Western Australia: Economy

House of Representatives 

STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS - Western Australia: Economy

Watch Matt's speech here

Mr KEOGH (Burt) (13:54): Last week two important pieces of information for Western Australia were revealed. The first was that WA's unemployment rate remains materially higher than the rest of the nation, at 5.7 per cent. The second, as revealed in the West Australian, was that more than $1 billion of shovel ready infrastructure projects are being held up by this federal government. Labor has been crying out for the government to bring forward infrastructure spending for months. To be frank, with the way this government is going, we would have made more progress picking up a shovel and starting the work ourselves.

Under this Liberal federal government, funding and resources to the Department of the Environment have been slashed, resulting in hold-ups and backlogs for approvals. The government's funding cuts are now holding up infrastructure projects across the nation and especially in WA. The government's much feted 'infrastructure pipeline' is officially blocked. This means that there are more than 6,000 jobs currently on ice in WA, holding back economic growth, because of the federal government's inaction.

Economic growth is the slowest it's been since the global financial crisis, wages are stagnant and almost two million Australians are looking for work or more work. This government needs a genuine plan to get the economy moving again. We're calling on the government to get on with the job, not only to bring forward infrastructure spending but also to properly resource approval processes so that existing projects can get a move on. It's about time the federal government took its foot off the Western Australian economic throat.