Michael Sukkar MP

Federal Member for Deakin.
Minister for Housing & Assistant Treasurer.
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Victorian Election: The Future of Our State

I rise to speak on an issue of utmost concern to all Victorians—the future of our state. This Saturday, people in Victoria will go to the polls and they will be presented with a stark choice. On one hand, we have the strong, stable Napthine coalition government with a proven track record of delivering jobs, growth and opportunity and the biggest modernisation plan in Victoria’s history. On the other hand is the rabble that is the state Labor opposition with its legacy of delivering dud projects. Who can forget the desal plant, the north-south pipeline, smart meters and myki, to name just a few? It is led by Dan Andrews—or Daniel Andrews or Andrew Daniels—who is led by his militant CFMEU mates.

It is impossible to overstate what is at stake on Saturday—it is the future of my home state of Victoria. Over the past four years, the Napthine government has been at hard work building a better Victoria by strengthening the economy to help create more jobs, building a world-class transport network, ensuring that we have 21st century schools and hospitals and making stronger and safer communities. The coalition has also delivered the best financial results in more than a decade with a $2 billion surplus in 2013-14 and has maintained the AAA credit rating to ensure the economy continues to grow, attracting investment and, importantly, more jobs.

The coalition has delivered record results for on-time trains and trams and is slashing fares as a result. They will build the long-awaited Airport Rail Link, amongst many other road and public transport projects. The coalition has also delivered a record $15 billion for hospitals and health services and is building 24 new schools with major upgrades to many others. One of the more popular initiatives of this government has been the 1700 Protective Service Officers on the public transport network, so that people feel safe as they go to and from work or other commitments.

It is clear therefore that the coalition has delivered in the last four years. In Melbourne’s east, in my electorate of Deakin, the coalition has started construction on the $66 million upgrade of the Ringwood train station. The notorious Mitcham and Rooks Road level crossings are now just a bad memory with the Blackburn Road level crossing slated for an upgrade soon. And businesses and families alike are eagerly awaiting the East West Link and the reduced travel times, 7000 new jobs and productivity boost that it will give the Victorian economy.

By contrast, what does Labor have to offer? We know they are not offering the East West Link. Dan Andrews has vowed to tear up the contracts, costing Victorian taxpayers over a $1billion in compensation claims and $3 billion of lost federal funding. In my view such reckless behaviour gives us an insight that the Labor Party in Victoria only governs for those who live in the handful of inner-city electorates that are at risk from the Greens, all at the expense of those of us who live in the outer suburbs.

If Labor cannot be trusted to honour a contract to build the East west Link, they cannot be trusted to manage the budget or the economy. ‘Desal Dan’, as he is known in my parts, still thinks a desalination plan—that costs Victorian taxpayers $1.8 million a day for 27 years without providing a drop of water—is a good idea. Victorians cannot afford to afford to risk a Labor government with a premier who is happy to have union thugs represented in his cabinet and is willing to sell out the interests of workers and taxpayers to the dictates of the CFMEU. Victorians cannot afford to risk a Labor government that has made the reckless promise of $33 billion, without any explanation to date on how it is to be funded and the centrepiece of their election strategy is their promise to upgrade 50 railway level crossings.

In three years the coalition has completed 18 grade separations. How many did Labor do in 11 years? Eight. It will only take 70 years for the Labor Party on this track record to remove the 50 level crossings they have promised. In Labor we outsource our democracy to the bosses of the CFMEU—(Time expired)