Alister Henskens portrait
Alister Henskens portrait

The Hon. Andrew James Constance, Minister For Transport And Infrastructure

Sydney Train

Mr ALISTER HENSKENS ( Ku-ring-gai ) ( 16:05 :58 ): I wonder if we could just bring this debate away from the politics of hysteria, personal attack and falsity that the member for Strathfield wishes to introduce and bring things back to the transport record of this Government, which is absolutely without peer. This Government is currently delivering three heavy rail projects: the Sydney Metro Northwest, Sydney Metro City and Sydney Metro Southwest. Metro will be running from Rouse Hill to Epping, through the North Shore, under Sydney Harbour to Bankstown under these three heavy rail projects. In addition, this Government is delivering three light rail projects: the Sydney central business district light rail project, the Parramatta light rail project and the Newcastle light rail project—where is Crackers? In addition, if we can just focus on the facts—

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Stop the clock

Mr Paul Lynch: Point of order: It is Standing Order 75. The reference the member for Ku-ring-gai made to the member for Newcastle breached standing orders. He must refer to members by their proper titles.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I uphold the point of order.

Mr ALISTER HENSKENS: The reference to "Crackers" should be changed to "the member for Newcastle". I think we all knew who I was talking about, given that I was talking about the Newcastle light rail project. But that is not the end of it. If six rail projects simultaneously occurring under this Government is not enough, there is more. This Government is delivering 24 new Waratah trains this year. It is delivering 512 carriages in an intercity fleet, which will be servicing Labor electorates on the South Coast, the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast and the Hunter. The Government has already delivered six new ferries in the city. The Government has introduced 1,500 new rail services. Since 2011 some 26,500 new bus services have been delivered by this Government. There are 468 more buses in total since 2011, which include 38 B-Line buses servicing the northern beaches. There are also 922 replacement buses.

There is an alternative, and that is to look at the record of the last Labor transport Ministers by contrast. In 1998 Carl Scully promised a Bondi Beach rail line to be delivered by 2002. He promised a high-speed rail link to Newcastle to be delivered by 2010. He promised a Hurstville to Strathfield rail line to be delivered by 2014. He promised a high-speed rail link between Sutherland and Wollongong to be delivered by 2010. He promised a Parramatta to Chatswood rail link to be delivered by 2006. None of them have ever been delivered. John Watkins promised a south-west rail link in 2005. Carl Scully promised another central business district [CBD] harbour crossing in 2005. The list goes on. The Transport portfolio was in such a shambles under the Labor administration that on-time running was as low as 62 per cent in 2004 and 2005.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Stop the clock.

Ms Jodi McKay: Point of order: This censure motion is against the Minister for Transport. If the member for Ku‑ring‑gai has something to say in the Minister's defence, he should say it.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: There is no point of order.

Mr ALISTER HENSKENS: The new train timetable that those opposite criticise by their censure motion has a 92 per cent on-time running record, but the rate under Labor was as low as 62 per cent in 2004 and 2005. This Minister is industrious, transformative and effective.

Ms Jodi McKay: You do not support him.

Mr ALISTER HENSKENS: He is performing as no other transport Minister has performed. This hysterical and ridiculous censure motion should not be agreed to.