PM’s department evades question on Brian Houston’s White House invite – politics live | Australia news

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Mr Speaker, as members opposite would know, the program and schedule of projects, which the government pursues, one that is put together in partnership with the states and territories as we seek to implement that plan.

And, Mr Speaker, and indeed whether it’s with local government even on projects that we pursue, our job is to ensure that we provide the allocation of the funds and to set the priority projects and to sit down with the state and territory governments.

Now those opposite would know, and in particular the leader of the opposition would know, from his time when he served as a minister for infrastructure, that the scheduling of projects is set out together with the states and territories and the profile for the delivery of those projects is often revised based on the advice provided by those states and territories.

And that is why the changes in the schedule arrive as they have. I’d make this point, though. Under our government, this year we will spend around $10bn on infrastructure. That is what is budged to be spent in this very financial year. All around the country.

Now, Mr Speaker, that’s almost double, almost double, what we inherited from the Labor party when we came to government and the leader of the opposition, who sits at the table now, I think from memory, and I’ll be happy to stand corrected on this figure, but I understand the figure at that time was around $6bn.

And so this year we’re spending $10bn or thereabouts just slightly less than that, and the reason we’re doing that is because two budgets ago we decided to put in place the $75bn pipeline of projects over 10 years, and in the last budget, recognising the difficult situation that we’re facing in the global economy, we increased that pipeline of investments over the next 10 years $100bn.

We upped it, Mr Speaker, because we knew that’s what the Australian economy would need just not now but over the next 10 years and, more importantly than that, we have the budget discipline and the budget to back those sorts of commitments up.

So, Mr Speaker, the reason for any change in schedules is not because of the lack of fiscal capacity or discipline because of this government but because of any changes to scheduling that is done in relation to our negotiations with the states and territories.

Well, I know from those opposite when they’re in government the reason they cut defence spending the reason they don’t list pharmaceuticals, the reason they have to [insert] flood levies and all these things is because they never know how to manage money. Australians knew they could trust this government to deliver and manage money.



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