Regional Infrastructure Investment
1st June 2017
Mr GREG PIPER ( Lake Macquarie ) ( 13:24 :33 ): By leave: It was not my intention to contribute to this debate because there are other debates to take part in. However, the subject of the debate is very important to the 93 electorates across New South Wales. I acknowledge the positive element of the original motion from the member for Cootamundra and thank her for bringing it to the House. However, the motion could have been more generous in that it starts off with a word too often used by both sides of the House, "condemns". I do not think that is a particularly helpful word but I understand the politics behind it. Individual electorates are important and it would be remiss of me not to acknowledge the spend on infrastructure that has occurred under the Coalition Government since 2011. That is a statement of fact.
But there is certainly a strong element of truth in the amendment from the member for Wyong acknowledging that the Government has implemented reforms that have delivered the largest transfer of public assets to the private sector in the State's history. We are probably seeing one of the biggest rollouts of infrastructure in the history of New South Wales and I acknowledge that. It is wonderful. I actually have a different view as to how that could have been funded and whether it could been done by way of borrowings against the value of the assets rather than, to use the euphemistic term, recycling the assets. However, some very good infrastructure is being delivered in our local area and I will defend the member for Charlestown's contribution because the benefits of a number of infrastructure items for the entire area could be shared by the electorates of the members for Swansea, Charlestown, Wallsend, Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Cessnock. They are infrastructure projects such as the Lake Macquarie Transport Interchange.
All members, be they Opposition, Government or crossbench, and community or industry leaders, are baffled as to why infrastructure projects like this cannot get a guernsey. Although we understand from very strong rumour that there is a special gilding team that is out working in marginal government seats putting the gold leaf on certain projects, we have some fabulous projects in our area that will add to the great work being done in New South Wales generally. We would like to assist in those endeavours to provide jobs and improve the lifestyle of people across the State. At the same time it would be remiss of me not to acknowledge government expenditure in areas in my electorate. Good money has been spent through Roads and Maritime Services on road projects. I acknowledge the former Premier, Mike Baird, for assisting to deliver sewerage for people in my area, which will be very important for a whole range of reasons.
Website: Read full Parliamentary debate