MINISTERS STATEMENT : TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE
MR PALLAS (Werribee—Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Industrial Relations, Minister for the Coordination of Treasury and Finance: COVID-19) (11:29):
The coronavirus pandemic and the associated economic event means that Victoria is facing some considerable economic challenges, but this government is meeting those challenges with a very big effort, whether it be the biggest ever education investment, the biggest ever health investment, the biggest ever community and economic support package, the biggest ever investment in police or the biggest ever training and welfare package.
The big thing I am proud of, however—most proud of—is our Big Build. Victoria is currently in a transport construction boom, with 119 major road and rail projects being delivered, including Melbourne Metro and including the Sunbury rail upgrade and upgrading the Western Highway—and a big shout-out to the Minister for Transport Infrastructure, who is doing a great job. In these difficult times our Big Build investment is keeping people in work and delivering the projects that make Victoria the leading economy in the nation.
This government’s ambitious infrastructure project has delivered 115 000 jobs. That is 115 000 Victorians—the size effectively of the City of Ballarat—that have been able to find meaningful work through this government’s continuing commitment to building the infrastructure of the future. In response to the coronavirus crisis we have announced a $2.7 billion building works package that is delivering hundreds of shovel-ready projects—a big shout-out to the Minister for Planning for doing a great job. All across the state that is 3700 direct jobs and thousands more indirect jobs. We have already established a dedicated task force to work with the construction industry, unions and their employees that has seen $2.6 billion of projects fast-tracked, with more to come. So we understand the challenges this community is facing, and we are rising to those challenges.