I rise to place on the record the overwhelming sense of frustration that has emerged across Springwood in the past week. The Tuesday before last thousands of Springwood families tuned in to hear coalition Treasurer, Joe Hockey, deliver a budget. Unfortunately, it simply showed that the LNP, whether they are in Canberra or in Brisbane, are not interested in investing in job-creating and economy-building infrastructure in our community. For months before the last election the former LNP member for Springwood touted a plan to ‘fix the M1’. Remember the ‘re-elect the LNP or you get nothing’ campaign? What we saw though was a cruel hoax perpetrated by my predecessor who promised that if elected he would allocate funds to fix the M1.
Now we know the truth. With no contributory funding from the federal Liberal National coalition this project was never going to happen even if they were re-elected. It is just lucky that voters saw through the thinly veiled attempt at blackmail. We know those promises were on the basis of the sale of vital publicly owned assets. Asset sales have been overwhelmingly rejected by the community. The upgrade to the M1 and the South East Busway is a $2 billion project. It amounts to a nationally significant link in the national land transport network. Therefore, the primary funder is the federal government. Federal government inaction on this overdue project is hurting our local economy.
The Abbott government failed our local economy last week when it failed to announce funding to plan this project’s finalisation. This failure reinforces an unnecessary barrier between Springwood residents and their jobs and educational opportunities. What is worse though is that it keeps families apart. That is why I and every resident of my community who uses that road was looking for leadership from the federal government on this matter. This federal budget not only failed my community on infrastructure but also failed it on health, education and jobs.
Springwood residents refuse to have a gun held to their head on asset sales. These days there is apparent bipartisan support in this House for not selling income-generating assets so why then does the Abbott coalition continue to withhold federal infrastructure funding? Why is the only way to progress vital projects through its so-called Asset Recycling Fund? Such a philosophy has been rejected by the mums and dads and families of Springwood. On the other hand, this Palaszczuk government believes the people of Queensland deserve real new Commonwealth funding for infrastructure projects as opposed to concessional loans that may have a range of unknown and potentially restrictive conditions attached to them.
Nonetheless, we are willing to work with the Commonwealth to ensure Queensland gets its fair share of infrastructure funding. The residents of Springwood join an unreasonably congested highway every day, but we have heard nothing from those opposite. The people of Springwood and the electorates to the south will judge the Abbott government at the next federal election. They will judge it on whether it has even the slightest genuine interest in infrastructure projects, just as they judged those opposite who used to sit on this side of this House.