2013 State Budget
Ms GRALEY (Narre Warren South) — I rise today to speak on this self-congratulatory — I can hardly get the words out after having listening to the Minister for Public Transport bragging about all these things he is supposed to have delivered. He took money from Labor’s last budget that was allocated for the Hallam railway station. Despite the minister delivering some money to the Frankston line and some money here and there, we cannot even get a toilet at Hallam station. There is no toilet! I have asked the minister
many times if we could have a toilet at Hallam station, but we cannot even get that. This matter of public importance is reflective of the conceit amongst those on the other side of the chamber about yesterday’s budget.
Members on that side of the chamber are dripping with conceit. What they are trying to do
is to disguise just how callous, cruel and heartless yesterday’s budget was. This MPI talks about first-class services and building for growth. What an absolute joke! I will give members a few reasons why that is so.
I represent an area that even the member for Gembrook was talking about last night as being one of the fastest growing areas in Melbourne — and there are a number of members in the chamber who represent very fast growing areas. In fact some of my fellow Labor Party MPs represent the fastest growing areas in Australia. There is a lot of growth going on in Melbourne; in fact I think Melbourne is the fastest growing city in Australia. But this government is not investing in the outer suburbs. Even a little bit of investment would be a lot, because we have had nothing in the past. It would be better than anything we have had so far, but let us face it, the bar was pretty low under the former Premier —
what’s his name? Premier Baillieu; remember him?
Yes, members are laughing about him; I would be too. He is a distant memory; pack him away. The government has a new Premier and a new Treasurer, but they have not done any better with this budget. This budget does not deliver first-class services to people who live in the outer suburbs, it does not commit to major infrastructure and it does not build for growth.
I will give members just one example. The budget is totally about smoke and mirrors. The
whole thing is a cruel illusion, a charade, to people who live in the outer suburbs. I had to laugh yesterday at seeing the reference to a Melbourne Metro rail tunnel. The tunnel is supposed to unclog the transport problems so that other trains can be put on and the trains will go faster and all that sort of stuff. The $10 million that was in the budget yesterday was something the government announced in last year’s budget. In fact there has not been one dollar extra put in this budget for the Melbourne Metro rail tunnel but there is $2.4 million for the construction of the Brighton level crossing. If we add
up all the money that has gone into the Brighton level crossing, we will see it is more than this government has committed to the major infrastructure project to build the Melbourne Metro rail tunnel.
What am I suggesting? I am suggesting that my constituents should ask: why is it the
people in the outer suburbs cannot get a toilet at Hallam station, yet there is more money in this budget and previous budgets for a level crossing, which was I think no. 223 on the list held by the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure.
We cannot get a toilet at Hallam station — small infrastructure, not even major
infrastructure — but the people of Brighton can get a level crossing worth more than the commitment made by this government to the whole Melbourne Metro rail tunnel project.
This is a budget full of illusions and cuts. Let us have a look at the cuts: $200 million
to the health system, no money to address the ambulance crisis and no mention of the location of the coalition’s promised 800 new beds. Last night in this chamber I asked the Minister for Health to put some new beds into Casey Hospital. By his own admission that hospital is at capacity. We are, as we all agree here, in one of the fastest growing growth corridors in Victoria, and yet there is not one extra bed for Casey Hospital. In fact things are slowing down; they are deteriorating. I am having an increasing number of people ring my office saying they are waiting in pain and crying because they cannot get their surgery done. Yet there is no solution to their problem in this budget.
There are more cuts, but if you like you can go out and get some private health insurance
on a shrinking household budget — a budget which has had concessions taken from it and more likely than not, because the people in my electorate have a high level of car ownership, their car expenses are going to increase.
Members should look at the money the government expects to reap from speeding fines —
a tenfold increase in speeding fines — which is in the budget. Who do we think is going to get fined? I gather it will be those people who are spending more time on roads that are inadequate, slow and very frustrating for residents and commuters. This comes as no surprise, because if you look at the budget and this MPI that brags about major infrastructure, you will see there is no money for new arterial roads in the outer suburbs except for a small handpass to the member for Gembrook for part of Cardinia Road. But in the city of Casey, where under previous Labor governments they have been used to getting money for roads, not one cent has been allocated.
Residents there should be thinking, ‘What do we have to do to get some road
infrastructure?’. My suggestion is that maybe they should move to Frankston. The member for Frankston — I will give him his due; I do not know what he has got going for him, but he certainly has the ear of government — has been lavished with budget promises for railway station upgrades worth tens of millions of dollars, but we cannot even get a toilet at Hallam station.
I refer members to something the Deputy Premier said in this chamber about how you need to acquire land to build a school. A couple of years ago this government, and I will give it some credit, acknowledged that the city of Casey is a growth area and that it needs a new primary school. We promised a school at the last election, because we had built nine schools in the Narre Warren South electorate. The government went out and acquired the land, but two budgets have now gone past and there has not been a cent, not one dollar, put in a budget to build the school.
Last night in this chamber I noticed the member for Gembrook quite correctly raising the
issue of an Officer secondary college. Even he was complaining that although he lives in a growth area the school will not be built. I had to laugh when I saw the response of the Minister for Education. He said:
We have purchased the land there, and I am more than happy to come out and speak to the member’s community about that.
The people of Officer and Narre Warren South might get a visit from the Minister for
Education. There is no school, no classrooms, no teachers and nothing going on in the paddock that has been acquired — just a visit from the mealy-mouthed Minister for Education.
I will finish as I began, by talking about conceit. I quote Benjamin Disraeli on conceit.
He said, ‘Every man has a right to be conceited until he is successful’. Look at the
interface councils’ budget submission and their wish list; it is a fail all around. Nothing has been delivered — no first-class services and no major infrastructure in the interface areas. It is a fail on the part of the government. This is not a successful budget, and the government should not be conceited about it; instead it should be ashamed.