises in.

Melissa McIntosh

People at Western Sydney absolutely deserve better.

Bridget McKenzie

They absolutely deserve better than a minister that's loose with the truth, a grade two mathematics can tell you that cutting $2 .5 billion doesn't equal increased money at all. In fact, it's a severe loss from this community. She also in that op -ed spoke about the local MPs are always talking about the projects they need, that there needs to be a future focus. In the meanwhile, she's cut all the projects that were in planning. planning. So, there is no future to be planned under Catherine King and Anthony Albanese's Western Sydney plan which is devastating.

Melissa McIntosh

Just not too far from here is the M7 M12 interchange, it needs an upgrade, these are all linked together and funding for that has been cut, yet Catherine King spoke about that [in the oped]. She also spoke about the rail line going from St Marys not too long ago to the airport. The actual station itself, the upgrade of the station was cut. So, every single project that she is talking up is under the axe when it comes to the Labor government.

Bridget McKenzie

You can't trust Labor to manage projects or your money, and you deserve better Greater Western Sydney.

Melissa McIntosh

There has been cut after cut when it comes to infrastructure spending from this Labor Government, and the people of Western Sydney deserve better.

Journalist

Penrith is expected to have such a big tourist boom with the coming Western Sydney Airport, but then we see road infrastructure being cut with that Airport, why is it so important to have such infrastructure?

Melissa McIntosh

We are a growing city, and the surrounds that you can see now is a high traffic area and it’s only going to increase. We want people to come visit our local community when they come to the Airport, not just drive up the M4 to the Blue Mountains. We can only do that if we have the infrastructure to support it, but not only that, locals have needed these upgrades for years and the Coalition made a commitment, we had the money there. For example, Dunheved Road, the money is there. Labor came along at the last election and said if they get into government they will fast-track this road, they promised our community that. But now we are a year and a half behind schedule. So that is just one example. We have Western Sydney Airport coming in and it is absolutely crucial that communities like ours across Western Sydney have they have the infrastructure that they deserve and have been promised by this Labor Government.

Bridget McKenzie

I think the community needs it. It’s too late to try to start building roads after the houses are built, after people are trying to get kids to school, going to and from work, export products to market through the Airport that is opening in a couple of years. The time to do it is now, and unfortunately this government has cut the planning money. So, this is for projects that are going to be delivered over the coming decade – you got to get the plan first. If you cut that, if you cut that you actually cut the pipeline of projects for this community that they need and deserve for the coming decades. I think it’s going to make things even worse in the short to medium term than better. And that is why Labor has taken greater Western Sydney for granted for too long and they need to vote Liberal at the next election to actually get the infrastructure investment they need and deserve.

Melissa McIntosh

They haven’t only taken Western Sydney for granted; they just don’t care.

Bridget McKenzie

I think with those senior Ministers and local [Labor] MP’s saying that funding had increased last week in the in the Daily Telegraph, when factually it hasn’t, just shows the disregard they have and that they think they can just spin their way out of this.

Melissa McIntosh

I’d like to add that the other end of Dunheved Road is the Werrington Arterial planning money that was really important because Dunheved Road is just one piece of the puzzle, we need further upgrades across the community, and that planning money has also been cut. So not only is it go-slow on Dunheved Road, but it’s also cut the futureproofing of our community with a growing population.

[Ends]

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