Government Performance

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SpeakersSpeaker; O'Farrell Mr Barry; Keneally Ms Kristina
BusinessQuestions Without Notice, QWN

Page: 28724
[Question time commenced at 2.22 p.m.]

Mr BARRY O'FARRELL: I direct my question to the Premier. Given that over this term alone, her Government's financial incompetence and her political backflips have cost taxpayers $800 million on projects such as the failed Rozelle metro, Tcard, Tillegra Dam and electricity consultants, without a single new train or hospital to show for it, why should anyone believe that re-electing Labor will fix the State's problems?

Ms KRISTINA KENEALLY: Today we have very good economic information on the State.

Mr Barry O'Farrell: Oh!

Ms KRISTINA KENEALLY: Members of the Opposition groan because they do not want to hear the good news about seven consecutive quarters of economic growth in New South Wales. The State's consistent economic performance is due to the Government's investment in public infrastructure.

The SPEAKER: Order! Members will cease interjecting.

Ms KRISTINA KENEALLY: The Government has reformed the planning system and accelerated projects, which has resulted in jobs being delivered for the State. Seven consecutive quarters of economic growth cannot be said for Western Australia, Queensland and Victoria. Indeed, what happened in Victoria? It went backwards while New South Wales posted yet another quarter of economic growth. That is fantastic news for the New South Wales economy. The New South Wales Labor Government is growing a $400 billion economy. The State final demand data demonstrates that.

When it comes to public transport, these are the facts: the Epping to Chatswood project—delivered; duplication of the Cronulla line—done; Millennium trains—delivered; 122 OSCars—already delivered; free shuttle buses in Sydney and Wollongong—delivered; pensioner concession tickets on private and public buses—delivered; equal fares on private and public buses—delivered; removal of tolls from the M4—delivered; new Metrobus routes for 640,000 more journeys across Sydney—delivered; 450 new buses in service—delivered; the South West Rail Link—under construction now; and the MyZone fares are making public transport easier and cheaper for commuters.
    The SPEAKER: Order! I call the member for Epping to order.

    Ms Gladys Berejiklian: Wasting money!
      Ms KRISTINA KENEALLY: When I mentioned reducing fares for commuters, the member for Willoughby interjected that it is wasting money. Will she commit to the MyZone fares structure, or will the Liberals do what they did with the airport rail link? We all remember the airport rail link. The Leader of the Opposition stated in Hansard that he told the ABC it was a Coalition achievement. He is very proud of the airport rail link. He promised it would come at no cost to taxpayers but ultimately it cost the State $800 million. That is what the Liberals-Nationals deliver when they are in office.

      The Government wants to know whether Mr O'Farrell's supposed commitment to independent costing of election policies is anything more than a stunt. Will he commit his policies, should he ever develop any, to the independent Parliamentary Budget Office? We all know that the Leader of the Opposition has released a plan and we all know that the document "Start the Change" promises not one new bus, not one new train or ferry, not one new kilometre of road, not one new police officer, not one new child protection service, not one new respite service for disability, not one new teacher, not one new nurse and not one new hospital bed.

      In fact, he is promising to take apart national health reform, shut down 488 hospital beds and give the money back. We all remember his brilliant negotiating strategy during the Council of Australian Governments health reform. When the Commonwealth Government was offering less money he said, "Sign up!" When the Commonwealth Government put more on the table, he told us to walk away. It is no wonder that the last time the Coalition occupied the Treasury benches we had six consecutive budget deficits. Today we welcome the good news for New South Wales—seven consecutive quarters of economic growth.