Motions - Infrastructure

I thank the member for Lalor for bringing forward this very important motion. The member has perfectly summarised what we know all too well about this very tired Liberal government. They simply cannot be trusted to keep their promises. Over the past eight years Australians have been served a banquet of neglect from this government with course after course of empty promises and empty pledges, leaving Australians hungry and disappointed. This has been most keenly felt across infrastructure.

The Liberal government, the self-proclaimed economic managers and trusted leaders of the nation's finances, have been stinging the Australian public to the tune of $7.4 billion over their term in office so far. How do we know this? As revealed in September's final budget outcome, we now know that over the past 12 months alone this government has underspent on its own infrastructure promises to the tune of $656 million just in the past 12 months. In the eight years of scandal-ridden listless Liberal governments through six iterations of leadership and backstabbing, Australians have missed out on $7.4 billion worth of promises. That's $7.4 billion that was guaranteed by this government that Australians voted on that has not been delivered. That's money that should have gone to electorates like mine which are in dire need of infrastructure upgrades. It's more announcements, no delivery. That's the legacy of this Liberal government, particularly when it comes to Tasmania where it has a history of overpromising and underdelivering on road infrastructure.

The $25 million Urban Congestion Fund promised in 2019 is still untouched. The so-called new funding for the Bass and Midlands highways announced this year has been repackaged from previous years. Under eight years of Liberal government, the Midland Highway project still isn't finished and what they have done is completely substandard, thanks to the Liberal government in Tasmania failing to manage the project. And the $461 million Bridgewater Bridge in my electorate promised in 2018 still hasn't been built. That's part of the fantasy that is the Hobart City Deal—again: announced, not delivered.

If this government actually cared about Tasmanian roads they'd be offering support for the Tasman Highway on the east coast and to fix Arthur Highway like Labor did at the last election. But they won't, and the reason is simple: the Liberal government does not care about infrastructure in Tasmania. They will fudge the numbers. They will rort and pork-barrel and repackage old promises, but when push comes to shove we know they are just not up to the job. They have spectacularly failed to deliver their promises.

We can just go to the bushfire disaster fund, a $4 billion fund that the Prime Minister announced nearly two years ago—not touched. We can go to the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund, a $5 billion fund. Hardly any of that money's been touched at all. In fact, reports show $334,000 in separations and redundancies and that eight of the fund's 28 staff are paid more than $230,000—plenty of money for the back end of the administration, but no money for infrastructure.

Australians deserve a government that is true to its word. Instead, we've got a PM who can't be trusted, who can't be believed; a PM who announces but doesn't deliver, who takes credit but never takes responsibility. We need a government that is committed to building back stronger, and we need a Prime Minister with the resolve and the passion to make it a reality. An Anthony Albanese Labor government will restore public faith in leadership and in politics by doing just that: delivering on Labor promises like our housing future fund to deliver 20,000 homes to those in need, like our Australian skills guarantee to ensure one in 10 workers on major government projects are cadets, apprentices or trainees and like our plan to rewire the nation and upgrade the Liberal's mangled NBN so that Australians everywhere can access the internet. Labor's vision is for a future made in Australia and infrastructure for all Australians.