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Transcript of Paul Fletcher comments at joint media conference with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian

Paul in the Media Saturday, 28 January 2017

Topics: WestConnex, negative gearing

GLADYS BEREJIKLIAN:

Good morning everybody. It’s great to be here with my federal parliamentary colleague, Minister Fletcher, to announce that from tomorrow morning motorists will be able to utilise this wonderful G-loop as part of our overall WestConnex project. I want to thank Duncan Gay for his leadership to making this possible, and I also want to say how excited and pleased I am that, for tomorrow morning, there’ll be easier access for people moving from this part of the road network onto the M4. And I know, as a previous motorist, how frustrating it is to wait at those traffic lights and to have that eliminated, and to actually have better access and reduce congestion in this part of the road network, is very positive and demonstrates the progress we are making in relation to the overall WestConnex project. It also shows how well both the federal and state governments are working closely to deliver major infrastructure to our cities and throughout the state.
I also want to acknowledge every single man and woman who’s worked on this project. It’s easy for us to stand up today and note that it’s opening, but we know the hours of work and planning and construction that goes on to make this possible. And I feel that many motorists are going to wake up tomorrow, come to this part of the road network and be pleasantly surprised by this additional access that they have.
I will now ask Minister Fletcher to make a few comments and then I will ask Marg Prendergast just to make a comment about information motorists will have tomorrow morning, to advise them of this new change and what it means for them. Minister Fletcher.

PAUL FLETCHER:

Thank you very much. I’m very, very pleased to be here with Premier Berejiklian to mark the opening of the new G-loop here at Homebush, part of the massive WestConnex project: of course, the $16.8 billion project with $1.5 billion of Commonwealth grant funding, $2 billion of Commonwealth concessional loan. The Turnbull Government has worked very closely with the New South Wales Government, we’ve worked closely with the Baird Government, now we’re delighted to be working closely with the Berejiklian Government. The Turnbull Government is working with the Berejiklian Government to deliver better infrastructure for the people of Sydney, for the people of New South Wales. There is an extraordinary infrastructure agenda here in Sydney and in New South Wales, and can I say, Premier Berejiklian - with her background as a Transport Minister, as a state treasurer – is right across the infrastructure agenda and the Turnbull Government looks forward to working with the Berejiklian Government to deliver infrastructure outcomes for the people of Sydney, for the people of New South Wales, and here today, tangible proof with the G-loop about to open. That’s going to save a lot of time for people here getting onto the M4, wanting to go west here at Homebush.

MARG PRENDERGAST:

The G-loop is going to make it so much easier for motorists but we really need people to be aware of the changed conditions from tomorrow. So if you’re on Homebush Bay Drive and you’re turning into the M4 to head west, you need to be in the far left lane. So from tomorrow, if you’re on Homebush Bay Drive and you’re heading into the M4 to go west, please be in the far west lane.

[...]

QUESTION:

Mr Fletcher, some of your federal colleagues are agitating for changes to negative gearing. Do you think it’s time we had that debate?

PAUL FLETCHER:

Look, I don’t really want to make a comment about negative gearing. The point I’d make is that the job of a Federal Government and State Government is to deliver outcomes, and today we’re here acknowledging the opening of the G-loop, which is about delivering outcomes as part of long-term planning. A project like WestConnex is a massive project, a long-term scale project, which is being delivered in a methodical and consistent fashion. I think that’s what the people of New South Wales, the people of Australia, expect.

QUESTION:

But housing affordability is a massive issue here. Surely negative gearing can be canvassed in some way given that John Alexander is even talking about it.

PAUL FLETCHER:

Again, I’m not going to comment on that particular issue. But what I am going to say is: we are acknowledging the opening of G-loop which is going to be a terrific additional facility, part of a project, massive project, $16.8 billion WestConnex project, delivering outcomes for the people of Sydney and the people of New South Wales.

QUESTION:

What if the people of Sydney think that they’ve got a Federal Minister who’s standing up, not even willing to comment on one of the biggest issues that is affecting them, which is housing affordability? I mean, isn’t it frustrating for them that their-

PAUL FLETCHER:

[Interrupts] I suspect the people of Sydney have a lot more things that they’re thinking about on a daily basis than that.

[...] Ends

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