Entitled Liberals doing nothing for WA

Published on Thursday, 02 March 2017 16:26

Last year demand in the WA economy shrank nearly eight per cent. We have the highest unemployment in the country. Underemployment is at the highest level ever recorded. Employment participation is at the lowest level ever recorded. We desperately need any investment in productive infrastructure, and from the Western Australian Liberals and from the coalition-Liberal combo we have had nothing—absolutely zero.

Mr Wilson (4:26pm) — I am so sorry that I do not have my full five minutes or much longer, because there are so many things the member for Tangney has said that I would like to respond to. He should get in contact with the former Treasurer and former Minister for Transport—one of about 17 ministers for transport in the current Western Australian government—and ask him about the project that he has just been talking about. The Perth Freight Link is an absolute fraud. It was announced before Infrastructure Australia ever caught sight of it. It was not assessed by Infrastructure Australia in advance of its announcement. There was never a cost-benefit ratio analysis. There was never any planning, and there still is not. We have learnt this week from Infrastructure Australia that a detailed project proposal beyond Roe 8 has not even been received and that Commonwealth funding certainly is not going to be provided.

Let us get to productive infrastructure more broadly. Despite nine years of government at the state level and a healthy complement of federal coalition representatives, Western Australia has been left to fall off the cliff when it comes to new productive infrastructure. That is neglect and incompetence on a grand scale and at a terrible time. The Treasurer and the foreign minister come in here and try to tell Western Australians that things are going great guns in WA, but anyone who has ever been on the other side of the Nullarbor would know that that is not true. Last year demand in the WA economy shrank nearly eight per cent. We have the highest unemployment in the country. Underemployment is at the highest level ever recorded. Employment participation is at the lowest level ever recorded. We desperately need any investment in productive infrastructure, and from the Western Australian Liberals and from the coalition-Liberal combo we have had nothing—absolutely zero.

All we get now are threats from the Minister for Urban Infrastructure that if, God forbid, the people of Western Australia dare choose another government, they will withhold Commonwealth funds. I look forward to campaigning in coalition-held seats in Western Australia on that promise—less than nothing for the people of WA. We will see how that goes for you next time. It is going to be a great campaign. We are going to love it.

I think the member for Fairfax asked for some facts. The former Labor government invested more in public transport than all previous governments combined. In the lowest year of a former Labor government we invested more in infrastructure than this lot have invested in their best year. We doubled infrastructure funding on a per capita basis in Western Australia. Federal Labor and state Labor have a vision when it comes to productive infrastructure in that state. We want the Kwinana trade coast developed. We want the second stage of the floating dock at the Australian Marine Complex. We want METRONET. All of these things will unlock productivity and create jobs in Western Australia.

The coalition believes it is entitled to govern and to represent Western Australia in perpetuity. The foreign minister said today in question time that the Liberal government should never change—it should never be varied from—and that she wants a one-party state in Western Australia.

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