SATURDAY, 29 JANUARY 2022
SUBJECTS: Camerons Lane interchange; Morrison-Joyce Government failure to deliver; koalas.
ROB MITCHELL, MEMBER FOR MCEWEN: Well first, let’s acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet, to pay respects to elders past, present and emerging. And I want to just start by saying thank you for everyone for coming today because this is so important, today’s announcement. Particularly to have my good friends Anthony Albanese and Catherine King here along with Mitchell Shire and City of Whittlesea. This is a project that we’re all working hard to get and it’s going to be so exciting for our future. The good thing is that people know that when we make a promise we deliver it. It’s something that we’re known for and it is because we work collaboratively together. So I won’t hold up, but I really want to thank Anthony and Catherine for being here today. And I’ll hand over to Anthony Albanese, the next Prime Minister of this nation.
ANTHONY ALBANESE, LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY: Well, thanks very much, Rob. It’s great to be in Melbourne’s north for this exciting announcement. $150 million to build the Camerons Lane interchange here at Beveridge. This is an exciting project and this morning, I’ve got to see just how big the growth is in this region. And what this project is about is unlocking jobs, unlocking the potential of this region to drive jobs and to drive growth. This project alone will create 2000 direct and indirect jobs just during construction, but more importantly, it has the potential to unlock 30,000 homes and 20,000 jobs here in Melbourne north. What we need to do is to make sure as a nation, we build infrastructure in advance or at the same time at least, as when the growth is occurring. Too often we haven’t learned the lessons, we’ve had growth in our outer suburbs not matched by infrastructure investment. I was as the Infrastructure Minister absolutely committed to prioritising funding in our regions and in our growth suburbs. And this growth area here needs support of the Federal Government and that is what we will provide with this announcement today. It’s an exciting announcement and I want to congratulate the Councils on putting forward such a coherent and substantial submission and doing a lot of the work. $10 million of this will go towards the detailed planning, to make sure it’s ready to go. But I also want to congratulate Rob Mitchell. Rob Mitchell is a great local member for this community. He’s a champion of this community, and he’s always standing up for it. And he is someone who will deliver for the people of McEwen, he’s done so from Opposition, and he will certainly do so as part of a Labor Government.
CATHERINE KING, SHADOW MINISTER FOR INFRASTRUCTURE, TRANSPORT AND REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Thanks Anthony and it is terrific to be here once again, at Beveridge. It was almost a year ago now I stood in this very spot, with the then Mayor and our fantastic member here for McEwen, Rob Mitchell. And it’s terrific here to have Anthony making this announcement. All of the houses and the development you see on the left wasn’t here a year ago. And if you drive just a little bit further along the road, you can see all of the planning work starting for up to 30,000 homes in this community. Unlocking 2000 jobs in construction, but the possibility of 30,000 jobs for this region into the future. It is nation building at its best. It is Labor trying to make life better for working families in this country by building infrastructure in advance of development, so we’re not trying to retrofit it afterwards, when people are stuck in congestion or not able to get onto the highway at all. This is very important for this region. I want to thank Mitchell Shire and the City of Whittlesea for being such outstanding advocates. This is their number one priority project. And we look forward to delivering it in partnership with the Victorian State Government. Thank you.
BILL CHISHOLM, MITCHELL SHIRE COUNCIL: This is a real game changer for Mitchell currently, we are at 50,000 people were going to grow to 170,000 in the next 20 years. You need the infrastructure in a timely manner. I would really like to think Anthony Albanese and Rob Mitchell for this announcement today. Thank you very much.
LYDIA WILSON, CITY OF WHITTLESEA: On behalf of the City of Whittlesea I can only echo the comments that have already been made. This is just an incredible announcement, particularly in terms of housing and local employment. And the benefits are not just for the City of Mitchell, but for much greater. So we’re really thrilled thank you again.
ALBANESE: Thanks very much happy to take questions.
JOURNALIST: I stood just up the road with Catherine and Rob nearly a year ago (inaudible). What kind of assurances can you give that this will be underway if you are elected and is there any timeline for shovel to ground?
KING: The money for this project will be in Labor’s first budget and I am absolutely committed to working constructively, as opposed to what this Morrison Government does in war against the Victorian State Government, working constructively with the Victorian State Government to deliver this project. It was a year ago. And it’s almost I think now Rob will remind me three years ago that this Morrison Government made the promise around the Wallan Interchange. We know we’ve seen it across the country that they make promises that they never, ever deliver on. We’ve seen that with the urban congestion fund, the rorted car parks fund, project after project that just will never ever happen, all because they are all about the photo op and never ever about the delivery. And I might ask Rob as the local to give some perspective on that project.
MITCHELL: The Wallan Interchange was a commitment that we made, that if we were elected at the last election, we worked very hard and got the former Deputy Prime Minister’s commitment to funding it. But what we’ve seen, the one consistency we’ve seen from this Government is all announcement, no delivery. Unlike Labor that has delivered every single promise we have made to the people of McEwen, the Liberal Party have delivered none. And we need to get this done. The work that’s being done at the moment is the detailed planning being finished off the bridge works, all that sort of stuff from the Victorian Government. But the hold up again, is nothing from the Federal Government. So the commitments we make we deliver. You’ve seen that right throughout the Shire, with the super clinic, everything that we’ve put in place, everything we’ve promised, we have got done, and this will be no different. And I think the commitment that we’re going to be putting the money in the first budget is a very big one. And a confidence booster for people to know that when Labor makes a promise we deliver on it, unlike what we see with the Morrison Government.
ALBANESE: Thanks, can I make this comment as well, there’s a pattern of behavior with this Government. And it’s about making promises and then saying it’s over a decade. We saw it again yesterday with the Great Barrier Reef, whereby they made a big splash in the paper. And then you actually had the Environment Minister on radio yesterday morning saying, ‘oh, we can’t tell you even though it’s on the front page of newspapers, what the detail is, because we haven’t made the announcement yet’. Because it was all off in the never-never. All announcement, no delivery. They haven’t even delivered on the previous commitments they’ve made with regard to the Great Barrier Reef. And we see it again today with koalas. Now. We all think koalas are cuddly. And we all want to save them. But guess what, you need to take action on climate change if you’re going to save koalas. You need to take action on climate change if you are going to protect the Great Barrier Reef. And in yesterday’s announcement, and media release on the Great Barrier Reef the Government didn’t use the term climate change, not once. It’s just extraordinary that this Government just doesn’t get it. It’s all announcement, no delivery, whether it’s infrastructure, whether it’s protecting the environment, whether it be education or health. This is a Government that are asking for a second decade in office that haven’t delivered on its commitments that they made before the last election. But they say ‘just give us another crack, give us another three years and we’ll get around to it’. Well, when I was Infrastructure Minister, we made commitments and we delivered on them, we delivered on them, and we delivered on completing the duplication to Hume, we delivered our major infrastructure here in Victoria, in partnership with local government, in partnership with state government. And today’s announcement is consistent with that. We will deliver not just make the announcement.
ALBANESE, KING & MITCHELL – TRANSCRIPT – DOORSTOP INTERVIEW – BEVERIDGE – SATURDAY, 29 JANUARY 2022