Federal Parliament - Perth Freight Link

22 February 2021

Dr ALYI have to start by reiterating the observation there by the member for Burt, that the WA federal Liberal members had an opportunity to come out here and talk about the infrastructure needs for each of their electorates and each one of them, bar the member for Stirling, absolutely failed to take that opportunity. Sometimes it's the things you don't say that speak more about your values and what you care about than the things you do say. So, I really want this observation on record: that they had an opportunity to come here, they had an opportunity to stand up for their electorates, to talk about the infrastructure needs in their electorates and to stand up for the people they are charged to represent, and they absolutely failed to do that.

I'd like to also take the opportunity to thank the member for Fremantle for bringing this motion on the Perth freight link project to the House, because it is a very important motion. What the member's motion really speaks to is the legacy of the previous, Liberal Barnett government in WA, who squandered taxpayer money on a range of vanity projects without actually delivering much-needed infrastructure to Western Australians. I'm pleased to see that the McGowan Labor government has since picked up a lot on that. You only need to drive through WA to see the massive amount of expenditure the WA government has put into developing much-needed infrastructure throughout the various electorates.

I want to talk a little bit about the northern suburbs and the needs for infrastructure in those suburbs. In particular, the thing that lands on my desk time and time again, the thing that people keep calling up about, is none other than the infrastructure needed for the internet and the NBN. In the years since I was elected, since 2016, NBN infrastructure has been the one constant throughout that whole time. Issues come and go, and campaigns come and go, and people change the things that are priorities to them. But the one constant has been the lack of NBN in suburbs like Greenwood and Gnangara in my electorate. Just yesterday I got an email from the Peacheys, who live in Gnangara and who still don't have NBN. They still don't have any internet in Gnangara, which is actually not a very residential suburb; it's actually an industrial area of my electorate. Now, if you can't even deliver NBN to businesses, how do you expect to get the economy back on track after COVID? How do you expect people to have jobs? How do you expect businesses to thrive if they don't even have access to the internet?

But it's not just on the NBN. The federal Liberal government has failed to deliver to people in the northern suburbs of Perth on a grand scale.

We've been very fortunate. My colleagues have spoken a lot about the successes of the Mark McGowan government in Western Australia, and we do have an election coming up in a couple of weeks time, but one of the things that you can observe is that the McGowan government has actually picked up the slack on a lot of the broken promises and failures of delivery on things the federal government is supposed to have achieved as they had promised.

This federal government had promised the people of Cowan a training hub in Wanneroo—that's what they'd promised. I note that they'd also promised one in the member for Burt's electorate. I wrote to Minister Cash, asking for an explanation about where this training hub was, because it's critical infrastructure that would provide not just training services but a number of jobs for people in the northern suburbs. I was told that it would be all done by January. Well, January has come and gone; we're now heading into March—and still nothing.

Meanwhile, the McGowan government has come to the party. They've filled in that gap. They've delivered a whole range of reforms to training to make it easier for students and for people over the age of 21 to get into vocational education and training.

So, in closing, I reiterate the calls from my colleagues the member for Fremantle and the member for Burt for this government to stop ignoring Western Australians and for the Western Australian members, many of whom are senior, to stand up for their state.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER (Ms Bird): There being no further speakers, the debate is adjourned and the resumption of the debate will be made an order of the day for the next sitting.