Joanne Ryan MP
Federal Member for Lalor
Joanne Ryan MP

M80 Western Ring Road Upgrade

I rise this morning to speak about infrastructure in Victoria. We have had the Prime Minister down in Victoria a few times over the last few months, talking about congestion and tweeting from Punt Road; running an A-frame and adding to the congestion on Victorian roads, and erroneously and defiantly claiming that Labor, both state and federal, do not care about transport. And yet the truth of the matter, when you look at the figures, is very clear. It is very clear that this Prime Minister, although he claims to be the Prime Minister for infrastructure, is anything but the Prime Minister for infrastructure.

In Victoria we know this because the federal government will not be making a contribution to the Melbourne Metro, even though Infrastructure Australia has it as its No. 1 priority. We know it because we are finally going to get the upgrade to the Western Ring Road. The Western Ring Road is something that people in my electorate use regularly; they are often caught in what is left of the tangle because this government stopped the funding to complete the upgrade of the Western Ring Road when they came into power. That is right—it would have been finished some time ago but for this government. Now this government would like to take questions in question time on the $150 million they are going to contribute, as if they are doing Victoria a favour—as if we missed the fact that although we have 25 per cent of the population in Victoria, we are only getting eight per cent of infrastructure spending across the next four years.

People in Victoria—people in Lalor—are wise to this Prime Minister. They are wise to the broken promises. They are wise to the fact that he will say and do anything to make the people of Australia believe that he is going to do something only to, weeks later, turn around and do the exact opposite. I welcome the Victorian Labor government's commitment to completing the upgrade of the M80 Western Ring Road, where we are slowed to two lanes. I welcome this work going ahead, and everyone in my electorate welcomes this work going ahead, because it is Melbourne's second-busiest highway and it needs to be completed; this upgrade needs to be completed. We need the Whitten bridge to be widened. We need that bottleneck to be removed. But it is no thanks to this so-called Prime Minister of infrastructure, because he has reduced the federal contribution that will be made in Victoria and has committed only eight per cent of the infrastructure spend over the next four years to Victoria. Why he is treating Victoria so unfairly, I will leave for the Prime Minister to answer.


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