12 May 2018
Transcript - #2018090, 2018

Joint doorstop interview, Avalon Airport

Joint doorstop interview with
The Hon. Sarah Henderson MP
Member for Corangamite

SUBJECTS: Budget 2018; Royal Commission – Banks and Financial Services, live animal exports

SARAH HENDERSON:

Well good morning everyone, my name is Sarah Henderson, the federal member for Corangamite. It is my great pleasure to welcome Scott Morrison here, the Treasurer of Australia for a very exciting day after announcing $20 million for a new international terminal for Avalon airport in this week’s Budget. Of course we’re also joined by councillors from Wyndhum, by Justin Giddings, the CEO of Avalon and by local liberal candidates.

But Treasurer this is an absolutely wonderful week for Avalon, after many, many years and many false starts I have to say under the previous government we are absolutely delighted that Avalon has done this incredible deal with AirAsia which will bring in and out some 400,000 passengers every year to this incredible region. And, of course, create Victoria's second international airport. With our $20 million to construct a new international terminal, this is an absolute game changer. Treasurer, we are absolutely delighted with this investment in what is critical infrastructure for our region, along with another $50 million for our local rail project, $150 million in total. We are hoping to see that matched of course by the state.  Our commitment to infrastructure, we all know, is vital in this growing, wonderful region. Again, Treasurer, thank you so much and over to you. 

TREASURER:

Thanks very much Sarah, it’s great to be here with you and Justin and the councillors. Particularly all the staff here at Avalon Airport for what is a very exciting day. The Turnbull Government is building a stronger economy. A stronger economy is what guarantees everything else, the essential services that Australians rely on, the ability to provide tax relief to millions and millions of Australians. Not just now but over the next 10 years and ensure that all Australians can benefit from that. It is what is needed to keep Australians safe, it’s what’s needed to ensure that Australians can plan for their future with confidence.  What we are announcing here today, in the greater Geelong region and particularly here at Avalon is investing in the infrastructure that will build a stronger economy here in the greater Geelong region. That infrastructure isn't just here at the airport, I should stress, as Sarah was just telling us. We are investing $20 million right here on this site at Avalon for the second international airport in Melbourne. That will obviously create the jobs in the works that take place here, but more importantly it expands this airport's capacity by about 25 per cent.  That means more visitors, more business, more jobs, not just here at the airport, but right throughout the greater Geelong region, down the Great Ocean Road, this whole wonderful area, for not only for Australians to come and visit but people from all around the world with the wonderful deal they have  been able to do with Air Asia. There is also $50 million going in on top of the $100 million we’ve already put into the Geelong line. That’s fantastic. There is also $50 million being invested around the country in hardening up all of our regional airports, hardening up from a security point of view to keep Australians safe. 64 regional airports all around the country will have their security infrastructure upgraded to ensure we are doing everything we can to keep Australians safe. All of this is made possible by running a stronger economy, by bringing the budget back into balance, by paying down debt, some $30 billion in debt will be paid down over the next four years. $230 billion in net debt paid down over the next 10 years. We have taxes under control, we have spending under control. That is what enables us to come here today and invest what we consider is a very responsible investment in the infrastructure and the economy of the greater Geelong region. I want to particularly commend Sarah Henderson for her advocacy, her passion, her determination to see that we could get to this day and we could turn the sod here this morning. I want to thank the Fox family for their continued investment, passion and vision that they have put into this site over a very long period of time. It is a great partnership. When I was down here a couple of weeks ago I was talking to Lindsay and we were talking about this project, and Justin, we were talking about a partnership, a real partnership. That is what I think today's announcement says. The private sector coming together with the Government sector and ensuring we get this done. Very exciting. Great to be here. Happy take questions.

QUESTION:

Can I just ask specifics, what will that $20 million see out here and how many jobs are we talking?

TREASURER:

Why don’t I let Justin answer that, he is running to project. I could but I think it’s even better to hear from the person who will be running the show.

JUSTIN GIDDINGS:

Absolutely. The $20 million will be used to upgrade and make the terminal larger. We are talking 25 per cent at the moment. We’ve got some planning stuff to get through. It will essentially make a better facility, it will give greater investment in the whole region, we are spending around $25 million to $30 million now in the whole project, and then we’ve got all the fit out so it’s a big project. We are looking at bringing in 500,000 passengers a year from day one.  250,000 people coming in from Asia. It is just going to be fantastic for the region of Corangamite.

QUESTION:

How many jobs have we created?

GIDDINGS:

I think the project is 180 full times jobs ongoing. 190 full-time jobs ongoing. But really when you look at the visitor spend it is over $100 million in visitor spend for the region. That generates thousands of jobs. Avalon is a small part of it really. It’s about the visitors spend in your whole economy.

HENDERSON:

There’s also about 170 jobs throughout the Geelong region. Direct jobs as well, and of course all the indirect jobs. So it is a huge economic boost for the region. 

QUESTION:

That was my flow on question, what does this mean for Geelong?

HENDERSON:

What it means for Geelong is everything. As I say, this is an absolute game changer. This is an investment which will, of course, create Victoria's second international airport. A 20 year dream that many of us have been working on. I really do commend the Fox family, Avalon, and of course supported by our Government, the Treasurer, we are absolutely delighted to be making this very substantial contribution. This is one of the most amazing regions in the country. Underpinned by the magnificent great Ocean Road. We will see 500,000 people coming in a year to actually explore our region and Victoria. It will become a very important gateway into Australia. 

QUESTION:

We know AMP executives have gone, is it enough to restore trust though.

TREASURER:

That is the long hard road AMP is now on. It is the long hard road for, I think, quite a number of financial institutions. They are now on that. The people I expect to keep them on that road are not only regulators, at APRA and ASIC, with the tougher powers and the tougher penalties we are providing for them and the additional resources, but the boards of these companies. As I’ve said, people have gone, people are going. Some still to go. Those who come on these boards, they are ultimately responsible for making sure these institutions rebuild the trust and reconnect and put their customers first and not only will the Government hold them accountable through all the proper  legislation, but I think the Australian people and the shareholders will be keeping them accountable as well, as they should.

QUESTION:

On live sheep export, more MPs are supporting the phasing out of that, are you willing to lose a vote in parliament over it?

TREASURER:

This is an issue which the Agricultural Minister continues to handle very responsibly, patiently and sensibly, working to improve the standards, improve the checks and balances, and work closely with the sector, but more importantly what we are seeing from the Minister is a very tough stance being taken with the sector, in terms of what he expects to happen, he hasn’t minced his words here with them, I think he has been pretty blunt and honest they know what he expects, and they will be  expected to deliver. OK, anything else? OK, well it is great to be here in sunny Avalon! (LAUGHS). Everyone come and visit. Great to be here, thank you very much.