Pat Conroy

I rise to oppose the Infrastructure Australia Amendment Bill 2013. I follow on from excellent speeches from this side of parliament, which have drawn attention to some very significant flaws in this bill, mostly around the criteria, the granting of extraordinary powers to the minister, the politicisation of an independent process, a complete abandonment of any commitment to an evidence-based approach to infrastructure funding in this country and a clear bias against public transport funding. I would like to concentrate on three particular aspects of this bill, namely the politicisation of a very important process, the impact that this will have on private sector investment and the changes to Infrastructure Australia's role around climate change, which is a little known aspect of this bill and yet another example of the government attacking any independent authority that dares to advise on climate change.

Before I go to that, I would like to comment on the proud record that Labor has in this area compared to those opposite. When Labor came to government in 2007 the OECD had ranked Australia 20 out of 25 countries in relation to our investment in public infrastructure as a proportion of national income. I am proud that, because of Labor's record investment-particularly through the GFC, which the member for Scullin highlighted-Australia is now ranked second in the OECD in terms of investment in infrastructure as a percentage of national income. Among the advanced economies only South Korea is investing more in infrastructure.

Investment in infrastructure in Australia in 2011-12 was four per cent of GDP, which is the highest it has been in 30 years. Again in 2011-12, annual infrastructure spending was 59 per cent higher than the last full year of the Howard government when compared in real terms. This was a real achievement of the previous Labor government and something of which we should be justly proud-both the former minister responsible, the member for Grayndler; and Prime Ministers Rudd and Gillard. Labor not only invested much more significantly in infrastructure; we also invested in aspects of infrastructure that were ignored and neglected by the previous coalition government-proudly so, if you believe the words of the current Prime Minister. Labor has invested more Commonwealth funding towards public transport than any other government since Federation, a great achievement that the member for Scullin was commenting on and urging an expansion of, rather than a retreat from.

Labor also appointed Australia's first ever federal infrastructure minister and created the federal infrastructure department. It is interesting to note that transport, such an integral component of infrastructure, no longer has a dedicated cabinet minister in the Abbott government. Instead, the Assistant Minister for Infrastructure has responsibility for transport. That is no reflection on that particular individual, but I think the loss of cabinet rank is a grievous move in terms of infrastructure priorities in Australia. I am proud to say that Infrastructure Australia was established by the former Labor government to ensure that the needs of the nation were put first, rather than petty political needs. Currently Infrastructure Australia has a great purpose: nation-building-not party-building, not electorate pork-barrelling but nation-building. However, this amendment yet again proves that the current government is pining for the past, when pork-barrelling was rife and politics stifled progress. There is no hiding from the fact that this government is seeking to politicise what is currently a well-functioning apolitical body that is guided by sound independent evidence and strong cost-benefit analyses. The proposed amendments will give the minister the power to redirect funds-

Bronwyn Bishop

Order! The member will resume his seat. I call the parliamentary secretary.

Jamie Briggs

I move:

That the member be no longer heard.

Opposition Members

Opposition members interjecting-

Bronwyn Bishop

There is no point of order.

Votes Passed by a small majority

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Adam Bandt Melbourne Australian Greens No
Australian Labor Party (89% turnout) 0 Yes 48 No
Anthony Albanese Grayndler No
Sharon Bird Cunningham No
Chris Bowen McMahon No
Gai Brodtmann Canberra No
Tony Burke Watson No
Mark Butler Port Adelaide No
Anthony Byrne Holt No
Jim Chalmers Rankin No
Nick Champion Wakefield No
Lisa Chesters Bendigo No
Jason Clare Blaxland No
Sharon Claydon Newcastle No
Julie Collins Franklin No
Pat Conroy Charlton No
Michael Danby Melbourne Ports No
Mark Dreyfus Isaacs No
Justine Elliot Richmond No
Kate Ellis Adelaide No
David Feeney Batman No
Laurie Ferguson Werriwa No
Andrew Giles Scullin No
Alan Griffin Bruce No
Jill Hall Shortland No
Chris Hayes Fowler No
Ed Husic Chifley No
Stephen Jones Throsby No
Catherine King Ballarat No
Andrew Leigh Fraser No
Jenny Macklin Jagajaga No
Alannah Mactiernan Perth No
Richard Marles Corio No
Rob Mitchell McEwen No
Shayne Neumann Blair No
Brendan O'Connor Gorton No
Clare O'Neil Hotham No
Julie Owens Parramatta No
Melissa Parke Fremantle No
Graham Perrett Moreton No
Tanya Plibersek Sydney No
Bernie Ripoll Oxley No
Amanda Rishworth Kingston No
Michelle Rowland Greenway No
Joanne Ryan Lalor No
Matt Thistlethwaite Kingsford Smith No
Kelvin Thomson Wills No
Maria Vamvakinou Calwell No
Tim Watts Gellibrand No
Tony Zappia Makin No
Anna Burke Chisholm Absent
Joel Fitzgibbon Hunter Absent
Gary Gray Brand Absent
Bill Shorten Maribyrnong Absent
Warren Snowdon Lingiari Absent
Wayne Swan Lilley Absent
Natasha Griggs Solomon Country Liberal Party Yes
Bruce Scott Maranoa Deputy Speaker Yes
Cathy McGowan Indi Independent No
Andrew Wilkie Denison Independent Absent
Bob Katter Kennedy Katter's Australian Party Absent
Liberal Party (92% turnout) 67 Yes 0 No
John Alexander Bennelong Yes
Karen Andrews McPherson Yes
Kevin Andrews Menzies Yes
Bob Baldwin Paterson Yes
Bruce Billson Dunkley Yes
Jamie Briggs Mayo Yes
Russell Broadbent McMillan Yes
Mal Brough Fisher Yes
Scott Buchholz Wright Yes
Steven Ciobo Moncrieff Yes
David Coleman Banks Yes
Peter Dutton Dickson Yes
Warren Entsch Leichhardt Yes
Paul Fletcher Bradfield Yes
Josh Frydenberg Kooyong Yes
Teresa Gambaro Brisbane Yes
Ian Goodenough Moore Yes
Alex Hawke Mitchell Yes
Sarah Henderson Corangamite Yes
Peter Hendy Eden-Monaro Yes
Luke Howarth Petrie Yes
Greg Hunt Flinders Yes
Eric Hutchinson Lyons Yes
Dennis Jensen Tangney Yes
Ewen Jones Herbert Yes
Michael Keenan Stirling Yes
Craig Kelly Hughes Yes
Andrew Laming Bowman Yes
Craig Laundy Reid Yes
Sussan Ley Farrer Yes
Ian Macfarlane Groom Yes
Nola Marino Forrest Yes
Louise Markus Macquarie Yes
Russell Matheson Macarthur Yes
Karen McNamara Dobell Yes
Scott Morrison Cook Yes
Andrew Nikolic Bass Yes
Kelly O'Dwyer Higgins Yes
Tony Pasin Barker Yes
Christian Porter Pearce Yes
Melissa Price Durack Yes
Christopher Pyne Sturt Yes
Rowan Ramsey Grey Yes
Don Randall Canning Yes
Stuart Robert Fadden Yes
Wyatt Roy Longman Yes
Philip Ruddock Berowra Yes
Fiona Scott Lindsay Yes
Luke Simpkins Cowan Yes
Tony Smith Casey Yes
Andrew Southcott Boothby Yes
Sharman Stone Murray Yes
Ann Sudmalis Gilmore Yes
Michael Sukkar Deakin Yes
Angus Taylor Hume Yes
Dan Tehan Wannon Yes
Alan Tudge Aston Yes
Malcolm Turnbull Wentworth Yes
Bert Van Manen Forde Yes
Nickolas Varvaris Barton Yes
Ross Vasta Bonner Yes
Brett Whiteley Braddon Yes
Lucy Wicks Robertson Yes
Matt Williams Hindmarsh Yes
Rick Wilson O'Connor Yes
Jason Wood La Trobe Yes
Ken Wyatt Hasluck Yes
Tony Abbott Warringah Absent
Julie Bishop Curtin Absent
Joe Hockey North Sydney Absent
Steve Irons Swan Absent
Jane Prentice Ryan Absent
Andrew Robb Goldstein Absent
National Party (100% turnout) 14 Yes 0 No
Andrew Broad Mallee Yes
Darren Chester Gippsland Yes
George Christensen Dawson Yes
John Cobb Calare Yes
Mark Coulton Parkes Yes
David Gillespie Lyne Yes
Luke Hartsuyker Cowper Yes
Kevin Hogan Page Yes
Barnaby Joyce New England Yes
Michelle Landry Capricornia Yes
Michael McCormack Riverina Yes
Ken O'Dowd Flynn Yes
Keith Pitt Hinkler Yes
Warren Truss Wide Bay Yes
Clive Palmer Fairfax Palmer United Party Absent
Bronwyn Bishop Mackellar Speaker Absent
Totals (89% turnout) 83 Yes – 50 No