Thank you very much, Lyell, it's good to be here with you today and with Jane and Rob and all of you.
The Prime Minister I'm sure would say, if he was here, there's never been a more exciting time to be here at Melbourne Airport.
This is a beautiful day here in Melbourne and a very exciting day.
I also want to acknowledge the traditional owners and any elders past and present.
We are coming into Christmas, and one of my favourite Christmas movies of the year, my family and I watch it together most years, is Love Actually. You all know the scene when the people are coming out, and that is one of those wonderful places where people gather together at an airport. Airports are all about people, they’re actually not about planes, they’re not about infrastructure, they are about people and they are about people moving between cities and having as good as experience as they possibly can.
As I have just toured around this new terminal I think that has been very much what has been in the minds and the designs that has produced this tremendous facility. It is all about people. That wonderful new gathering area with the restaurants and the new ways of people waiting for flights and moving on to flights and being able to spend time together when they are perhaps saying goodbye as they go off on a holiday or they go away on business and then they come back and are greeted.
That is very much what this building is all about.
We are in the transition of our economy from the investment phase of the mining boom into this new diversified economy. The services sector and transport and tourism and all of these sorts of things, travel, are key parts of that transition. That is no more true than here in Victoria and in this city in particular, here in Melbourne.
We have seen strong figures coming out of Victoria and particularly out of Melbourne in recent times as our economy transitions.
Infrastructure such as this, but more important than that the vision and the management and the dedication whether it is of Melbourne Airport, or Jetstar, or of Tiger or the many other airlines and businesses which is represented here in this terminal. I think that is what the growth will be based on.
This week the Prime Minister and Christopher Pyne launched our Innovation Statement. That Innovation Statement of course focusses on new enterprises and focuses on new technology. What we see in this building here is innovation because it is improving the customer experience.
So, I look forward, perhaps, maybe they will shoot a movie here one day – Love Actually 2. This is the sort of, exact type of terminal facility I am sure they would want to use because it is very much a people’s airport and very much focusses on the customer experience.
As Treasurer, I am also very pleased because the economic impact of what is happening here is absolutely tremendous with some 14,300 jobs directly involved. Everything from transport to retail and post another 43,000 are attributable here to the Melbourne Airport. Some $1.5 billion adding to the gross state product of Victoria and these figures will only grow.
I came into politics out of the tourism industry and I know that the growth that is there and the growth in the tourism sector is critically important to this transitioning economy. Whether it is our international tourism or it is our domestic tourism and domestic tourism in particular has always been the bread and butter and the lion’s share of our tourism industry in this country.
Facilities such as this, and the investments that are behind facilities such as this, are key to the jobs that are created from these wonderful projects.
Today, we look forward to growing travel, increasing numbers of passengers, the shops upstairs brimming over with customers and that is all going to do one thing and that is going to be make Melbourne a stronger economy, Victoria a stronger economy and Australia a stronger national economy because of investment such as this.
I want to congratulate everyone at Melbourne Airport and the investors in particular and the team that has brought this all together.
It is not a tin shed anymore, this is a world class facility – this is a first class facility and one that I think will be adding greatly to the offering that Melbourne Airport has to provide to customers all around the country.
I wish you all the very best with it. I am very pleased to be able to be here to open it with the team.
Lyell, I think I will ask you now, if you want to come and join me, we might do the official honours and I congratulate you and all the team and all who pass through her, all who fly from her and all who fly to her.