Doorstop Interview, Berwick Railway Station, Melbourne

Jason Wood: Good morning everyone and welcome to La Trobe and in particular here today at Berwick train station. It’s great to have the Treasurer here, Josh Frydenberg, and also Minister Alan Tudge.

This is actually now probably the fastest growing electorate in the country. Previously, to bust congestion, we’ve actually committed back in March 2016, a $1 billion plan to upgrade the Monash Freeway. The great news is stage one has been completed, that was an extra lane from Clyde Road to the South Gippsland Highway. Stage two is about to start, that is an extra lane from Warrigal Road to the South Gippsland Highway. And, here, on Clyde Road right out to Kardinia and potentially even right out to Pakenham.

The Treasurer will be very excited about the Beaconsfield interchange and the extension of O’Shea Road and the simple reason is because south of the Beaconsfield interchange, it’s going to create 10,000 local innovation, advanced manufacturing jobs.

Now, one of the biggest issues in my electorate has been is people trying to get to work on time and coming to the Berwick train station and other local train stations, even at 6.00am in the morning, they can’t find a car park. So, rather than starting the morning in a relaxed fashion, it ends up being a very stressful event, driving around Berwick or driving around Pakenham train stations to find a car-parking spot.

So, with this great news in the federal Budget and I thank both the Treasurer and Minister Alan Tudge, of a $500 million fund for local train stations, this is fantastic news for local residents here living in La Trobe and in particular, today in Berwick, where we are going to announce $15 million for up to five hundred new car parking places. Thank you very much, Treasurer.

Josh Frydenberg:Well, thanks very much Jason and can I congratulate you on being an outstanding local member for the people of La Trobe and it’s good to be here with you at Berwick train station. And also the expertise you bring to the Parliament, having been a former police officer and somebody who is very, very focused on fighting terrorism.

To my good friend and parliamentary colleague, Alan Tudge, Alan has put together an incredible package of measures to bust congestion in our cities and to manage population growth. We know it all too well here in Victoria and in Melbourne, a city that is growing by a couple thousand people a week, putting real pressure on public transport, on our health and our education services. So, busting congestion, getting people home sooner so they can be around the dinner table and getting them to work earlier has been a real focus of this Budget.

And this is a Budget that will build a stronger economy and secure a better future for all Australians. Of course, it’s the first Budget surplus in more than a decade. But a strong economy is not an end in itself, it’s a means to an end and that end is to guarantee the essential services of health and education and disability support and aged care, but it’s also a means to an end of providing the cities that we live in, the regions that we live in with the best possible infrastructure.

And so in this Budget, we announced $4 billion for our Urban Congestion Fund and that is going to be absolutely critical to ease the pressures on people living in our cities and our regions. And a component of that is a $500 million Car Park Commuter Fund and this is the first project under this Fund. So, I think it’s going to be really important, it’s going to create more car parks here, so people don’t have to drive all the way into work. It will take cars off the roads, thousands of cars off the road and, importantly, it will give people the peace of mind when they catch the train to work they can put their car here and that they don’t have to drive all the way into work. So, it’s a great announcement, it’s a real credit to Jason and his advocacy and to Alan who is behind this program.

Alan Tudge:Well, thanks, Treasurer and Jason. Today, we are announcing $15 million, which is the first project we are funding out of the new $500 million Commuter Carpark Fund. Now, that fund will finance up to fifty stations, up to fifty carparks and take more than 25,000 cars off the road. Now, that is real congestion busting infrastructure. We know that people want to be able to take the train and we support their choice. But to do so, they need to be able to find a car park readily and if they find a car park readily they can get onto that, jump on the train and get in to work quickly and back home at night quickly, cheaply and safely and that’s what we want to do.

This $500 million is part of a broader $4 billion Urban Congestion Fund. And that is part of a massive $100 billion infrastructure program, which we are rolling out over the next decade, the largest in Australia’s history. Of course, we have announced $6.2 billion more for Victoria alone and that is going towards our growth corridors, it’s going towards things like the airport rail, to fast rail to Geelong, to sealing the Dandenong Range and of course, also, projects like this one. We want to bust congestion with the major corridor upgrades, we want to bust congestion by fixing those local intersections, which cause people so much grief. But, we also want to bust congestion by providing commuter carparks which people can get to and then jump on the train to get to work quickly and to get home safely at night.

I want to thank Jason for his advocacy of this project, along with the local Casey Council, who has been a very strong advocate of this project as well. I was just speaking to someone this morning, and they were saying that this carpark was full when they had arrived 8.06am in the morning. And we want to add up to 500 new car parks here, so that people can get on the train quickly, get to work and get back home safely at night. We’re happy to take any questions.

Question:Just a question for Mr. Frydenberg. Just on another note…

Josh Frydenberg:Any questions about the infrastructure? Just underline what Alan said and what Jason has been saying. $100 billion set out in this Budget for our ten-year infrastructure plan. Importantly, for the people of Victoria, they’re going to see fast rail, which is going to bust the congestion in the city, it’s going to unlock the potential of the regions, we’re getting the Melbourne Airport Rail Link and we’re getting practical projects that make a difference to people’s lives, like here at Berwick station.