DEPUTY prime minister and infrastructure and transport minister Michael McCormack last night addressed the Australian Logistics Council Forum 2018, saying he would listen to industry, advocate for investment in infrastructure and build on the work his predecessors in the portfolio.
In his first address in the portfolio, he told the room full of infrastructure and freight leaders that in his new role he would listen to industry.
“One of the most important things in this role is to listen, and whether it’s people such as yourselves who’ve got a great wealth of experience and knowledge in logistics and transport and infrastructure, or whether indeed it’s anyone in the entire network – I owe them the benefit of listening to them,” he said.
“I will act on what you tell me – within reason – and endeavour at all times to make sure you are heard.”
The deputy prime minister said the Coalition is focused on providing the sort of infrastructure the industry needs.
“In the 2017-18 Budget, the government committed a record $75bn in transport infrastructure over 10 years to 2026-27. We are on average spending $7.2bn per year.
“I’m proud to say that that’s a good thing, it’s a necessary thing and it’s going to make the transport and infrastructure sectors function a lot better.”
Mr McCormack said reaching out to opposition is an important part of the way he would work as transport and infrastructure minister.
“When it comes to road safety and making sure that pinch points are eliminated, there is something to be said for reaching across that divide that is the parliament to take advantage of people such as Anthony [Albanese] and listening to them and trying to work as best we can in a bipartisan way to help you,” he said.
“At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about; making sure that you people in this room with your wealth of knowledge and expertise are listened to, but mainly as a parliament that we get on and do things for your advantage.”
“Without you we couldn’t get the job done, we couldn’t get the freight task met, and I pay tribute, I’m in awe of what you do and I very much look forward to being your minister for a long time.”