Road Infrastructure

Ms WELLS (Lilley) (17:36): Almost six months ago, the Reserve Bank governor urged the Morrison government to get infrastructure projects shovel-ready. That is a forewarning the governor has repeated seven times since the election. I don't need this warning and I know my peers here don't need this warning from the RBA governor to know that Australia's economy is in trouble. I hear it every week from my constituents on the north side of Brisbane, who are struggling to pay for both food and medicine at the same time or to have anything left for Christmas presents after they have paid childcare fees and power bills.

Despite all the confected fanfare of the past fortnight, the actual funding being brought forward in infrastructure for Queensland is less than a quarter of the total package promised. This continues the government's disappointing record on infrastructure. We know that, in the 2018-19 financial year, the Morrison government did not spend a cent from the Urban Congestion Fund. They have spent $17 million of taxpayers' funds on advertising the Urban Congestion Fund, but not a cent on actual urban roads.

The Australian economy needs responsible, proportionate and measured stimulus, not an ad man with no plan. We have seen zero dollars actually promised or spent from the Morrison government on federal infrastructure in my electorate of Lilley. Not a cent has been spent. Out of the 30 projects in the planning stage for Queensland, none of them are planned for the residents of Lilley, despite Brisbane's north side being a booming growth corridor.

The Morrison government has said that Gympie Road, which goes through Lilley and Petrie, will receive $16 million a year for three years for lane augmentation and safety. Go on, I say. In Senate estimates, it was revealed that only the constituents of Petrie—the LNP's Luke Howarth's electorate—will benefit from this investment: 'Deidre Chambers, what a coincidence!' In fact, like the member for Chifley before me has said, The Australian has commented, and reviewed the 'Roads cash splash' as 'a win for Coalition seats':

Coalition seats are the big winners out of Scott Morrison’s $3.8bn in accelerated and new infrastructure spending, while the key battleground states of Queensland and Western Australia will receive the bulk of the funding.

However, in Queensland, it is a cavalcade of LNP seats that are actually going to receive the money: Cunningham Highway upgrade, Maranoa, coalition seat; roads upgrade for the Hinkler Regional Deal, Hinkler, coalition seat; North Brisbane, Bruce Highway western alternative, the seats of Longman, Dickson and Petrie. It is hard when planning infrastructure on the north side of Brisbane to avoid Lilley to get to Dickson, Longman and Petrie, but they have managed it, and credit to them for being that sneaky.

In December 2018, Scott Morrison, Peter Dutton and Michael McCormack stood on the side of the road in the rain in northern Brisbane and promised $100 million to the Linkfield Road Overpass upgrade. We are now one year on and the status of that project, by admission of the federal government's own website, is: 'Not started'. It is not even in the planning stage. It says, 'Not started'. Yet just a few weeks ago, Scott Morrison had the bravado to come back to Queensland and wave around more promises of accelerated infrastructure spending. What he failed to mention was that, of the $2.8 billion in funding for the bundle of five Queensland projects, only $225.6 million is actually being brought forward. This announcement was tricky, it was misleading and it wasn't good enough.

One of the Morrison government's favourite excuses is that roads and infrastructure are a state issue and not their responsibility, but just this weekend a number of constituents, including Roy and Marlene, came to my mobile offices in McDowall and Aspley and expressed their concerns that the Morrison LNP government and the LNP Brisbane City Council are teaming up to force a four- to six-lane motorway straight through quiet bushland in McDowall, Bridgeman Downs and Chermside West. The communities in McDowall, Bridgeman Downs and Chermside West live amongst the tranquil bushland and peaceful streets specifically because they have chosen this area to raise their young families or enjoy their retirement. They moved to the area specifically to avoid traffic and four- to six-lane motorways. They're now being told the Morrison government wants to put a motorway right through their bushland.

Why wasn't anybody asked about this? The Morrison government has completely bypassed the Queensland state government to give the LNP city council $10 million to do a case study on the feasibility of putting a motorway through bushland in what is a state corridor. It is absurd. The residents of McDowall, Bridgeman Downs and Chermside West rightfully have a lot of questions for their LNP representatives.

The federal government are happy to point the finger, play the blame game and say the state government is not doing enough, but I don't have a lot of patience for hearing what the states need to be doing when the federal government aren't listening to my constituents on the north side about what they actually want or need. We need infrastructure now, and we ask this federal government to do it.