Today we asked the Premier what action is being taken to protect residents, workers and business owners from exposure to asbestos as a result of WestConnex at the Alexandria landfill site, in Granville and along the route of the M4 East widening, given reports that contractors are not adhering to safety procedures?
Ms JENNY LEONG: I direct my question to the Premier. What action will the Premier take to protect residents, workers and business owners from exposure to asbestos as a result of WestConnex at the Alexandria landfill site, in Granville and along the route of the M4 East widening, given reports that contractors are not adhering to safety procedures?
Mr MIKE BAIRD: I thank the member for her question and advocacy for her community. From the way in which she has gone about her role in this place it is clear that she is motivated to represent her community in the best way she can. I congratulate her on that. However, I am disappointed that the member is against the WestConnex project.
Ms Jenny Leong: Probably not surprised.
Mr MIKE BAIRD: Both the Metro and the WestConnex need to be supported. The Government is very proud of the WestConnex. It will not only improve travel times across Western Sydney but also provide a $20,000 boost to the economy and 10,000 jobs. It is an incredibly important project. I note the concerns raised in the member's question. The landfill site was an existing waste facility. I have been advised that material containing asbestos has been on that site for many years. Having acquired the site as part of the project, the Government now needs to deal with the material. I am advised that the site is being monitored and everything is being dealt with as it should be.
If there are specific concerns, I am happy for them to be investigated and addressed. The Government has an obligation to ensure that everything possible is done. While the Government supports WestConnex, the Opposition is against it. Opposition members do not want to improve travel times in Western Sydney. But not everyone in the Opposition shares that view. I have some favourites among the new members of Parliament. I have one particular favourite who I think is one of us. I really like the member for Rockdale. He has spoken about WestConnex, and I do not think a truer word has been spoken. He said:
Despite pressure from lobby groups like The Greens, I will not be taking up blanket opposition to this project.
That is an absolute cracker. It gets better. He then said:
Good infrastructure should not be a partisan issue, and I am not going to whinge and complain about the construction of new roads for our area just because they are being built by my political opponents.
That is what we have been waiting for. In the Opposition there are factions called "Neo-Terrigals" and "Sensibles". Now there is the member for Rockdale faction. I do not know which party he is in.
The SPEAKER: Order! Government members will come to order.
Mr MIKE BAIRD: We know about the member for Bankstown.
The SPEAKER: Order! Members will come to order.
Mr MIKE BAIRD: The member for Bankstown is Mrs Sensible. She is working the numbers with the member for Maroubra. The member for Maroubra writes the question time strategy and has been telling members every day not to ask questions. We know what the member for Maroubra is up to. We know what the Sensibles are doing.
Mr Guy Zangari: Point of order: My point of order is taken under Standing Order 129. The Premier is talking about members of the Opposition. He is not answering the question.
The SPEAKER: Order! I uphold the point of order. The Premier will return to the leave of the question.
Mr MIKE BAIRD: We know which group the member for Fairfield is not in. The Opposition is a rabble at the moment. Members do not know what they are doing, where they are going, what they are for or what they are against. It is great to see the sort of leadership displayed by the member for Rockdale, who takes a policy position in the interests of his community and the State. Whichever faction Opposition members decide to join, the Neo-Terrigals or the Sensibles—I suggest that they choose better names for a start—they should listen to the member for Rockdale because he has the right approach.
The SPEAKER: Order! The member for Keira will come to order. I call the member for Keira to order for the second time.
Mr MIKE BAIRD: I thank the member for Newtown for her question. The Government is happy to take up any specific requests or concerns. The Government is proud to be delivering WestConnex for this city.