Michael Sukkar MP

Federal Member for Deakin.
Minister for Housing & Assistant Treasurer.
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Question Time: $7.6 billion infrastructure investment

Mr SUKKAR (Deakin): My question is to the Assistant Minister Infrastructure and Regional Development. Will the minister update the House on the government’s $7.6 billion investment in much needed infrastructure in my home state of Victoria, and why it is so important that these projects proceed?

Mr BRIGGS (Mayo—Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development): I thank the member for Deakin for his question and congratulate him, along with the member for Casey, the member for Aston, the member for La Trobe and of course the member for Corangamite on the campaign they launched last week Dan Andrews, Build the Link. They have had over 10,000 signatures on their petition. We congratulate them, because we agree with them. We say, ‘Build the link, Dan Andrews,’ because we want the 7,000 construction jobs.

We want the much needed relief from congestion in Melbourne and we want to support the hollow man.

We want to support the Leader of the Opposition and the not one but two submissions that he put in to Sir Rod Eddington’s inquiry to build an east-west link in Melbourne. He made two submissions, one as the member of parliament for the western side of Melbourne and the other as the AWU boss that he once was.

All we ask from the Leader of the Opposition is that he have a consistent approach. All we say to the Leader of the Opposition is: have a consistent approach. We want not the documentary The Hollowmen that ran on the ABC a few years ago but a consistent approach. We want the 7,000 jobs that this will create.

It gets worse than that. It gets worse than the threat by the Daniel Andrews government to rip up a contract. As the Herald Sun reported last week, there is a risk of employers sacking staff from their jobs because they have not got their work because of this contract’s being ripped up. We now see that the Andrews government is threatening to legislate away the contractual rights of this company. Even the Leader of the Opposition would think that that is a step too far. Even the Leader of the Opposition would say that risking the credit rating of the state, with the damage that would do to international investment in our country and the fact that Lend Lease Australia’s only investment grade constructor will not work in the state ever again if it does this, is a step the Andrews government cannot take. But it is a step, we understand, it is willing to take.

It gets beyond politics. This gets beyond the job security of people in Victoria and across the country. It will not just be in Victoria. Following the advice of the member for Grayndler, Luke Foley and his opposition will rip up the WestConnex contract too. That is what they will do New South Wales. We know that because that is what they did in Victoria. There are 7,000 jobs gone in Victoria and 10,000 to go in Western Sydney. These people are a menace and they should be stopped.