Senator the Hon Mathias Cormann
Minister for Finance
Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate
Senator for Western Australia
The Hon. Darren Chester MP
Minister for Infrastructure and Transport
Federal Member for Gippsland
MATHIAS CORMANN: It is great to be here with my good friend and valued colleague Darren Chester for the official turning of the first sod for what is a very significant infrastructure project for Western Sydney, Sydney but also for Australia as a whole. It will deliver significant economic benefits. It will significantly improve our trading infrastructure. It will help us move product to our export markets at a lower cost, more safely, reducing congestion on Sydney roads, taking trucks off our roads. Today is a very, very important day in the development of a very important project.
REPORTER: Why was the new terminal needed?
MATHIAS CORMANN: This is all about making sure that we get containerised products through the Port of Botany more efficiently. In particular as Chris Corrigan said, out of our regional areas, in an efficient way through the broader Sydney metropolitan area to the Port. It is about making sure that we have fewer trucks on our roads. It is about making sure that product can be moved more safely at a lower cost and with lower emissions incidentally too. This will provide significant employment in this part of the world, about 6,800 jobs once this facility is in full operation. It will contribute to Australia’s international competitiveness as a trading nation.
DARREN CHESTER: It is great to be here with Mathias and this is a terrific example of the Federal Government working in partnership with industry on a project that will not only change people’s lives, it will save people’s lives. By reducing congestion, improving productivity and reducing road trauma this is a project which will deliver great outcomes for Sydney, but also for all Australians. We have a growing freight task in our nation and we need to deliver products to markets in the most effective way we can and this project will do that. At the same time it will create local jobs, so it is a great project and it is terrific that we have been able to work together with industry to begin this very first stage of delivering it for all people in this region.
REPORTER: There were a few Moorebank residents concerned about this project from the get go. There is still a couple out of the gate you might have noticed coming in. What is your message to residents who are still worried about the noise?
MATHIAS CORMANN: Well, our message is that we have worked very hard with the Moorebank Intermodal Company and the project has worked very hard to engage with the local community. We have made adjustments to the project to accommodate local concerns. In the end, this is a project of national significance, which will deliver significant economic and employment benefits to this part of the world. We have really worked very hard to make sure that all of the reasonable concerns that have been raised with us along the way have been able to be addressed, including changing the access arrangements to the site for example.
REPORTER: Minister Cormann, you mentioned the fact that today marks a point of no return. Does the fact that a residents group has launched legal action dampen or cast a shadow over the project?
MATHIAS CORMANN: This project has been a long time in the making. All of the relevant approvals have been obtained and it is now full steam ahead. We really need to get this project delivered, so that Western Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales and Australia as a whole can benefit from all of the economic opportunities that will come with this.
REPORTER: Could I just, Minister, ask you another question about Tony Nutt resigning overnight? Do you think he should be blamed for the 2016 Campaign?
MATHIAS CORMANN: Tony Nutt is an outstanding, distinguished servant of the Liberal Party. He has provided outstanding and distinguished service to our cause for many, many decades. This has been his decision. It has not been anybody else’s decision. We wish him all the very best with his future endeavours. He has an absolutely amazing track record of someone who has made a significant contribution to our cause and to Australia over many, many years.
REPORTER: What do you think about the Campaign and what do you think went wrong?
MATHIAS CORMANN: Look, these are matters that will be considered by relevant Party fora in the days and weeks ahead, that is not something for me to comment on today.