ANDREW GILES MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CITIES AND URBAN INFRASTRUCTURE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR MULTICULTURAL AFFAIRS
SHADOW MINISTER ASSISTING FOR IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP
MEMBER FOR SCULLIN
PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA
SUBJECTS: Morrison’s Rail Park Fail; Sports Rorts; Safer Seats rorts; Airport Land rorts.
ANDREW GILES, SHADOW MINISTER FOR CITIES AND URBAN INFRASTRUCTURE: Today's front page of the Herald Sun blows the whistle on Scott Morrison's rail park fail.
Before the last election, Scott Morrison promised millions of suburban commuters better parking at train stations and what he's done instead is take them all for a ride. This is the Prime Minister who is always about the photo up, never about the follow through.
These are announcements that we're never going to come to pass. Two years after the last election, 30 station car parks were promised, just two have been completed, some are never going to be completed, including that in South Morang in my electorate. Mernda line commuters have been sold an absolute pup and voters around Australia in the suburbs who rely on station car parking have been treated with absolute contempt by the Minister. What makes this even worse is to read in the paper today, Liberal sources admitting shamelessly - that this was all about sandbagging marginal seats, all about keeping people like the Treasurer and the then Minister for Urban Infrastructure, Alan Tudge, in the Parliament. While pretending to care about people's commute, a commute that matters so much to Australians health and well-being and the functioning of our economy.
That's why I've referred this to the Auditor General, it's vital that he gets to the bottom of this appalling rort from this government, which has already delivered sport rorts, safer communities rorts, and the appalling purchase of the Leppington triangle, the $27 million more than it was valued for. The Auditor General is spending too much time looking into this government, that's why his funding is being cut. But Labor will get to the bottom of this and I will always stand up for suburban commuters.
JOURNALIST: Are you concerned by the increasing trend in elections of having these kind of announceable projects to go to in marginal seats? Is that a kind of an element of our political culture that really should be there? Should we really be operating like that?
GILES: It's the hallmark of the Morrison government. When Labor was last in government, Anthony Albanese as Infrastructure Minister established Infrastructure Australia to deal with exactly this, to ensure that infrastructure should be funded based on need, not on political convenience. We're seeing the need to do more of this right across the work that government does, through all these grants programs that have been consistently rorted to the benefit of Liberal and National MPs, not to the benefit of the Australian community.
JOURNALIST: We've seen as you mentioned now a lot of these projects not going through, of the ones that did go through are they mainly in Liberal marginal seats?
GILES: Well, only two have been completed one is in a marginal seat, and the other one is in a Liberal seat. So we're not seeing commuters get the value that they are entitled to, or the promise that was made.
JOURNALIST: There seems to be a pattern of behaviour, isn't it? We've got, you know, sports rorts with Bridget McKenzie. There are allegations around Peter Dutton as well, this is a Liberal Government that just can't distinguish public money from party money?
GILES: That's exactly right. We're seeing the Morison government use the resources of the Australian Government to ensure the re-election of Liberal and National Party members instead of benefit to the Australian community. That's why it is so concerning to see time and time again, projects rorted for private benefit, for private benefit of a political party.
Trust in government is so important. Right now, we're about to go through the critical exercise in trust, in terms of the vaccine rollout. What we need to do is build that trust in government so Australians can have a government that is on their side.
JOURNALIST: Is the government given or Liberal MPs given any reason for this hold up?
GILES: Well I'm hoping in the parliament today, the new Minister for Urban Infrastructure, Paul Fletcher will stand up and explain this and perhaps he can also explain what happened in terms of the $30 million purchase of the Leppington triangle land while he was then the Minister.