Transcript - Lake Macquarie FM Interview

DUNCAN SCOTT

Deputy Prime Minister, good morning. 

MICHAEL McCORMACK

Good morning, Duncan.

DUNCAN SCOTT

I apologise for the slight technical problem we had there but that's show business. Now you have something that you would like to actually bring to the listeners of the Lake Macquarie area about special funding that you have managed to get put through for us very, very quickly. 

MICHAEL McCORMACK

Indeed, your radio station is getting the national scoop here and Lake Macquarie residents are getting indeed, the first lot of money to go towards the first nine projects under the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure program.  So this was a $500 million program and it was only, it seems like just weeks ago that Mark Coulton, the Local Government Minister and I announced it. Across 537 councils but Lake Macquarie, indeed, is getting one of the first allocation right across the nation and so that will go towards nine projects and this is local councils having that local input on the projects that they feel they can do to enable more local jobs, more local procurement in local small businesses and such things as well, it's a refurbishment of a disused tennis court, replacements of toilets at Dudley – that's totalling $368,000.  So Lake Macquarie received more than $1.75 million.

DUNCAN SCOTT

That's marvellous.  So the infrastructure spending is basically set to help our local community recover from – 

MICHAEL McCORMACK

It's all little projects like sports field lighting at Windale, ramp lights, getting the Catamaran Club building externally painted. There's the sealing of a car park at some tennis courts, there's reconstruction of a shared park at Lakelands, there's a new indoor learn-to-swim pool at Charlestown. So all these sorts of things. Pedestrian refuges at Bareki Road at Eleebana. Marks Point is getting some general landscaping and returfing of the aerodrome between Lake Macquarie Aerodrome and Naru Street. You know, all these little projects are going to mean local jobs and local procurement. 

DUNCAN SCOTT

So that, of course, will help with the recovery once we get over this pandemic that's causing a terrible problem at the moment. 

MICHAEL McCORMACK

Work will start almost immediately. So the first payment of $876,000, has already been paid and the Council will get cracking on that. This is local councils at work, at their best, because we understand in Canberra, that if you want to get money out the door quickly you give it to local government and they will get the jobs happening straight away. I know the local city council there will be very happy with this. I know the local residents will be the big beneficiaries. 

DUNCAN SCOTT

I'm sure our listeners that are listening to our show this morning have a lot of interest in the fact that the Lake Macquarie region is one of the first region to be allocated this special funding. 

MICHAEL McCORMACK

Well, it's good news and you know, you've got proactive people there. Even your radio station, I appreciate it broadcasts far and wide and I know that people listening, they're community doers.  There's a lot of goodwill in Lake Macquarie. Those regional and coastal and places such as yours they are such great communities and we want to support them and that's why we've got this fund, that's why we've got this stimulus as part of COVID-19. We want to see the end of it. What's happening in Victoria is a little bit alarming as we all know but, we just need people to be their best selves to continue to do all the things they've been asked to do, social distance and self-isolate if they have to and download the COVIDSafe app but your listeners know that. People in regional areas and coastal communities have been very, very good and we just need to continue the effort and not be complacent. 

DUNCAN SCOTT

That's marvellous and a lot of this funding would go, of course, towards our roads in the area?

MICHAEL McCORMACK

Well, indeed, what’s happened is we've actually doubled the Roads to Recovery funding that councils would normally receive. So, normally councils receive a fund and you've got so many roads, your area would get an allocation, we’ve just doubled that. 

DUNCAN SCOTT

That's marvellous. 

MICHAEL McCORMACK

We put it into this particular program and it's going to be very good for local projects right across the community. So there's roads, there's community infrastructure, it's a good program and it means that local businesses – I've written it into the actual criteria for where possible and when possible – I want to see local workers and local businesses benefiting 

DUNCAN SCOTT

That's marvellous. Minister, thank you so much for allowing Lake Macquarie FM to be your platform to be able to bring this very important information to the people of the region of Lake Macquarie and all our listeners around Lake Macquarie, I'm sure, are very pleased to hear that we're going to be getting this funding first off the rank of all the of the regions and also that you have been able to bring this information to their local radio station. Thank you so much, indeed and I really appreciate your time and being able to talk with you about this important subject. Thank you so much. 

MICHAEL McCORMACK

You have a great day. 

DUNCAN SCOTT

You, too. 

MICHAEL McCORMACK

Thank you, Duncan. 

Media contacts:

Dean Shachar, 0418 202 860