Questions without notice and ministers statements MINISTERS STATEMENTS: INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS

Mr PALLAS (Treasurer) (11:24:18) — It gives me great pleasure to rise to update the house on the assembly of the first two tunnel boring machines (TBMs)—personally I call them ‘excitement machines’. They are well underway, and Victoria’s long overdue alternative to the West Gate Bridge is also well underway in construction. This morning the Premier and the Minister for Transport Infrastructure left me out of the party. They went along to celebrate the work that is going on—the 75 000 working hours that are being put into developing TBM Bella, with up to 30 people working around the clock. We are not wasting a moment in getting on with delivering this vital project for the west, for Geelong and basically for our freeway network. We are tabling the CityLink concession deed amendments along with, this morning, the introduction of the West Gate Tunnel bill. This bill will provide the management framework for the road and enshrine enforceable truck bans in law, removing 9000 trucks from inner-western roads. I note the ongoing support of the Greens for truck bans in the inner west, and I look forward to their support of this legislation, which of course shares this government’s objective of removing trucks from the inner west. Those opposite ran a scare campaign against this project, and it was only when this government was on its way to a thumping mandate that they were dragged kicking and screaming to support the project. But of course their support for the project is support in principle only because they do not tell us how they intend to actually pay for it. They do not like the idea of concession deed extensions, except of course when they are in government, and now they are trying to run interference on this vital project. They should get out of the way and let the inner west get the projects they need.