Ministers for the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/ Latest releases from the Ministers en Infrastructure funding unlocked in Eltham https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/tudge/media-release/infrastructure-funding-unlocked-eltham <p>The Morrison Government has unlocked $5 million for congestion-busting upgrades to the Fitzsimons Lane and Main Road corridor in Eltham.</p> <p>The funding boost will allow Nillumbik Shire Council to plan and deliver a variety of traffic and pedestrian upgrades to the corridor, Eltham Town Centre and the surrounding area.</p> <p>The works will support the local economy and local jobs.</p> <p>Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said infrastructure investment will provide an economic life raft out of the COVID pandemic for local communities everywhere.</p> <p>“We are investing in infrastructure right across the country to lay the foundations for economic recovery on the other side of COVID-19,” Mr Tudge said.</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">“These upgrades will bust congestion through improved traffic signal synchronisation and better protect pedestrians through flashing warning lights at crossings.”</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">Federal Member for Menzies Kevin Andrews said residents should expect to fewer commuters clogging local backroads to avoid long delays on the arterial road network.</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">“This investment is an example of the Australian Government’s commitment to ensuring local residents will get home sooner and safer on Melbourne’s road network,” Mr Andrews said.</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">“This important road corridor, shared between Nillumbik Shire and Manningham City Council, will significantly benefit from these upgrades, improving traffic flow and reducing serious injury crashes.”</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">The Australian Government is fully funding this important project from the Urban Congestion Fund.</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">More information on the fund is available at <a href="https://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/key_projects/initiatives/urban_congestion_fund.aspx">https://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/key_projects/initiatives/urban_congestion_fund.aspx</a>.</p> <h2 class="BoswellMediaHeader"><strong>Media Contact:</strong></h2> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader"><strong>Minister Tudge</strong> – Michael Bennett 0434 782 923</p> <p><strong>Mr Andrews</strong> – Electorate Office (03) 9848 9900</p> Tudge Infrastructure funding unlocked in Eltham Pledge to be road safe, this Fatality Free Friday https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/buchholz/opinion-piece/pledge-be-road-safe-fatality-free-friday <p>Rarely a day goes by that the average Australian doesn’t use a road. We’re driving on them, cycling alongside them, walking across them. They connect communities and help move goods to ports and our local businesses and shops. They help get us to our workplaces, and they’re the paths we follow whether we’re driving into town to meet friends or picking up the kids after school.</p> <p>We are all road users, which is why road safety matters so much within our communities. Road safety impacts all of us.</p> <p>The statistics tell a sobering story. There were 1,195 people killed in road-related deaths in 2019 – that’s over three per day. Road crashes place major emotional and economic strain on all affected communities but particularly on the families and friends of the victims. And from an economic perspective, accidents on our roads cost Australians approximately $30 billion per year.</p> <p>What’s more, about two-thirds of all road deaths in Australia occur in regional and remote areas. Most of these are single vehicle crashes, and most fatal crashes on regional and remote roads occur in high-speed zones. These figures have remained consistent for the past decade. As Government, we welcome the reduction in drink driving rates; yet alcohol-impaired drivers are still involved in 13 per cent of all fatal crashes. A rate that is unacceptable and too high.</p> <p>It is for these reasons that I welcome programs and initiatives like Fatality Free Friday. An annual campaign created by the Australian Road Safety Foundation in 2007, Fatality Free Friday is a nationwide program conducted to raise road safety awareness and champion the reduction of road injuries and fatalities.</p> <p>It achieves this through a range of road safety awareness programs, driver education, research, advocacy and community engagement.</p> <p>I encourage everyone to get involved and to take the Fatality Free Friday pledge to drive safely. To pledge, one must promise to always be fit to drive, to stay focused on the road, to scan the road ahead, to keep a safe distance, and to drive in a way that suits the conditions.</p> <p>As Assistant Minister for Road Safety, I am very aware that Australian Government initiatives such as the Black Spot Program substantially improve dangerous crash sites right across Australia.</p> <p>The Black Spot Program is one of the most effective safety measures the Liberal National Government has at its disposal. Safer roads save lives and the Black Spot Program is a fantastic initiative that upgrades local streets and roadways to make them safer for all road users.</p> <p>The Government has committed $1 billion to the Black Spot Program from 2013-14 to 2022–23 to improve road safety across the nation. Our record investment into upgrading roads is playing an important part, in saving lives right across the nation.</p> <p>By specifically targeting road locations with a history of crashes for safety upgrades such as lighting, signage, traffic lights and roundabouts, the Black Spot Program reduces crashes causing injury and death at those sites by around 30 per cent.</p> <p>Our Government acknowledges the need to continue investing in road safety, alongside our state and local counterparts. Fatality Free Friday is a part of this, as is the Black Spot Program, National Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program, Road Safety Innovation Fund, Driver Reviver Site Upgrade Program and others we are delivering.</p> <p>As always, our priority is keeping people and communities safe, and we are investing in road infrastructure, safety and awareness today to help create better futures for all Australians.</p> <p>But remember, the next time you get behind the wheel of a car, motorbike, truck or bus – whatever it may be – road safety is everyone’s responsibility.  </p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><strong>The Hon Scott Buchholz MP</strong><br /> Federal Member for Wright<br /> Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport</p> <p><strong>Note:</strong> Fatality Free Friday is supported by the Australian Road Safety Foundation, to take the pledge or find out more information visit: <a href="https://arsf.com.au/fatality-free-friday-2/">https://arsf.com.au/fatality-free-friday-2/</a></p> Buchholz Pledge to be road safe, this Fatality Free Friday Inland Rail long–term opportunities for Northern NSW https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/media-release/inland-rail-long-term-opportunities-northern-nsw <p>Inland Rail offers a clear track for further investment into northern New South Wales, with an economic study released today by the Liberal and Nationals Government outlining growth in food processing, logistics hubs and consumer warehousing in towns along the rail line.</p> <p>The Northern NSW Long-Term Regional Opportunities report shows a significant boost to jobs and investment in the area as a direct result of the project.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the study was a call-to-arms for small and big business to take advantage of the enhanced connectivity and cost-competitive supply chains created by Inland Rail.</p> <p>“The report shows Inland Rail is capable of supporting another 310 full-time jobs by 10 years of operation and could boost gross regional product by up to $1.7 billion over a 50-year period,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>“Our Government is committed to supporting Australian industry by creating opportunities to keep business open and economies growing.</p> <p>“Inland Rail will provide benefits in regional communities for decades to come so we want to see industries expand outside metropolitan areas by taking advantage of the significant infrastructure we are delivering, lower land costs, resources and the ready and willing regional workforce.</p> <p>“We want Australia to be in the best position to not only recover from the disruptions caused by COVID-19, but thrive after the immediate threat has passed with all levels of Government working together to drive economic resilience and support jobs in our regions.”</p> <p>Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said the report’s findings clearly demonstrated the important role Inland Rail will play in the nation’s economic recovery.</p> <p>“We entered into this pandemic from a position of economic strength and we are confident our pro-growth and pro-business agenda will significantly boost our economy on the other side,” Minister Cormann said.</p> <p>“Our Government’s $100 billion infrastructure pipeline, of which Inland Rail is a major component, is part of our plan for a strong recovery.</p> <p>“Giving businesses and communities along Inland Rail’s path access to fast, efficient and cost-competitive freight transport will connect them to new markets and will drive new investments from industries looking to expand in our regions.</p> <p>“Significant job-creating and economy-boosting projects like Inland Rail will soften the economic impact of the coronavirus-induced crisis and also lay the tracks for future regional development and economic stimulus well into the future.”</p> <p>Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government and Federal Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton, welcomed the report and the opportunities highlighted for the region.</p> <p>“This report is an endorsement of what our Government has always known – Inland Rail is a transformational project that is going to deliver lasting opportunities for business,” Minister Coulton said.</p> <p>“The time is now for industry to start planning for the coming decades and strategically position themselves to build resilience in their supply chains and take full advantage of the huge benefits Inland Rail is going to offer.</p> <p>“The report includes industry case studies for Narrabri and Gunnedah – but what this report shows us is that there are opportunities for industry throughout northern New South Wales and not just along the 1700-kilometre line.</p> <p>“I want regional communities in northern New South Wales to have the same opportunities as metropolitan and coastal communities. Northern NSW is in a strong position to maximise the opportunities presented by Inland Rail.”</p> <p>Minister Coulton said the study region for the report includes 16 local government areas that are approximately 50km east and 100km west of the Inland Rail alignment.</p> <p>The report is part of a broader economic study released in March 2020 that builds on the existing benefits outlined in the 2015 Inland Rail Business case and forecasts that regional Queensland, NSW and Victoria will see a boost of up to $13.3 billion in gross regional product off the back of Inland Rail.</p> <p>Find out more about the research at <a href="http://www.inlandrail.gov.au/northern-NSW-regional-report">inlandrail.gov.au/northern-NSW-regional-report</a>. </p> <h2><strong>Media contacts:</strong></h2> <p><strong>Mr McCormack</strong> – Tess Salmon 0467 740 017</p> <p><strong>Minister Cormann</strong> – Antony Perry 0484 312 671</p> <p><strong>Minister Coulton </strong>– Steph Nicholls 0417 314 920</p> McCormack Inland Rail long–term opportunities for Northern NSW Inland Rail long–term opportunities for Northern NSW https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/coulton/media-release/inland-rail-long-term-opportunities-northern-nsw <p>Inland Rail offers a clear track for further investment into northern New South Wales, with an economic study released today by the Liberal and Nationals Government outlining growth in food processing, logistics hubs and consumer warehousing in towns along the rail line.</p> <p>The Northern NSW Long-Term Regional Opportunities report shows a significant boost to jobs and investment in the area as a direct result of the project.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the study was a call-to-arms for small and big business to take advantage of the enhanced connectivity and cost-competitive supply chains created by Inland Rail.</p> <p>“The report shows Inland Rail is capable of supporting another 310 full-time jobs by 10 years of operation and could boost gross regional product by up to $1.7 billion over a 50-year period,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>“Our Government is committed to supporting Australian industry by creating opportunities to keep business open and economies growing.</p> <p>“Inland Rail will provide benefits in regional communities for decades to come so we want to see industries expand outside metropolitan areas by taking advantage of the significant infrastructure we are delivering, lower land costs, resources and the ready and willing regional workforce.</p> <p>“We want Australia to be in the best position to not only recover from the disruptions caused by COVID-19, but thrive after the immediate threat has passed with all levels of Government working together to drive economic resilience and support jobs in our regions.”</p> <p>Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said the report’s findings clearly demonstrated the important role Inland Rail will play in the nation’s economic recovery.</p> <p>“We entered into this pandemic from a position of economic strength and we are confident our pro-growth and pro-business agenda will significantly boost our economy on the other side,” Minister Cormann said.</p> <p>“Our Government’s $100 billion infrastructure pipeline, of which Inland Rail is a major component, is part of our plan for a strong recovery.</p> <p>“Giving businesses and communities along Inland Rail’s path access to fast, efficient and cost-competitive freight transport will connect them to new markets and will drive new investments from industries looking to expand in our regions.</p> <p>“Significant job-creating and economy-boosting projects like Inland Rail will soften the economic impact of the coronavirus-induced crisis and also lay the tracks for future regional development and economic stimulus well into the future.”</p> <p>Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government and Federal Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton, welcomed the report and the opportunities highlighted for the region.</p> <p>“This report is an endorsement of what our Government has always known – Inland Rail is a transformational project that is going to deliver lasting opportunities for business,” Minister Coulton said.</p> <p>“The time is now for industry to start planning for the coming decades and strategically position themselves to build resilience in their supply chains and take full advantage of the huge benefits Inland Rail is going to offer.</p> <p>“The report includes industry case studies for Narrabri and Gunnedah – but what this report shows us is that there are opportunities for industry throughout northern New South Wales and not just along the 1700-kilometre line.</p> <p>“I want regional communities in northern New South Wales to have the same opportunities as metropolitan and coastal communities. Northern NSW is in a strong position to maximise the opportunities presented by Inland Rail.”</p> <p>Minister Coulton said the study region for the report includes 16 local government areas that are approximately 50km east and 100km west of the Inland Rail alignment.</p> <p>The report is part of a broader economic study released in March 2020 that builds on the existing benefits outlined in the 2015 Inland Rail Business case and forecasts that regional Queensland, NSW and Victoria will see a boost of up to $13.3 billion in gross regional product off the back of Inland Rail.</p> <p>Find out more about the research at <a href="http://www.inlandrail.gov.au/northern-NSW-regional-report">inlandrail.gov.au/northern-NSW-regional-report</a>. </p> <h2><strong>Media contacts:</strong></h2> <p><strong>Mr McCormack</strong> – Tess Salmon 0467 740 017</p> <p><strong>Minister Cormann</strong> – Antony Perry 0484 312 671</p> <p><strong>Minister Coulton </strong>– Steph Nicholls 0417 314 920</p> Coulton Inland Rail long–term opportunities for Northern NSW Federal funding to fix 24 dangerous Black Spots in South Australia https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/media-release/federal-funding-fix-24-dangerous-black-spots-south-australia <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">Twenty-four dangerous crash sites across South Australia will be fixed under the latest round of the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government’s Black Spot Program.</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the State would receive $8.7 million under the program’s 2020-21 funding round.</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">“Safer roads save lives. This major investment is part of the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government’s commitment to improving roads right across the nation,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">“Over the past five years, one fatal crash and 86 accidents causing injuries have occurred on the high-priority locations we are funding.</p> <p>“One death, one injury on our roads is one too many. We are committed to doing our bit to make sure all Australians, no matter where they live, arrive home to their loved ones sooner and safer.” </p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said the 24 Black Spot projects across South Australia would make an important contribution towards reducing serious injuries and deaths on South Australian roads.</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">“The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics has found that, on average, Black Spot projects reduce the number of crashes causing death and injury by 30 per cent,” Mr Buchholz said.</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">“Nationwide, the Australian Government has committed $1.05 billion to the Black Spot Program from 2013-14 to 2022-23 to improve road safety across the nation.”</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">Federal Member for Barker and Chair of the South Australian Black Spot Consultative Panel Tony Pasin said this investment in Black Spot projects would deliver safer roads in local government areas throughout South Australia.</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">“The Black Spot Program funds safety measures such as traffic signals and roundabouts at road locations where a number of serious crashes are known to have occurred or are at risk of occurring,” Mr Pasin said.</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">“Safety will be significantly improved in these 24 black spot projects across South Australia.</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">“It is another example of the Australian Government getting on with building the productive infrastructure our local community and economy needs.”</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">For more information on the Australian Government’s Black Spot Program, or to nominate a black spot, visit <a href="http://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/funding/blackspots/">http://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/funding/blackspots/</a>.</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">A list of funded projects is available below.</p> <h2 class="BoswellMediaHeader"><strong>Media Contact:</strong></h2> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">Mr McCormack – Hannah Maguire <a href="0,0?q=0429 920 254 Mr Buchholz – Scott O’Connell 0413 424">0429 920 254</a></p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">Mr Buchholz - Scott O'Connell 0413 424 384</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">Mr Pasin – Charlotte Edmunds <a href="tel:0402 243 753">0402 243 753</a></p> <p> </p> <div class="WordSection2"> <h2><strong>2020–21 Black Spot Program – South Australia</strong></h2> <table class="Table"> <thead> <tr> <td> <p><strong>Project Name</strong></p> </td> <td> <p><strong>Proposed Treatment </strong></p> </td> <td> <p><strong>Australian Government Contribution</strong></p> </td> <td> <p><strong>Local Government Area</strong></p> </td> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p>Checker Hill Road<br /> 1.6 kilometres west of Forreston Road<br /> KERSBROOK</p> </td> <td> <p>Seal approximately 300 metres shoulders and delineation improvements works including installation of guideposts, curve advisory signs and Chevron Alignment Markers (CAMs). Inclusion of motorcycle barrier protection</p> </td> <td> <p>$148,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Adelaide Hills</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Daly Street<br /> from Cross Terrace to Mortimer Street<br /> KURRALTA PARK</p> </td> <td> <p>Delineate two opposing traffic lanes and a separate parking lane while banning parking on one side</p> </td> <td> <p>$21,000</p> </td> <td> <p>West Torrens</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Ridge Road<br /> 800-metre section between Boyle Swamp Road and Bradbury Road<br /> MYLOR</p> </td> <td> <p>Seal shoulders for approx 300 metres of road section and delineation improvements works including installation of guideposts, curve advisory signs and Chevron Alignment Markers (CAMs)</p> </td> <td> <p>$98,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Adelaide Hills</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Ironbank Road<br /> 800-metre section from Wooly Butt Road to Nioka Road<br /> IRONBANK</p> </td> <td> <p>Seal shoulders, installation of curve advisory signs and safety barrier including motorcycle protection barrier and delineation improvements</p> </td> <td> <p>$145,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Adelaide Hills</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>High Street<br /> Barossa Valley Way<br /> GAWLER EAST</p> </td> <td> <p>Install raised concrete protuberance to extend the kerbline. Install pedestrian refuge on Lyndoch Road. Extend Give Way line and centre median to improve sightlines for right turns</p> </td> <td> <p>$115,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Gawler</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Martin Hill Road<br /> 2.0 kilometres to 3.2 kilometres west of Warren Road<br /> FORRESTON</p> </td> <td> <p>Seal shoulders on both sides of the road and install guideposts, and Chevron Alignment Markers to improve delineation and consistency in information for drivers</p> </td> <td> <p>$160,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Adelaide Hills</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>West Lakes Boulevard<br /> Turner Drive<br /> WEST LAKES</p> </td> <td> <p>Install right-turn control including right-turn arrows and extension of the right-turn lane on West Lakes Boulevard into Turner Drive</p> </td> <td> <p>$334,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Charles Sturt</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Eastern Parade<br /> May Terrace<br /> OTTOWAY</p> </td> <td> <p>Install speed cushions, narrow protuberance and delineation improvements at May Terrace to reinforce existing Stop and Give Way controls. Improve lighting</p> </td> <td> <p>$69,200</p> </td> <td> <p>Port Adelaide</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Hindley Street<br /> Gray Street<br /> ADELAIDE</p> </td> <td> <p>Improved lighting with new kerb build-outs. Speed limit reduced to 30 km/h. Installation of buffer zones between the bicycle lane and car parking.  Installation of a continuous pedestrian footpath on Gray Street</p> </td> <td> <p>$555,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Adelaide City</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Woolnough Road<br /> Hargrave Street<br /> LARGS BAY</p> </td> <td> <p>Modify the existing roundabout at this intersection from a ‘tangential-type’ alignment to a ‘radial-type’ alignment</p> </td> <td> <p>$219,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Port Adelaide</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Cherry Gardens Road<br /> from Main Road to Ackland Hill Road<br /> IRONBANK</p> </td> <td> <p>Seal shoulders along the majority of Cherry Gardens Road, installation of guardrail, and improved delineation and signage</p> </td> <td> <p>$1,340,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Onkaparinga</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Eastern Parade<br /> Rosewater Terrace<br /> OTTOWAY</p> </td> <td> <p>Install speed cushions, narrow road/install kerb extensions and linemarking on Rosewater Terrace to reinforce existing Stop and Give Way controls. Install lighting</p> </td> <td> <p>$205,200</p> </td> <td> <p>Port Adelaide</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Pages Flat Road<br /> 1.5 kilometres west of Victor Harbor Road<br /> PAGES FLAT</p> </td> <td> <p>Install guardrail and remove roadside hazards</p> </td> <td> <p>$177,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Alexandrina</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Roennfeldt Road<br /> 1.5 kilometres south of Greenock<br /> GREENOCK</p> </td> <td> <p>Seal and widen three road bends, reconstruct superelevation, upgrade delineation including chevron alignment markers and signage as required, remove hazards</p> </td> <td> <p>$400,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Light</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Victor Harbor Road<br /> Goolwa Road<br /> MOUNT COMPASS</p> </td> <td> <p>Offset existing left turn lane to improve sightline. Improve signage</p> </td> <td> <p>$584,010</p> </td> <td> <p>Alexandrina</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Stockwell Road<br /> Penrice Road<br /> PENRICE</p> </td> <td> <p>Create an off-set intersection arrangement by installing 'tear drop' medians at the Penrice leg including improved line marking, signage and lighting</p> </td> <td> <p>$560,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Barossa</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Barrier Highway<br /> north of Riverton<br /> RIVERTON</p> </td> <td> <p>Widen sealed shoulders at curves and install safety barriers, delineation improvements to include Retro-reflective Raised Pavement Markers (RRPM) and install Audio Tactile Line Markings (ATLM)</p> </td> <td> <p>$565,131</p> </td> <td> <p>Clare and Gilbert</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Glenelg Highway<br /> 600-metre section from Victorian Border to Glenburnie Road<br /> GLENBURNIE</p> </td> <td> <p>Install safety barrier from approximately South Australian/Victorian border to 600 metres west on both sides of Glenelg Highway. Tree and vegetation removal to improve road user safety</p> </td> <td> <p>$453,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Grant</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Nelson Road<br /> Kesters Road<br /> PARA HILLS</p> </td> <td> <p>Install a roundabout</p> </td> <td> <p>$1,125,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Salisbury</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Mount Lofty Summit Road<br /> 1.3 kilometres north of the South Eastern Freeway<br /> CRAFERS</p> </td> <td> <p>Installation of guardrail and seal shoulders with improved lighting, delineation and signage</p> </td> <td> <p>$269,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Adelaide Hills</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Wright Road<br /> Canna Road<br /> INGLE FARM</p> </td> <td> <p>Install a seagull to provide protected right turn in and out vehicle movements</p> </td> <td> <p>$335,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Salisbury</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Waggon Road<br /> from north of the intersection with Day Road to Welch Road<br /> VICTOR HARBOR</p> </td> <td> <p>Provide seal and unsealed shoulders, hazard removal, improve delineation and signage with improved road surface at curves and junctions. Install W-beam safety barriers at high risk bend sections</p> </td> <td> <p>$529,760</p> </td> <td> <p>Victor Harbor</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Ruwoldt Road<br /> Yahl Road<br /> YAHL</p> </td> <td> <p>Construct a staggered T-junction at Ruwoldt Road and Yahl Road</p> </td> <td> <p>$235,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Grant</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Southend Access Road<br /> from Southern Ports Highway to Watson Street<br /> SOUTHEND</p> </td> <td> <p>Installation of audio tactile line marking on edge lines with Raised Reflective Pavement Markers, improved signage and delineation</p> </td> <td> <p>$105,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Wattle</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p><strong> </strong></p> </div> McCormack Federal funding to fix 24 dangerous Black Spots in South Australia Fast broadband powering the nation’s productivity https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/fletcher/media-release/fast-broadband-powering-nations-productivity <p>The Morrison Government welcomes new research released today on Australian internet use. The research demonstrates the social and economic benefits of the National Broadband Network (NBN) and underlines its important role in supporting Australians to stay productive and connected through the COVID-19 pandemic.</p> <p>The research, undertaken for NBN Co, shows four in five (83 per cent) of respondents agreed they could not have completed their jobs without fast internet and more than two-thirds (67 per cent) said they expect to work from home more after the pandemic has ended.</p> <p>Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said the research demonstrates the importance of the Liberal National Government’s sustained, multi-year focus on rolling out the NBN across Australia as quickly and cost effectively as possible. </p> <p>“The immense challenges presented by COVID-19 have prompted businesses and their people to become more flexible, adaptable and innovative in how they go about their work. The NBN is available to more than 11.4 million homes and businesses and has been essential in enabling a rapid shift to remote working,” Minister Fletcher said.</p> <p>“If the NBN was still being rolled out in line with Labor’s original plan, some 3.5 million fewer households would have been able to connect to the NBN when Australia was hit by COVID-19 earlier this year.</p> <p>“The network has stood up to considerable increases in demand with downloads soaring up to 70 per cent during work hours since social distancing requirements came into effect. Thanks to the NBN, Australians have been able to keep working productively from home and stay connected with their colleagues, clients and stakeholders.”</p> <p>NBN Co’s Behavioural Change Survey looks at how Australians’ internet habits have changed during social distancing, and how they may change once restrictions ease. It found four in five people (81 per cent) reported that remote working has had a positive impact on their work-life balance, and of the people working from home almost four in five (79 per cent) have purchased one or more devices to support their online activities during COVID-19, and more than half (56 per cent) have created a new or dedicated office space.</p> <p>“The research shows people are interested in making remote work part of a longer term lifestyle change – they’re setting up home offices and reporting working from home provides better work-life balance. This demonstrates the critical role the NBN has played and will continue to play in supporting Australians’ productivity, social and connectivity needs,” Minister Fletcher said.</p> <p>“With the rollout of the NBN very close to completion, Australians are better placed than ever to realise the full potential of fast internet to work or learn from home, access essential services and connect with family and friends.”</p> <p>NBN Co is actively monitoring and managing network demand and has provided retail service providers with up to 40 per cent more network capacity at no additional charge through to July. The company is also providing a $150 million financial relief and assistance fund to help retail service providers assist vulnerable customers affected by COVID-19.</p> <p>More than seven million homes and businesses are already connected to the NBN.</p> <p>For more information on the survey and NBN Co’s COVID-19 support visit <a href="http://www.nbnco.com.au/campaigns/covid-19">NBN Co’s website</a>.</p> <h2><strong>Further information:</strong></h2> <ul> <li>This research was undertaken by Venture Insights on behalf of NBN Co in April 2020.</li> <li>The survey was conducted nationally across Australia and required a representative survey sample across available geographic regions. 1,006 respondents aged 18+ completed the survey.</li> <li>77 per cent of the respondents belonged to a metro area, and 23 per cent to a regional area.</li> </ul> <h2><strong>Media contact:</strong></h2> <p>Brad Hatch | 0448 162 679 | <a>Brad.Hatch@communications.gov.au</a><br /> Rebecca Papillo | 0439 892 771 | <a>Rebecca.Papillo@communications.gov.au</a></p> Fletcher Fast broadband powering the nation’s productivity Federal funding to fix 24 dangerous Black Spots in South Australia https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/buchholz/federal-funding-fix-24-dangerous-black-spots-south-australia <p>Twenty-four dangerous crash sites across South Australia will be fixed under the latest round of the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government’s Black Spot Program.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the State would receive $8.7 million under the program’s 2020-21 funding round.</p> <p>“Safer roads save lives. This major investment is part of the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government’s commitment to improving roads right across the nation,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>“Over the past five years, one fatal crash and 86 accidents causing injuries have occurred on the high-priority locations we are funding.</p> <p>“One death, one injury on our roads is one too many. We are committed to doing our bit to make sure all Australians, no matter where they live, arrive home to their loved ones sooner and safer.” </p> <p>Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said the 24 Black Spot projects across South Australia would make an important contribution towards reducing serious injuries and deaths on South Australian roads.</p> <p>“The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics has found that, on average, Black Spot projects reduce the number of crashes causing death and injury by 30 per cent,” Mr Buchholz said.</p> <p>“Nationwide, the Australian Government has committed $1.05 billion to the Black Spot Program from 2013-14 to 2022-23 to improve road safety across the nation.”</p> <p>Federal Member for Barker and Chair of the South Australian Black Spot Consultative Panel Tony Pasin said this investment in Black Spot projects would deliver safer roads in local government areas throughout South Australia.</p> <p>“The Black Spot Program funds safety measures such as traffic signals and roundabouts at road locations where a number of serious crashes are known to have occurred or are at risk of occurring,” Mr Pasin said.</p> <p>“Safety will be significantly improved in these 24 black spot projects across South Australia.</p> <p>“It is another example of the Australian Government getting on with building the productive infrastructure our local community and economy needs.”</p> <p>For more information on the Australian Government’s Black Spot Program, or to nominate a black spot, visit <a href="http://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/funding/blackspots/">http://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/funding/blackspots/</a>.</p> <p>A list of funded projects is available below.</p> <h2><strong>Media Contact:</strong></h2> <p>Mr McCormack – Hannah Maguire <a href="https://ministerinfrastructure.govcms.gov.au/mccormack/media-release/0,0?q=0429%20920%20254%20%20%20Mr%20Buchholz%20%E2%80%93%20Scott%20O%E2%80%99Connell%200413%20424">0429 920 254</a></p> <p>Mr Buchholz - Scott O'Connell 0413 424 384</p> <p>Mr Pasin – Charlotte Edmunds <a href="tel:0402 243 753">0402 243 753</a></p> <p> </p> <h2><strong>2020–21 Black Spot Program – South Australia</strong></h2> <table> <thead> <tr> <td> <p><strong>Project Name</strong></p> </td> <td> <p><strong>Proposed Treatment</strong></p> </td> <td> <p><strong>Australian Government Contribution</strong></p> </td> <td> <p><strong>Local Government Area</strong></p> </td> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p>Checker Hill Road<br /> 1.6 kilometres west of Forreston Road<br /> KERSBROOK</p> </td> <td> <p>Seal approximately 300 metres shoulders and delineation improvements works including installation of guideposts, curve advisory signs and Chevron Alignment Markers (CAMs). Inclusion of motorcycle barrier protection</p> </td> <td> <p>$148,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Adelaide Hills</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Daly Street<br /> from Cross Terrace to Mortimer Street<br /> KURRALTA PARK</p> </td> <td> <p>Delineate two opposing traffic lanes and a separate parking lane while banning parking on one side</p> </td> <td> <p>$21,000</p> </td> <td> <p>West Torrens</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Ridge Road<br /> 800-metre section between Boyle Swamp Road and Bradbury Road<br /> MYLOR</p> </td> <td> <p>Seal shoulders for approx 300 metres of road section and delineation improvements works including installation of guideposts, curve advisory signs and Chevron Alignment Markers (CAMs)</p> </td> <td> <p>$98,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Adelaide Hills</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Ironbank Road<br /> 800-metre section from Wooly Butt Road to Nioka Road<br /> IRONBANK</p> </td> <td> <p>Seal shoulders, installation of curve advisory signs and safety barrier including motorcycle protection barrier and delineation improvements</p> </td> <td> <p>$145,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Adelaide Hills</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>High Street<br /> Barossa Valley Way<br /> GAWLER EAST</p> </td> <td> <p>Install raised concrete protuberance to extend the kerbline. Install pedestrian refuge on Lyndoch Road. Extend Give Way line and centre median to improve sightlines for right turns</p> </td> <td> <p>$115,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Gawler</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Martin Hill Road<br /> 2.0 kilometres to 3.2 kilometres west of Warren Road<br /> FORRESTON</p> </td> <td> <p>Seal shoulders on both sides of the road and install guideposts, and Chevron Alignment Markers to improve delineation and consistency in information for drivers</p> </td> <td> <p>$160,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Adelaide Hills</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>West Lakes Boulevard<br /> Turner Drive<br /> WEST LAKES</p> </td> <td> <p>Install right-turn control including right-turn arrows and extension of the right-turn lane on West Lakes Boulevard into Turner Drive</p> </td> <td> <p>$334,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Charles Sturt</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Eastern Parade<br /> May Terrace<br /> OTTOWAY</p> </td> <td> <p>Install speed cushions, narrow protuberance and delineation improvements at May Terrace to reinforce existing Stop and Give Way controls. Improve lighting</p> </td> <td> <p>$69,200</p> </td> <td> <p>Port Adelaide</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Hindley Street<br /> Gray Street<br /> ADELAIDE</p> </td> <td> <p>Improved lighting with new kerb build-outs. Speed limit reduced to 30 km/h. Installation of buffer zones between the bicycle lane and car parking.  Installation of a continuous pedestrian footpath on Gray Street</p> </td> <td> <p>$555,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Adelaide City</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Woolnough Road<br /> Hargrave Street<br /> LARGS BAY</p> </td> <td> <p>Modify the existing roundabout at this intersection from a ‘tangential-type’ alignment to a ‘radial-type’ alignment</p> </td> <td> <p>$219,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Port Adelaide</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Cherry Gardens Road<br /> from Main Road to Ackland Hill Road<br /> IRONBANK</p> </td> <td> <p>Seal shoulders along the majority of Cherry Gardens Road, installation of guardrail, and improved delineation and signage</p> </td> <td> <p>$1,340,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Onkaparinga</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Eastern Parade<br /> Rosewater Terrace<br /> OTTOWAY</p> </td> <td> <p>Install speed cushions, narrow road/install kerb extensions and linemarking on Rosewater Terrace to reinforce existing Stop and Give Way controls. Install lighting</p> </td> <td> <p>$205,200</p> </td> <td> <p>Port Adelaide</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Pages Flat Road<br /> 1.5 kilometres west of Victor Harbor Road<br /> PAGES FLAT</p> </td> <td> <p>Install guardrail and remove roadside hazards</p> </td> <td> <p>$177,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Alexandrina</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Roennfeldt Road<br /> 1.5 kilometres south of Greenock<br /> GREENOCK</p> </td> <td> <p>Seal and widen three road bends, reconstruct superelevation, upgrade delineation including chevron alignment markers and signage as required, remove hazards</p> </td> <td> <p>$400,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Light</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Victor Harbor Road<br /> Goolwa Road<br /> MOUNT COMPASS</p> </td> <td> <p>Offset existing left turn lane to improve sightline. Improve signage</p> </td> <td> <p>$584,010</p> </td> <td> <p>Alexandrina</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Stockwell Road<br /> Penrice Road<br /> PENRICE</p> </td> <td> <p>Create an off-set intersection arrangement by installing 'tear drop' medians at the Penrice leg including improved line marking, signage and lighting</p> </td> <td> <p>$560,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Barossa</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Barrier Highway<br /> north of Riverton<br /> RIVERTON</p> </td> <td> <p>Widen sealed shoulders at curves and install safety barriers, delineation improvements to include Retro-reflective Raised Pavement Markers (RRPM) and install Audio Tactile Line Markings (ATLM)</p> </td> <td> <p>$565,131</p> </td> <td> <p>Clare and Gilbert</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Glenelg Highway<br /> 600-metre section from Victorian Border to Glenburnie Road<br /> GLENBURNIE</p> </td> <td> <p>Install safety barrier from approximately South Australian/Victorian border to 600 metres west on both sides of Glenelg Highway. Tree and vegetation removal to improve road user safety</p> </td> <td> <p>$453,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Grant</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Nelson Road<br /> Kesters Road<br /> PARA HILLS</p> </td> <td> <p>Install a roundabout</p> </td> <td> <p>$1,125,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Salisbury</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Mount Lofty Summit Road<br /> 1.3 kilometres north of the South Eastern Freeway<br /> CRAFERS</p> </td> <td> <p>Installation of guardrail and seal shoulders with improved lighting, delineation and signage</p> </td> <td> <p>$269,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Adelaide Hills</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Wright Road<br /> Canna Road<br /> INGLE FARM</p> </td> <td> <p>Install a seagull to provide protected right turn in and out vehicle movements</p> </td> <td> <p>$335,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Salisbury</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Waggon Road<br /> from north of the intersection with Day Road to Welch Road<br /> VICTOR HARBOR</p> </td> <td> <p>Provide seal and unsealed shoulders, hazard removal, improve delineation and signage with improved road surface at curves and junctions. Install W-beam safety barriers at high risk bend sections</p> </td> <td> <p>$529,760</p> </td> <td> <p>Victor Harbor</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Ruwoldt Road<br /> Yahl Road<br /> YAHL</p> </td> <td> <p>Construct a staggered T-junction at Ruwoldt Road and Yahl Road</p> </td> <td> <p>$235,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Grant</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Southend Access Road<br /> from Southern Ports Highway to Watson Street<br /> SOUTHEND</p> </td> <td> <p>Installation of audio tactile line marking on edge lines with Raised Reflective Pavement Markers, improved signage and delineation</p> </td> <td> <p>$105,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Wattle</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> Buchholz Federal funding to fix 24 dangerous Black Spots in South Australia National collecting institutions to re-open https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/fletcher/media-release/national-collecting-institutions-re-open <p>Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, today announced Australia’s National Collecting Institutions will be able to re-open to the public starting 30 May under strict guidelines to protect the public and those who work in the buildings.</p> <p>The National Collecting Institutions attracted more than 4.5 million onsite visitors in 2018-19 and comprise institutions including the National Gallery of Australia, the National Museum of Australia, the National Portrait Gallery, the National Library of Australia, the National Film and Sound Archives, Bundanon and the Australian National Maritime Museum.</p> <p>“After a challenging period, the reopening of the nation’s premier cultural institutions is an important step in the re-emergence of Australia’s cultural and creative economy,” Minister Fletcher said.</p> <p>“As the Prime Minister has made clear: now is the time to focus on bringing back the Australian way of life in a safe way.”</p> <p>Minister Fletcher said that reopening museums, galleries and libraries would be discussed at today’s Videoconference Meeting of Cultural Ministers. He said he would encourage state and territory governments to take similar decisions in relation to the museums, galleries and libraries for which they are responsible.   </p> <p>Over past weeks, the National Collecting Institutions have reached current and new audiences through the use of social media and digitally accessible content, making possible virtual tours and curator-led features of collection objects. While this form of engagement has been welcome, Australians will soon be able to visit our National Collecting Institutions in person to once again experience the objects and artworks that are so central to the telling of Australia’s story.</p> <p>“Like many Australians, I am looking forward to once again being able to visit our wonderful national institutions,” Minister Fletcher said.</p> <p>“The reopening of Australia’s National Collecting Institutions is possible because of work by the Morrison Government to fast-track the development and implementation of special safety protocols designed for public gallery, library and museum spaces.”</p> <p>Special arrangements will be in place to keep people safe, including timed entry and one way flow through gallery spaces, and visitors may be asked to provide their contact information to allow public health tracing there will also be increased signage throughout buildings and more frequent cleaning of touch areas.</p> <p>The decision to reopen follows the National Cabinet’s 3 Step Framework for a COVIDSafe Australia and health advice to allow public access to our galleries, libraries, archives and museums to resume with visitor access arrangements in place in place to ensure social distancing requirements are carefully managed. </p> <p>“These measures are important and will help give visitors confidence that their health and safety is a priority,” Minister Fletcher said.</p> <h2><strong>Media contact:</strong></h2> <p>Brad Hatch | 0448 162 679 | <a>Brad.Hatch@communications.gov.au</a></p> <p>Rebecca Papillo | 0439 892 771 | <a>Rebecca.Papillo@communications.gov.au</a></p> Fletcher National collecting institutions to re-open Australian content boost for audiences in the Pacific https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/fletcher/media-release/australian-content-boost-audiences-pacific <p>Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Fiji will have access to more Australian television content through the PacificAus TV initiative delivered by Free TV Australia.</p> <p>Programs such as Neighbours, MasterChef, The Voice, 60 Minutes, House Rules, Border Security: Australia’s Frontline and children’s program Totally Wild will be available for broadcast on local free-to-air channels.</p> <p>Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said that the PacificAus TV Initiative is a great way to broaden audiences for much-loved Australian screen content. </p> <p>“Our close neighbours across the Pacific can now enjoy more Australian television content including lifestyle programs, news, drama and sports on their local free-to-air television stations through the initiative. I want to acknowledge the efforts of FreeTV who made this possible,” Minister Fletcher said.</p> <p>Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, said today’s announcement builds on the range of initiatives under Australia’s Pacific Step-up, strengthening links between Australians and people across the Pacific.</p> <p>“Having the opportunity to watch the same stories on our screens will only deepen the connection with our Pacific family. For decades, many Pacific countries have had access to Australian programmes and televised sporting matches and this initiative will expand those entertainment options. Free TV Australia is in the process of finalising arrangements for sport to be broadcast from codes including netball, cricket, soccer, AFL and NRL,” Minister Payne said.</p> <p>Assistant Defence Minister and Minister for International Development and the Pacific, the Hon Alex Hawke MP, said Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Fiji are the first of seven countries that will receive Australian content through the initiative.</p> <p>“The PacificAus TV initiative is a terrific demonstration of shared cultural ties and links between Australia and the Pacific. While Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Fiji are the first to switch on to the Pacific TV initiative, Vanuatu, Kiribati, Tuvalu and Nauru will follow in the coming months,” Minister Hawke said.</p> <p>The PacificAus TV initiative will make the broadcast rights to 1,000 hours of Australian television content available to broadcast partners in Pacific nations each year for three years.</p> <p>Free TV Australia was selected to work with Australian commercial free-to-air television networks and Pacific partner broadcasters to supply premium Australian content, free of charge, to the Pacific broadcasters.</p> <p>Content availability is based on consultation by Free TV Australia with Pacific broadcasters, and the additional Australian content is provided for programming by partner broadcasters as best meets their audience needs and other country-specific requirements.</p> <p>The initiative is worth $17.1 million over three years.</p> <p>Find out more about PacificAus TV here: <a href="https://www.pacificaustv.com/">https://www.pacificaustv.com/</a>.</p> <h2>Media contacts:</h2> <p> Minister Fletcher:<br /> Brad Hatch | 0448 162 679 | <a href="mailto:Brad.Hatch@communications.gov.au">Brad.Hatch@communications.gov.au</a><br /> Rebecca Papillo | 0439 892 771 | <a href="mailto:Rebecca.Papillo@communications.gov.au">Rebecca.Papillo@communications.gov.au</a><br /> Minister Payne: <br /> David Wroe | 0429 531 143 | <a href="mailto:David.Wroe@dfat.gov.au">David.Wroe@dfat.gov.au</a><br /> Melanie Ruiz | 0427 888 392 | <a href="mailto:Melanie.Ruiz@dfat.gov.au">Melanie.Ruiz@dfat.gov.au</a><br /> Minister Hawke: <br /> Wade Laube | 0409 193 057 | <a href="mailto:Wade.Laube@dfat.gov.au">Wade.Laube@dfat.gov.au</a></p> Fletcher Australian content boost for audiences in the Pacific Great Central Road sealing works underway https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/media-release/great-central-road-sealing-works-underway <p>Work will soon begin on sealing Great Central Road with a $20 million contract awarded to Wongutha Way Alliance, a joint venture between CareyMC Pty Ltd and Central Earthmoving Company Pty Ltd.</p> <p>In consultation with local elders, the Alliance was aptly named the 'Wongutha' Way Alliance, meaning the broad group of local Aboriginal people who reside in the area and celebrating the united commitment to provide benefit to local communities.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said providing interstate connectivity for tourists, communities and the freight industry will help support our economy far into the future.</p> <p>"It's exciting to see work starting on this 41km section of Great Central Road. The project includes reconstruction of the pavement and sealing the road surface, which will ultimately form part of the longer-term upgrade of 'Outback Way," Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>"This will create Australia's third Transcontinental Highway, providing a sealed route starting in Laverton, Western Australia, through Alice Springs in the Northern Territory and connecting all the way to Winton in Queensland."</p> <p>West Australian Minister for Transport Rita Saffioti said Great Central Road provides the ultimate 'Aussie Outback' experience - sealing this road will allow more visitors to travel this iconic route and experience a true West Australian Outback adventure.</p> <p>"The Wongutha Way Alliance is the first of its kind, and embodies our commitment to providing long term, sustainable employment opportunities for West Australians in the most remote parts of our state," Ms Saffioti said.</p> <p>"It is pleasing to see the commitment made by this joint venture in both training and guiding trainees on this project."</p> <p>Federal Member for O'Connor Rick Wilson said the Wongutha Way Alliance has been preparing for this project since 2019, with the recruitment of local Aboriginal people into structured training programs.</p> <p>"These programs included theory and practical 'hands-on' training modules, which were carried out in the Laverton Community Hall, Carey's Laverton yard and nearby sites," Mr Wilson said.</p> <p>"A graduation ceremony was held in Laverton on February 14, 2020 where each trainee was presented a training certificate and offered a job with CareyMC Pty Ltd to work on the Outback Way project."</p> <p>West Australian Treasurer and Minister for Finance, Aboriginal Affairs, and Lands Ben Wyatt said the communities along the Great Central Road offer some of the most unique cultural experiences in the country, giving tourists a real insight into Australia's Aboriginal heritage.</p> <p>"This project will see up to 30 Aboriginal people involved in construction works and ongoing employment opportunities, with an expected economic boost from an increase in visitors to the area," Mr Wyatt said.</p> <p>"Both CareyMC and Central Earthmoving have embraced the McGowan Government's commitment to increase employment opportunities for local Aboriginal people and businesses in the region."</p> <p>The Great Central Road project is a jointly funded project with the Australian Government committing $37.2 million and the West Australian Government committing $9.3 million.</p> McCormack Great Central Road sealing works underway Leach Highway and Welshpool Road intersection upgrades a step closer https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/tudge/media-release/leach-highway-and-welshpool-road-intersection-upgrades-step-closer <p>Proposals for the design and construction of the $93 million Leach Highway and Welshpool Road Interchange project are now open for submission. </p> <p>The upgrade is one of 24 Western Australian transport projects being fast-tracked to support the WA economy and local jobs during on the road out of COVID-19.</p> <p>Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said the project would improve critical connections to one of Perth’s major industrial areas and bust congestion across the freight network.</p> <p>“Safety is also a huge factor in this area, in just five years from 2014, 224 crashes have been reported and we need to bring these numbers down,” Mr Tudge said.</p> <p>“We are investing in critical infrastructure in WA to lay the foundations for economic recovery on the other side of COVID-19 and this project is part of that.”</p> <p>Western Australian Minister for Transport and Planning Rita Saffioti said the Leach Highway/Welshpool Road intersection was currently ranked as the second worst intersection across Western Australia for crash frequency and cost.</p> <p>“Up to 50,000 vehicles travel through this intersection daily, making it one of Perth’s most congested and dangerous,” Ms Saffioti said.</p> <p>“These upgrades will not only create a safer, more efficient intersection but will create and support local jobs.</p> <p>“This is just one of 24 major transport infrastructure projects we are fast-tracking the procurement for to deliver jobs and continue economic development in our suburbs.”</p> <p>Federal Member for Swan Steve Irons said the project would improve safety and efficiency for commuters, heavy vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians.</p> <p>“A new road bridge will carry Leach Highway over Welshpool Road and an additional road bridge on Leach Highway over the Armadale railway line, Railway Parade and Sevenoaks Street,” Mr Irons said.</p> <p>“There will also be a shared path for cyclists and pedestrians along Leach Highway from Sevenoaks Street to Orrong Road, including over the Armadale railway line.”</p> <p>The project is jointly funded with the Australian and Western Australian governments each committing $46.5 million and is scheduled to commence construction in late 2020.</p> <h2><strong>Media Contact:</strong></h2> <p>Mr Tudge - Michael Bennett 0434 782 923</p> <p>Ms Saffioti - Joel Kelly 0437 055 803</p> Tudge Leach Highway and Welshpool Road intersection upgrades a step closer Interview with Leon Delaney, 2CC Canberra Radio https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/interview/interview-leon-delaney-2cc-canberra-radio <p><strong>LEON DELANEY</strong></p> <p>Today, the Federal Government has announced $500 million in funding for local governments to spend on roads and community infrastructure and an additional $1.3 billion in grants will be brought forward. Now, out of that, the ACT receives an $8 million funding boost while councils across the Eden-Monaro electorate will receive around $7.2 million. To tell us more, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, good afternoon.</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>Good afternoon to you, Leon.</p> <p><strong>LEON DELANEY</strong></p> <p>Thanks very much for joining us today. Let's start with the business. We've got more money for roads and infrastructure. That's always a good thing. What exactly can the ACT Government do with this money? Are there strings attached?</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>No strings attached. They can deliver priority local roads and community infrastructure projects right across the ACT. What that is going to do is actually generate jobs and it will also help protect businesses because there'll be local procurement criteria written into the guidelines. And so the ACT Government will, of course, work through our Infrastructure Department, put its priorities and moreover the community's priorities and expectations forward. Our Department will give the tick-off to that and the money can roll out the door from July 1.</p> <p>It needs to be spent within 12 months but whether it's the ACT or, indeed, you just mentioned those local government areas within Eden-Monaro, indeed right across the nation, they will be participating in it. There are 537 beneficiaries of this funding. It's a good stimulus package. It's needed. And it's certainly going to create local jobs and local business opportunities.</p> <p><strong>LEON DELANEY</strong></p> <p>Now, of course, there is obviously a very big need to support jobs as much as possible at the moment and that's one of the reasons behind bringing forward some of this funding and adding in the new funding. The key point here is to get the money out the door quickly, is that right?</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>Well, that's right. We've seen with the drought, we've seen with, of course, the bushfire crisis and we've seen with COVID-19 people need the assistance and they need it quickly and that's what we've always endeavoured to do. Sometimes when, of course, councils working through states and then working through Government bureaucracies, sometimes the money doesn't go out the door as quickly as people would like. But there has to be transparency and accountability around these sorts of measures. There certainly is around this. And the one way to get local jobs on the ground quickly, people in high-viz, boots on the ground, so to speak, is certainly through a Commonwealth local government direct funding mechanism.</p> <p><strong>LEON DELANEY</strong></p> <p>Okay. Now, speaking of the Eden-Monaro electorate, you're still up in the air as to whether or not the National Party will run a candidate in that by-election, whenever it's going to be held. The Liberals, of course, are having their virtual meeting today to pre-select their candidate. Is it advisable to pursue a three-cornered contest?</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>We've never held the seat of Eden-Monaro. That's the Country Party and the Nationals. We're 100-years-old this year. We've never actually held that seat. We'd like to. Of course we'd like to hold even more regional seats. But, look, there's nothing wrong with a three-corner contest. I know when the Prime Minister spoke to me when Mike Kelly first signalled his intention that he was planning on retiring, the Prime Minister and I had a discussion as to whether our parties, our individual respective parties would run. The Liberals, of course, went within a whisker of winning the seat last time. And they've got every right to run. I ran in a three-corner contest when I first entered Parliament in 2010. So I know what it's like. I know how competitive and robust these three-cornered contests can be. It gives voters choices. And, speaking of people getting choices, the choice for The Nationals will be made at the local level, as it should be. The local branches, the local members get to decide whether we will run a candidate or not.</p> <p><strong>LEON DELANEY</strong></p> <p>Yes, you've been saying that repeatedly that it will be the local branches that make that call.</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>It has to be. It has to be.</p> <p><strong>LEON DELANEY</strong></p> <p>Sure, and when will they make that call?</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>Oh, in the next couple of weeks. They'll sit and have a meeting next week or the week after and of course they'll go through State Executive. We are a state-based organisation, as such, under the umbrella, of course, of a Federal Executive and of course Federal Executive, the president, Larry Anthony, will have a bit of a say. But, largely, the decision will be determined by the local branch members. As I say, we've been doing that this way for 100 years and that's the way it should be. I don't think, as the leader of the party, I should usurp the autonomy of those local branches. They're the ones that, after all, who are going to hand out, they're the ones who do the hard work, they're the ones who turn up to branch meetings and they're the ones who should have their say on this.</p> <p><strong>LEON DELANEY</strong></p> <p>Sure. When you're talking to Larry, tell him I said g'day.</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>Shall do.</p> <p><strong>LEON DELANEY</strong></p> <p>Now, what would you call it? The imbroglio between John Barilaro, Andrew Constance and yourself, that was rather unedifying. Has that hurt your chances if you do run a candidate?</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>Well, when you say unedifying, I've never swayed from the fact that I always put people first. And that is why I – very straight away at the start when it looked as though John was going to run I said I'd give him every support, maintained that all the way through but said at the end of the day the local branches have to make the decision on the best person they think is going to be – because it's how fair is it for the leader to exert his influence over local branches or, indeed, somebody who lives in Wagga Wagga, not that far away but far enough away not to probably be sticking his nose in. It's up to the local branches. Always said that. As far as Andrew Constance running and then not running, well, that was a matter for Andrew Constance. Yes, I suppose you could, for some people, see that it was a little unedifying. But I've never swayed from the fact that I always put people first. I always talk about outcomes, not personalities and always seek to get achievements done and accomplishments made and not headlines in newspapers. That's the way I am. I don't apologise for that. What we do need is somebody who is going to represent Eden-Monaro in the best possible way. If the Bega Mayor, Kristy McBain happens to win the seat, well, she'll still be in opposition and the people of Eden-Monaro will still have somebody, a member, who is in opposition. And let me tell you, Leon, from experience on both sides of the parliament, you can get more things done when you have a member in Government.</p> <p><strong>LEON DELANEY</strong></p> <p>One of the things that was most unedifying, of course, was the private messages that ended up, as you intimated, on the front page of the newspapers. That sort of leaking doesn't help, does it?</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>I'll just say no.</p> <p>[Laughter]</p> <p>Well, they certainly didn't leak from my phone. But anyway, look, it is what it is, water under the bridge. I know John is doing a fine job for regional New South Wales. And, you know, people need to know that we are working hard for them. Yeah, now and again it's like any family, you know, people have their squabbles and their spats. Yes, unfortunately, it ends up people airing their dirty linen in public but I've only ever put the people first.</p> <p><strong>LEON DELANEY</strong></p> <p>You're saying very nice things about him publicly but, you know, obviously behind the scenes it's not always what we see in public, is it?</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>Well, I don't think anybody who knows me would ever say that I say anything differently behind the scenes. You know, I've got relatives of his who work in my office and I don't have to go around my office second-guessing what I might have said in, you know, the recent past or whatever because what you see with me is what you get. And I say what I mean and I mean what I say.</p> <p><strong>LEON DELANEY</strong></p> <p>Well, that's always appreciated but the fact, of course, that these things did emerge in the way that they did, surely that indicates you've got enemies within your own camp that are undermining you and they're not doing you any good.</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>No, well, that's the way it is. I mean, as Darren Chester once said to me, “If you want a friend in politics go and buy a dog.” He's got a wonderful dog Marlo and I've got a wonderful Labrador, Max. So I might just leave that…</p> <p>[Laughter]</p> <p>And Max is always happy when I take him for a walk.</p> <p><strong>LEON DELANEY</strong></p> <p>I'm pretty sure he may not have been the first to suggest that. But, obviously, yes, politics can be a rather friendless occupation but at the same time it is about – it's a team effort, isn't it? If the team is not cohesive, if there's division in the team, you're bound for disaster, aren't you?</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>Yes, I don't think it's helped, Leon, by the fact that we've now got a 24/7 news cycle. I used to be a journalist for 21 years and life was different back then. We had the radio, you know, we used to do the news bulletin of a morning and very, very well. And then, of course, you'd have the 6 o'clock news bulletin that night and then you would have the local paper the next day, and that was about it. These days we've got Twitter and Facebook and, you know, TikTok and any other spectrum, there’s a lot to look at. And everybody is out, everybody is almost narcissistically trying to get, you know, the most number of likes on a thing and it just becomes all overpowering. But, for me, I just try and be positive, try and do the best I can always and try and get outcomes for those people who particularly live in regional Australia and certainly for those who are particularly doing it tough at the moment. And many people have lost their jobs. Many people are still living in caravans following the bushfires. Many people are still recovering from drought and when those sorts of people see politicians arguing amongst themselves, politicians who, you know, should be getting on with talking about the people not themselves, that does become a little bit distressing for those people who are doing it tough.</p> <p><strong>LEON DELANEY</strong></p> <p>All right. Now, while I've got you there, there are a couple of other things for me to touch upon today. First of all, the state borders that remain closed, most notably Queensland but also South Australia and Western Australia. The concern here, of course, is for the future of the tourism industry and aviation in particular for which you are responsible. There's a lot of discussion or dissent perhaps would be a better way of putting it, about this issue. And does Queensland have a point when their Premier says that they're not going to be dictated to by a state in Australia which has the worst COVID-19 numbers?</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>Well, there's always been competitive federalism since 1901. And, of course, Queensland and New South Wales have a lot of argy-bargy over all things more than just viruses. They play a certain game of football contest each year called the State of Origin Rugby League where they don't like to see eye to eye with us either. But, that said, you know this is a very serious matter. We've always taken the best medical advice from the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Brendan Murphy. We've followed that course all the way through. Moreover, the National Cabinet has set a framework by which the states have largely cooperated.</p> <p>Look, I appreciate, it is Queensland's jurisdictional right to close their borders for longer if they like than indeed New South Wales. And I know I've got a colleague, who works for me in fact, who drove down from Brisbane the other day but didn't go back through Sydney because if they go back through Sydney they have to be in quarantine for 14 days because there have been a number of cases in Sydney. So, I can see both sides of the argument. But the sooner the internal border restrictions are eased and the sooner the intrastate borders are eased – because there are some intrastate measures in Western Australia that, you know, regions are actually closed off from one another – the sooner our domestic airline services can resume.</p> <p><strong>LEON DELANEY</strong></p> <p>We were discussing this in the office earlier and we came to the conclusion that the best way to solve this problem is to shut down, or lock down, the city of Sydney and the rest of Australia can go about its business.</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>Your words, not mine.</p> <p>[Laughter]</p> <p><strong>LEON DELANEY</strong></p> <p>It would open up the regions, wouldn't it?</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>Well, yes, potentially. But it would be very difficult to police, though. I could just imagine, you know, you don't want to create an East Berlin situation. But what we need to do is continue to download the COVIDSafe app. That is one thing that your listeners, if they haven't done already, takes a minute, takes a minute or two and the more people who are on that COVIDSafe app, the healthier our nation will be and the healthier the outcomes will be for COVID-19.</p> <p><strong>LEON DELANEY</strong></p> <p>Magnificent. Also, very quickly, China, there's a big problem here with the attitude of China at the moment in terms of imposing the tariffs on barley, the restrictions on beef and now talk about slowing down the importation of Australian coal. Where's it going to end? And is it fair when people criticise the Government for suggesting that perhaps Australia was a little too strident in its criticisms of China?</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>Well, Australia did the right thing by co-supporting a bid to have the reason for and the spread of, COVID-19 brought before the right and proper authority, that is the World Health Assembly and that was supported by nations right across the world including China. The difficulties with trade are not unprecedented. The difficulties with trade are not insurmountable. I know that Trade Minister Simon Birmingham and Resources Minister Keith Pitt and Agriculture Minister David Littleproud will work through these with their counterparts in China. Our Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade officials, they do a wonderful job, as do all our public servants. They'll work through this with the diplomats in China. We'll bring about a resolution and that will be important for those workers who do rely on an income from a meat processing plant or, indeed, a farmer who is making a decision right now as to whether they will plant barley or some other grain.</p> <p><strong>LEON DELANEY</strong></p> <p>Now, finally, before you go, it's been revealed today that there has been a miscalculation at the Tax Office in relation to JobKeeper, thanks to mistakes made by businesses filling out the paperwork, and apparently there has been a great overestimate of the number of employees who would be collecting the money. So the bottom line here is that apparently the revised cost now of the JobKeeper program is around $70 billion instead of the original $130 billion. Now that you've got an extra $60 billion up your sleeve, do you see your way clear to perhaps spreading some of that money amongst the casuals who have currently found themselves denied any assistance or perhaps extending the support for longer than the initial six months?</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>Well, it's not as if we've got an additional $60 billion up our sleeve. It's just that we don't have $60 billion that we have to borrow and then pay back. And let me tell you, Leon, you, like every other person in this country, would be slightly worried about the fact that this is going to take some time to pay back. It's been important. It's been absolutely critical that we get JobKeeper out, money out the door for business and for individuals, absolutely imperative that we've, you know, increased JobSeeker during these difficult times to ensure that those people who've never been on the welfare queues got some dignity and got some money and certainly can get back on their feet and back into work as soon as they can.</p> <p>That's why we've put on the table the assistance measures that we have. That's why they've been important. But it all comes at a cost. And what we do want to see is our economy back and running and operating as it should and with $60 billion of additional cost, it's not up our sleeve. It would be $60 billion that we'd have to find down the track.</p> <p><strong>LEON DELANEY</strong></p> <p>Nevertheless, to make sure the economy is as strong, as you want it to be, people are going to need income support for a bit longer yet because you can't have a consumer economy without consumers and the projections are for unemployment to remain high well into next year.</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>Indeed, but when you look at and compare what Australia has done with our rates numbers, with our mortality rate and indeed with our unemployment numbers and you look at even other first world countries, I mean it is chalk and cheese. We have done exceedingly well. The images coming out of America of depression-style unemployment queues, of mass graves being constructed on Manhattan Island, they beggar belief quite frankly. And Australia has done very, very well.</p> <p>Yes, we can always look at what measures we need to put in place, and that's why I've worked very hard, of course with the Prime Minister and with other members of Cabinet and indeed all members of the Government to ensure that we've got the right measures in place. I know the Prime Minister has been working very hard with Premiers and Chief Ministers from right around the country, irrespective of their political persuasion, to get the best outcomes for Australia and we'll continue to do that.</p> <p><strong>LEON DELANEY</strong></p> <p>Michael McCormack, thanks very much for your time today.</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>It's been an absolute pleasure, Leon, thank you very much.</p> <p><strong>LEON DELANEY</strong></p> <p>Thank you. Michael McCormack, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development.</p> <h2><strong>Media contacts: </strong></h2> <p>Tess Salmon, 0467 740 017</p> <p>Hannah Maguire, 0429 920 254</p> McCormack Interview with Leon Delaney, 2CC Canberra Radio Transcript - Perth Live with Oliver Peterson, 6PR Perth https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/interview/transcript-perth-live-oliver-peterson-6pr-perth <p><strong>OLIVER PETERSON</strong></p> <p>Joining me from Parliament House in Canberra on this Friday afternoon is the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, Michael McCormack, good afternoon.</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>Good afternoon, Ollie.</p> <p><strong>OLIVER PETERSON</strong></p> <p>A little bit of an embarrassing bungle isn't it, a $60 billion windfall now with the JobKeeper programme being revised down from $130 billion dollars to $70 billion dollars? Will any Australian businesses or workers be forced to pay any of this money back?</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>No one will miss out. And when you say a windfall it's money that we don't have to then borrow and taxpayers in the future pay back. What JobKeeper has done is keep many businesses afloat and many workers connected to businesses and it's provided a lifeline to so many business people and indeed workers have told me for their futures. And so, look, these things happen from time to time. I don't think there should be any great red faces around Treasury and Finance. These things are sent to try us at times, but the bottom line is we've been able to cushion our economy and the fallout from what has been a global health pandemic and perhaps even more importantly than just the economic outcomes we've achieved. The numbers of people who've actually got coronavirus and worse, died from coronavirus, have been exceedingly low compared to those rates experienced overseas and for that, I think most Australians are very, very grateful.</p> <p><strong>OLIVER PETERSON</strong></p> <p>Yes, they certainly are for that, we've still got the border issue in place at the moment. Do you think where we are here in Western Australia, we should be dropping the border, Deputy Prime Minister, should we open that up and be connected once again to the rest of the country?</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>The sooner that happens the sooner our domestic airlines can get back in the sky but it is a matter for WA and I appreciate that competitive federalism has been taking place since 1901, acknowledging the comments that were exchanged between the WA Premier and the New South Wales Premier earlier but you know, it is up to WA. They have worked well within the National Cabinet framework but when you have the Chief Medical Officer of the country, Professor Brendan Murphy saying that it should be all right to look at and revisit these restrictions now and ease them where is thought necessary, I'll take his advice any day of the week whilst appreciating that for WA and other states and territories, ultimately it is their decision to take and make.</p> <p><strong>OLIVER PETERSON</strong></p> <p>Yes, the economic impacts as well you've been very strong, your Government about this being about lives and livelihoods. If there are tourism operators particularly in the north of our state that won't be able to experience any of the high season over the coming months and we've just got a handful of cases, if the federal medical advice is to open up and we stay closed. Well, they're going to be pretty cranky.</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>Well, I empathise with them too. And that's why when I visited Geraldton and spoke to the lobster fishermen and women up there, they had lost their market for the crayfish in China, the Chinese Lunar New Year because of COVID-19 and that's one of the prompters for me to set in place that international air freight mechanism, with the Trade Minister Simon Birmingham, $110 million dollars to get those lobsters, the world's best, into markets that perhaps at times, that perhaps they otherwise would not have received following the downturn in the Chinese economy and the shutdown of their markets due to the initial outbreak of COVID-19.</p> <p><strong>OLIVER PETERSON</strong></p> <p>Are you worried though with this so called trade war between Australia and China at the moment that some of those Geraldton lobster fishermen might miss out altogether if we keep going down the way it seems to be heading?</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>We'll work through it and I had a long, long chat, in fact a two hour telepresence with Western Australians this morning and they were on the telepresence where everybody from the resource sector, agriculture, you name it, they are on it. It was a very good catch up with some of those people and yes, they are concerned, they want of course these things to be resolved as soon as they can and that's why I've got every confidence in Senator Birmingham indeed Keith Pitt the Resources Minister, the Agriculture Minister David Littleproud to work with their counterparts in China, it's $149.7 billion trade relationship we have with that country and indeed, our Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade officials will work with the diplomats in China and Beijing to bring about hopefully a very quick resolution to this.</p> <p><strong>OLIVER PETERSON</strong></p> <p>Obviously barley farmers, particularly over this side of the country have been affected by China's decision this week. Were you able to alleviate any of their fears about losing out?</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>Well it's WA and South Australia, most affected. And you know, for those barley growers who are making decisions, whether they're in the west or the east of the country at the moment as to what they'll plant this winter, you know, it's a big decision to take. They've obviously, got a lot at stake in this and they're spending a lot of money on fertiliser and making sure everything is as it ought to be and whether they grow barley or indeed, if the situation goes on for much longer, whether they might even contemplate growing something else is going to be something they'll have to decide. But, you know, if it goes on for much longer well what we want to do is get as much an amicable response from Beijing as we can and get on with selling the world's best barley, indeed into Chinese markets because they need us as much as we need them, I've said that all the way through. It is a big market and we've got the world's best produce. Whether it is WA resources or indeed, WA agriculture.</p> <p><strong>OLIVER PETERSON</strong></p> <p>And do you worry, though, about the wine industry next? The beef industry, even our iron ore industry could be under threat?</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>Well, what we want to do is we want to have a good relationship with China. But at the same time, we said what we said about the start and the spread of Coronavirus to the proper agency, the World Health Organisation and that through the World Health Forum that was held just this week. We said we’d call for an inquiry. It was co-sponsored by Australia. Of course, there are others who participated in that as well. And it was, you know, general consensus, unanimous verdict that that should happen, that an enquiry should be held and you know that's the right responsible thing to do and Australia, you know, we need to protect our own sovereignty. We need to protect our own inheritance, our own legacy and we're doing just that.</p> <p><strong>OLIVER PETERSON</strong></p> <p>You've announced today along with the Prime Minister and the Minister for Local Government, almost $2 billion worth of Infrastructure and Local Government grants to be made available for Australian councils. What are these going to provide and can any council over this side of the country in WA apply for them?</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>Absolutely! I mean you couldn't wipe the smile off Mia Davies, the WA Nationals Leader's, face today when I spoke to her at length. 139 councils indeed and certainly many of those – well all those indeed – in her Wheatbelt region and right across WA are going to benefit from this. And whether it's, you name a shire, you name a city. The City of Stirling, Subiaco, Swan, all those metropolitan councils as well, they're all going to benefit from the proceeds of this $1.8 billion. Now there's $500 million to be spread amongst the 537 councils, so roughly that's about a million dollars each, give or take. And what it is, it's the Roads to Recovery funding formula used for each council. So they're able to spend that from July 1, on approved projects, on roads, on community infrastructure, you know, town halls and the like, whatever floats their boat. And so they can do that working through the Infrastructure Department. And then, of course, we're bringing forward the $1.3 billion dollars of Financial Assistance Grants. So there's quite a windfall for those councils. Quite a bit of money to be spent. But importantly, it will mean local jobs and perhaps even more importantly, Oliver, it will mean local procurement which will be written into the criteria for this programme, for the $500 million. So that will be great for the smaller medium enterprises, whether they're in Karratha or Kalgoorlie or wherever.</p> <p><strong>OLIVER PETERSON</strong></p> <p>The Deputy Prime Minister, I appreciate your time on Perth Live this afternoon. You have a good weekend.</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>You too, Oliver, thanks so much.</p> <p><strong>OLIVER PETERSON</strong></p> <p>My pleasure, Michael McCormack, the Leader of The Nationals, Deputy Prime Minister, fair bit in that interview.</p> <h2><strong>Media contacts: </strong></h2> <p>Tess Salmon, 0467 740 017</p> <p>Hannah Maguire, 0429 920 254</p> McCormack Transcript - Perth Live with Oliver Peterson, 6PR Perth $1.8 billion boost for local government https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/media-release/18-billion-boost-local-government <p class="x">The Federal Liberal and Nationals Government will deliver a $1.8 billion boost for road and community projects through local governments across Australia.</p> <p class="x">The package of support will help local councils support jobs and businesses by delivering priority projects focused on infrastructure upgrades and maintenance. </p> <p class="x">The new $500 million Local Road and Community Infrastructure Program and the bringing forward of $1.3 billion of the 2020-21 Financial Assistance Grant payment will also help communities battling the effects of COVID-19.</p> <p class="x">Prime Minister Scott Morrison said local governments were playing a critical role in responding to the impacts of COVID‑19.</p> <p class="x">“Our funding boost will help councils accelerate priority projects that will employ locally and support local business and also stimulating our economy,” the Prime Minister said.</p> <p class="x">“These projects will cut travel times, make our communities safer and upgrade the facilities we all enjoy while also getting more people into jobs.</p> <p class="x">“We know this is going to be vital support, particularly for councils that have faced the combined impacts of drought, bushfires and now COVID-19.”</p> <p class="x">Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said supporting councils to improve local roads and community infrastructure would have lasting economic and social benefits for communities, particularly those in the regions.</p> <p class="x">“This package will improve road safety and bolster the resilience of our local road networks, which will get Australians home sooner and safer, no matter where they live,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.</p> <p class="x">“Projects could include constructing or improving bridges and tunnels, street lighting and heavy vehicle facilities such as rest areas.</p> <p class="x">“Providing support for social infrastructure projects such as new or upgraded bicycle and walking paths, community facilities, picnic shelters and barbeque facilities at parks, will help communities, especially those in regional and remote areas, stay connected.”</p> <p class="x">Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government Mark Coulton said investing in infrastructure and jobs was crucial to helping regional communities rebound from COVID-19.</p> <p class="x">“Our package enables councils to continue their proven track record of partnering with the Coalition Government to deliver opportunities for locals to be employed and businesses to benefit by providing materials and services,” Minister Coulton said.</p> <p class="x">“The package takes Commonwealth investment in local governments through the Financial Assistance Grant program to $2.5 billion this financial year, with a further $1.2 billion being distributed through other programs to deliver infrastructure, and provide relief from drought and bushfires.”</p> <p class="x">Guidelines for the Local Road and Community Infrastructure Program will be provided directly to local governments by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications.</p> <p>Allocations under the Financial Assistance Grant and Local Road and Community Infrastructure programs can be found at <a href="https://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/lrci">https://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/lrci</a>.</p> <h2><strong>Media contacts: </strong></h2> <p>Prime Minister’s Press Office: <a href="tel:(02) 6277 7744">(02) 6277 7744</a></p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister’s Office: <a href="tel:(02) 6277 7520">(02) 6277 7520</a></p> <p>Minister Coulton’s Office: <a href="tel:(02) 6277 7495">(02) 6277 7495</a></p> McCormack $1.8 billion boost for local government Transcript - ABC News Breakfast https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/interview/transcript-abc-news-breakfast <p><strong>LISA MILLAR </strong></p> <p>Well, the Federal Government is set to announce another cash splash today, with almost $2 billion for roads and community projects.</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL ROWLAND</strong></p> <p>It is being hailed as an initiative to boost local economies and importantly, support local jobs. The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Michael McCormack, joins us now from Canberra. A very good morning to you.</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>Good morning, Michael.</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL ROWLAND</strong></p> <p>So, this money includes the bringing forward of $1.3 billion in government grants to local councils, and a new $500 billion program, it is called the Local Road and Community Infrastructure Program. What sort of community infrastructure are you hoping to support here?</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>Well, certainly roads, as you mentioned, Michael. But, indeed, if councils come to us and say we want to build street lighting, if they want to build bus stops, if they want to put in, indeed, refurbished town halls, which are so much the fabric of particularly country and regional centres, then we'll certainly look at that. We want to have local jobs. More importantly, local procurement, which will be one of the criteria of this $500 million stimulus.</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL ROWLAND</strong></p> <p>Okay, and how will the program work in practice? How do local councils who need this money get hold of the money?</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>Well, they've already applied as part of a letter they wrote back to me. I had 400 councils write back to me when I wrote to them on March 6. I wrote to each and every one of the 537 councils. And certainly each and every one of those 537 councils will benefit. They'll now put in their applications for what particular stimulus projects they want to do, noting that any road projects, they need to be new road projects, they need to be things that they weren't working on pre-COVID. They need to be new projects that they want to spend their money on, that they want to invest in to help local jobs. Because if there's one way, one way of actually getting local jobs on the ground through this pandemic, it's going to be through local councils. And that's why we wanted to put in this injection of money and that's why this cash will certainly help small and medium enterprises around the country. Because if there's one thing that local councils know how to do, it's spend money locally. So, I know that David O'Loughlin, the ALGA President, is delighted at this. I know so many mayors I spoke to last night on the way over here to Canberra, were delighted at the prospect that they were going to get this money to spend in their local regions on the sorts of things that they want to spend it on. A locally-led recovery, not necessarily, Michael, a Canberra-led recovery.</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL ROWLAND</strong></p> <p>It's a lot of money, a lot of taxpayers' money. I've got to ask you this question, Michael McCormack, what guarantees do taxpayers have that this scheme won't be rorted like the Sports Grants Scheme was?</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>Every one of the 537 councils across the nation will benefit. There's absolutely money going to go to each and every council and it will be up to them to decide where they want to spend it. Of course, they'll have to get the tick-off by the Infrastructure Department. But they'll go through that process. When each and every council has got, you know, in the order of $1 million to spend, they're going to spend that wisely. They're going to spend it on local projects that are needed to be done. And certainly I'm sure that local councils will require and receive local input into those projects.</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL ROWLAND</strong></p> <p>Okay and it will be spread fairly evenly, there won't be, I suppose, discretion in your office as to which council gets money and which council doesn't get money?</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>It will be based on the Roads To Recovery, which is a formula established many years ago, so the Roads To Recovery funding is based on a formula on how long their roads are, their road network in each and every council area and also the shire population, the local government area population in that area. And it's based on a formula. That's why, for instance, in my electorate, Wagga Wagga City Council, which is the largest population gets the largest amount of money and Bland Shire, which has one of the largest road networks in all of New South Wales, also figures very prominently when it comes to getting money. And Bland Shire, of course, hasn't got a large population around West Wyalong, but it's got a very, very large network of 6,000kms of indeed, unsealed roads.</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL ROWLAND</strong></p> <p>Let's move on to this disturbing story in the Nine newspapers this morning, reports the Chinese Government is directing state-owned power plants in China to purchase domestic coal and other products instead of exported products. What do you know about this? And if you do know about it, how concerned are you?</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>Well, of course we are very concerned by this, by these reports. And I know that the Trade Minister, Simon Birmingham, is working very diligently and very closely and in a very diplomatic way to ensure that, you know, whether it's coal, whether it's iron ore, whether it's, indeed, barley or beef, that we have those trade relations continuing with China. We produce the very best thermal coal in all of the world –</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL ROWLAND</strong></p> <p>[Interrupts] Excuse the interruption, coal is a very important export market for Australia into China. Are you concerned about the Chinese now pulling back on the amount of Australian coal they buy?</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>Well, of course we're concerned. Of course we're very concerned by it. But we have a two-way relationship with China. China needs Australia as much as Australia needs China and we want to make sure that whatever we do is in a careful and considered way. That's why I know Simon Birmingham and our Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade officials are working very closely with our Chinese friends and diplomats in making sure that we work through this in the way that you would expect the Australian Government to operate. We want to make sure that our coal exports have a destination. China has long been a customer of ours. They know the quality of our coal. They know the quality of our iron ore and other resources. For their steel mills, for their energy needs, they're going to require Australian coal. So, this is, of course, concerning and we'll be working through it in the way that you'd expect the Australian Government to do.</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL ROWLAND</strong></p> <p>Okay finally, I want to ask you about the border closures. It's been a raging debate all week. The question I want to ask you is, don't states like South Australia, Tasmania, Western Australia, Queensland, and the Northern Territory have the perfect right to follow their State Health Medical Officers in closing their borders for as long as they need to, to preserve the health of their populations?</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>Well, of course they'll take that advice from their Chief Medical Officers. But, of course, the national Chief Medical Officer, Professor Brendan Murphy, has said there can be an easing of restrictions across our internal borders. He said that –</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL ROWLAND</strong></p> <p>[Interrupts] But it's up to the states. The Prime Minister said it was up to the Premiers when it comes to the question of schools. It is ultimately up to the Premiers and the Chief Ministers?</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>Quite correct and of course, there's always been that competitive federalism, you know, we've always had the argy-bargy between the states. We'll work through it. We'll work through it. But what we've done very successfully so far is keep the case rates and keep the mortality rates very low. We are the envy of the world in that regard. Look, I appreciate that states will have their different reasons for their different restrictions. That's understandable. But if we do want a domestic airline to continue and to resume very quickly, then one way of doing it is to ease those border restrictions. Understanding that trucks are getting through, so that's important. And I appreciate the efforts that the Premiers and the State Transport Ministers have gone to in that regard. But, look, I'm sure that the states will take on board the best medical advice and make the decisions right for them.</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL ROWLAND</strong></p> <p>We'll leave it there. Michael McCormack, thank you so much for joining us.</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>Thanks, Michael.</p> <h2><strong>Media contacts: </strong></h2> <p>Tess Salmon, 0467 740 017</p> <p>Hannah Maguire, 0429 920 254</p> McCormack Transcript - ABC News Breakfast Sky First Edition https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/coulton/interview/sky-first-edition <p><strong>PETER STEFANOVIC:</strong></p> <p>The Federal Government has announced a $1.8 billion boost in funding for local councils to fast track projects to support jobs during the Coronavirus crisis. $500 million will be spent on local roads and community infrastructure while $1.3 billion in financial assistance grants will be brought forward.</p> <p>Well, joining me now to discuss this is Minister for Regional Health and Local Government Mark Coulton. Mark, good morning to you, thanks for much for joining us.</p> <p>So, how do you decide who gets what here?</p> <p><strong>MARK COULTON:</strong></p> <p>Good morning Peter. Thank you.</p> <p>So, the funding is along the guidelines of the Roads to Recovery Program. There is a formula that is across the 537 councils, so not exactly the same as the funding they get for the Roads to Recovery but that’s the formula that was used to distribute the money fairly.</p> <p><strong>PETER STEFANOVIC:</strong></p> <p>So, what’s the modelling on how much or how many jobs this may create?</p> <p><strong>MARK COULTON:</strong></p> <p>Look it’ll depend on different areas.</p> <p>The scheme is quite broad, so it can be infrastructure like roads but in some areas, it might be more labor-intensive type activities, community infrastructure and the like and obviously the idea is for the Commonwealth Department with local government to provide that stimulus.</p> <p>People are looking to get out and find work and so through this program we’re hoping that jobs will be created in local areas by local government.</p> <p><strong>PETER STEFANOVIC:</strong></p> <p>Okay. What guarantees can the government give that the system won’t be rorted like the Sports Grant Scheme?</p> <p><strong>MARK COULTON:</strong></p> <p>So it’s not competitive. Every council knows exactly how much money they’re going to get at the start and the guidelines are quite broad but they will need to be ticked off by the Commonwealth before they’re undertaken.</p> <p>We have a good relationship with local government, we trust local government, we’ve gone to them before through stimulus for drought, bushfires, floods and the like, so we’re very confident that local government will choose projects that suit their communities and I think it’s probably the best way we can actually get stimulus into individual communities is through local government.</p> <p><strong>PETER STEFANOVIC:</strong></p> <p>So, does every council get the same amount or does the size of the amount depend on the size of the council?</p> <p><strong>MARK COULTON:</strong></p> <p>Yeah, the amount is decided by the formula that's used for Roads to Recovery, so it's not every Council gets the same amount.</p> <p>You know there's big variation in the size of councils, but they will have an idea of what they're getting because it'll be on the same guidelines as the Roads to Recovery formula.</p> <p><strong>PETER STEFANOVIC:</strong></p> <p>Right. So essentially, the money gets handed out to councils and then they do the spending? Is that how it works?</p> <p><strong>MARK COULTON:</strong></p> <p>Yeah that's exactly how it works, So the money will be available from early July.</p> <p>Councils will submit their projects there will be a pretty quick turnaround to get them ticked off.</p> <p>They can be as I said from community infrastructure projects that have a high level of local employment.</p> <p>Obviously, local procurement is important and then councils will get on with the job of implementing those projects over the next 12 months.</p> <p><strong>PETER STEFAOVIC:</strong></p> <p>Okay, so that's when it begins? Anytime over the next 12 months?</p> <p><strong>MARK COULTON:</strong></p> <p>Yeah, we'll have that money available in a month's time. A little bit more in July and obviously we'd like to get this going quickly as possible.</p> <p>It is a stimulus. It is designed to get local communities up and running and I think that people will be very keen to take part in it and I think councils from my conversations that I've had so far about what they would like to do are very keen.</p> <p>The Deputy Prime Minister wrote to councils back in March asking them to think about projects that would be suitable to provide a stimulus for their local regions and so there's already a lot of work done by councils because they've been asked to actually be prepared for something like this coming.</p> <p><strong>PETER STEFANOVIC:</strong></p> <p>Okay, Minister for Regional Health and Local Government Mark Coulton appreciate your time this morning. Thanks for joining us.</p> <h2><strong>Media Contact:</strong></h2> <p>Mr Coulton – Steph Nicholls 0417 314 920</p> Coulton Sky First Edition Interview with Katie Woolf, Mix 104.9 Darwin https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/interview/interview-katie-woolf-mix-1049-darwin <p><strong>KATIE WOOLF</strong></p> <p>Now, the Federal Government will deliver a $1.8 billion boost for road and community projects through local governments across Australia. The package of support will help local councils support jobs and businesses by delivering priority projects focused on infrastructure upgrades and maintenance. So, how could the Northern Territory benefit? Well, joining me on the line is the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack. Good morning.</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>Good morning, Katie.</p> <p><strong>KATIE WOOLF</strong></p> <p>Now, Minister, is this new funding?</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>It is new funding inasmuch as it's part of the $100 billion infrastructure roll-out that we're doing right across the nation. But it's been brought forward. It's money that is new money for local councils. And certainly, I know the 17 local councils that are going benefit from this funding in the Northern Territory are going to be delighted with the prospect that it is going to provide local jobs and perhaps even more importantly, local procurement. So for those small to medium enterprises around Darwin and indeed, right across the regional Top End, it's going to be so beneficial for them because built into the criteria is the fact that there is a component of it where they have to use local procurement.</p> <p><strong>KATIE WOOLF</strong></p> <p>I think that's such an important part here and we know that so many businesses are doing it tough around the Territory, as they are all around Australia at the moment. Minister, which councils are going to benefit and what are some of the bigger ticket items?</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>Well, I could run through the full list. The biggest beneficiary will be Litchfield, they'll be getting $1.1 million. But each and every one of the other 16 councils throughout the Northern Territory, whether it's Barkly Regional or Alice Springs or City of Palmerston, Roper Gulf Regional Council, Tiwi Islands Regional Council, the whole lot, West Daly Regional Council are going to benefit to the tune of $14.5 million in the Northern Territory. So right across the nation every local government area is going to be a beneficiary. The funding is based on what the councils receive as part of their Roads to Recovery funding and so the money will be available from 1 July. It needs to be spent within the 12-month period. But the Infrastructure Department and I will be working closely with councils right across the nation, they'll be bringing forward projects. They'll say, look, this is the town hall that we think is a priority for our local community. This is the road that needs bitumen. This is the bus shelter or the rest stop that we believe is important for Katherine Town Council or MacDonnell Regional Council, whatever the case might be and that's the project that will get funded.</p> <p><strong>KATIE WOOLF</strong></p> <p>Minister, was Darwin City Council eligible or not for this funding?</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>City of Darwin Council is going to get $862,060.</p> <p><strong>KATIE WOOLF</strong></p> <p>Okay, any idea what they're going to spend that money on?</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>Well, that will be up to them and they'll, of course, they'll bring forward their budget. Look, I wrote to each and every one of the councils on March 6. Many of them responded. So we'll work with that list that they've already provided us. But there might be other priorities that they see that are important to their local areas and they'll obviously take community feedback as local councils do. But one way of ensuring that there's going to be local jobs through this pandemic crisis is getting this sort of stimulus out the door through the local council areas because we know that if we're going to have jobs on the ground, we're going to have high-viz workers and bulldozers pushing dirt around and building better roads, fixing potholes, doing all those sorts of things, then it's through this. It's through this process.</p> <p>And I know that the local mayors will also be very pleased with what we've announced. We're also bringing forward, yes, this is $500 million for this particular initiative, but we're bringing forward $1.3 billion in what's called Financial Assistance Grants. So there's in fact $1.8 billion to be distributed amongst the local councils. So, I appreciate the Northern Territory has done very well, 30 cases, all patients recovered from COVID-19. That's been really well managed. Well done to the Northern Territory. Appreciating the fact too that, you know, each and every jurisdiction, you know, the two territories and the six states have complied and done very well through the National Cabinet process. And people generally have followed the advice given by Professor Brendan Murphy, the Chief Medical Officer and that's why we, as Australia, are the envy of the world when it comes to the limited number of cases and certainly the limited number of deaths compared to other countries elsewhere.</p> <p><strong>KATIE WOOLF</strong></p> <p>Yeah. And there's no doubt here in the Northern Territory we've done a good job. Look, on the ground though, in the Territory at the moment, there's a lot of discussion about whether the borders should be reopening soon or whether there should at least be a plan for reopening those borders. I imagine that that's something that's being discussed all around Australia. What are your thoughts?</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>Well, again, it comes down to the jurisdictions. Look and I appreciate that, you know, different states and territories will have – you know, they'll have different reasons for wanting to either shut down or indeed relax restrictions and I appreciate that they have jurisdictional control over their areas. I get that. I've been speaking on a weekly basis with Eva Lawler and you know, other Transport and Infrastructure Ministers right across the nation and as best we can, we've had those trucks going through delivering goods, etc. But, of course, the sooner each and every one of the states and territories lifts the restrictions on internal borders, the sooner we can have a domestic air network back up and flying.</p> <p><strong>KATIE WOOLF</strong></p> <p>Yeah. And look, I think it's very important but obviously juggling it with those health concerns as well. Now, I'm keen to have a chat to you about gas, if I can. We know that gas and manufacturing are a major part of the broader plan, really, to restart the economy. Is the Northern Territory part of that plan, at the centre point of that plan?</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>Absolutely has to be and I only spoke yesterday with our Energy Minister Angus Taylor about this very thing. I know Lia Finocchiaro, the CLP leader, she is very conscious of, you know, Northern Territory to enjoy their resources – well, let's call it a boom that we need to have, not only for our own domestic energy needs and supplies but, indeed, to export to the world. And whilst I appreciate there are some trade tensions at the moment, we need to make sure that whether it's gas, whether it's all the minerals that we've got in good supply here, we can export them to the world but also use them for our balance of payments, but also our domestic energy needs and the like. So I know Lia wants to see these sorts of things happening to create more opportunities and more jobs in the Top End. That's my desire. That's Minister Taylor's desire and that's what we spoke about at length late yesterday afternoon.</p> <p> <strong>KATIE WOOLF</strong></p> <p>Well, and I think it's so very important for the Territory because, being honest, we were in a tough economic spot before COVID-19 hit and I think that, really, if we're to stand on our own two feet, it's going to have to happen through industry. I know there was an article –</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>The Northern Territory is on the cusp of, you know, something really exciting, you've got everything up there. You've got a young population. You've got the ability to attract people there. Even, you know, housing and rental prices are, reasonable compared with some other areas in the nation. And there's so many good prospects. There's no reason whatsoever why the Northern Territory can't be a leader in this field. It should be. I think once we get the Territory's finances in order and I appreciate you've got an election coming up in August and that's going to be a chance for people to have their say. But the Northern Territory has got so much going for it. And you know that, that's why you live there.</p> <p><strong>KATIE WOOLF</strong></p> <p>Yeah, absolutely. Look, the thing I'm a bit concerned about though is, I read an article in the Australian Financial Review earlier in the week and they floated the idea of a $6 billion trans-Australia pipeline linking large gas fields off WA to the east coast. The idea has got a new lease on life under the Neville Power-led National COVID-19 Coordination Commission. The aim, obviously, of reviving gas-based manufacturing despite the serious doubts about its economics. Now, the Federal Government, I know, are still looking at WA to fill that space. But the Beetaloo Basin here in the Territory is obviously a very important one as well. I'm assuming that you can't really have two gas hubs. Which state are you going to go with?</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>Well, there's no reason why we can't. We need to harness all the resources we have got and I know the Resources Minister, Keith Pitt, is very conscious of exactly the potential that the Northern Territory has. Yes, Western Australia's gas fields and mining generally is probably more advanced than perhaps any other area in Australia, perhaps except for Queensland. But, you know, there's a willingness and a desire to, you know, explore and utilise the resources that we have. That's long been the case in Western Australia. That's why it is in the position it's in. But we need to do more. And that's not to say that we can't explore and utilise more gas fields and more mineral reserves in the Top End either.</p> <p><strong>KATIE WOOLF</strong></p> <p>Minister, yesterday I spoke on the show to Labor's Member for Solomon, Luke Gosling, and also CLP Senator Sam McMahon, about the potential for a fuel storage facility here in the Northern Territory. It followed on from that announcement a few weeks ago that Australia would be spending $94 million to begin building up a stockpile of crude oil but initially, as we know, store the fuel in the United States. Is there capacity for the Northern Territory to have fuel storage, a fuel storage facility here?</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>I believe so because you've not only got, you know, a growing resources sector but you've also got huge defence facilities and amenities there. And, you know, when we get the US utilising the Top End as a base, when you have those requirements for resources, oil, to be stored, it makes good sense. Of course, it comes as a cost though too. And so what we've decided to do as a government in the early stage is to utilise the facilities that we do have. And obviously we're storing a lot of it in the US, but there's also potential there for places in the eastern states, Parkes and Toowoomba, places that are on rail, places that are not only going to tap into resources but also the big agricultural areas of Australia. But, look, I can see no reason and I'm sure that Luke and Sam probably both agreed that the Top End would be an ideal place, if we are going to go down to that infrastructure investment, to look at a potential fuel reserve there.</p> <p><strong>KATIE WOOLF</strong></p> <p>Just finally, obviously talking infrastructure, is there any infrastructure that is planned for the Northern Territory at this point in time, you know, with the Federal Government and working obviously with both tiers of government? Any of that crucial nation-building infrastructure?</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>Well, I know we're looking at the Tiger Brennan Drive, I'm very pleased with some of the things that we have done in and around and certainly the Outback Way, we are making sure that that is getting bitumen on it because that is far too important a link road, let alone a tourism road, for not only the Northern Territory but also, of course, Queensland and WA. But, look, there are any number of projects that Darwin needs, wants, expects and most of all, deserves. I know I speak to Senator Sam McMahon all the time about, you know, the expectations from Darwin and I'll certainly be working closely with her to make sure that we get a bit more infrastructure money out the door for the Northern Territory.</p> <p><strong>KATIE WOOLF</strong></p> <p>Well, Michael McCormack, of course, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, we really appreciate your time this morning. Thanks so much for having a chat with me.</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>Any time. Let's talk again soon. Thanks, Katie.</p> <p><strong>KATIE WOOLF</strong></p> <p>Thank you.</p> <h2><strong>Media contacts: </strong></h2> <p>Tess Salmon, 0467 740 017</p> <p>Hannah Maguire, 0429 920 254</p> <p> </p> McCormack Interview with Katie Woolf, Mix 104.9 Darwin $1.8 billion boost for local government https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/coulton/media-release/18-billion-boost-local-government <p>The Federal Liberal and Nationals Government will deliver a $1.8 billion boost for road and community projects through local governments across Australia.</p> <p>The package of support will help local councils support jobs and businesses by delivering priority projects focused on infrastructure upgrades and maintenance. </p> <p>The new $500 million Local Road and Community Infrastructure Program and the bringing forward of $1.3 billion of the 2020-21 Financial Assistance Grant payment will also help communities battling the effects of COVID-19.</p> <p>Prime Minister Scott Morrison said local governments were playing a critical role in responding to the impacts of COVID‑19.</p> <p>“Our funding boost will help councils accelerate priority projects that will employ locally and support local business and also stimulating our economy,” the Prime Minister said.</p> <p>“These projects will cut travel times, make our communities safer and upgrade the facilities we all enjoy while also getting more people into jobs.</p> <p>“We know this is going to be vital support, particularly for councils that have faced the combined impacts of drought, bushfires and now COVID-19.”</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said supporting councils to improve local roads and community infrastructure would have lasting economic and social benefits for communities, particularly those in the regions.</p> <p>“This package will improve road safety and bolster the resilience of our local road networks, which will get Australians home sooner and safer, no matter where they live,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.</p> <p>“Projects could include constructing or improving bridges and tunnels, street lighting and heavy vehicle facilities such as rest areas.</p> <p>“Providing support for social infrastructure projects such as new or upgraded bicycle and walking paths, community facilities, picnic shelters and barbeque facilities at parks, will help communities, especially those in regional and remote areas, stay connected.”</p> <p>Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government Mark Coulton said investing in infrastructure and jobs was crucial to helping regional communities rebound from COVID-19.</p> <p>“Our package enables councils to continue their proven track record of partnering with the Coalition Government to deliver opportunities for locals to be employed and businesses to benefit by providing materials and services,” Minister Coulton said.</p> <p>“The package takes Commonwealth investment in local governments through the Financial Assistance Grant program to $2.5 billion this financial year, with a further $1.2 billion being distributed through other programs to deliver infrastructure, and provide relief from drought and bushfires.”</p> <p>Guidelines for the Local Road and Community Infrastructure Program will be provided directly to local governments by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications.</p> <p>Allocations under the Financial Assistance Grant and Local Road and Community Infrastructure programs can be found at <a href="https://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/lrci">https://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/lrci</a>.</p> <h2><strong>Media contacts:</strong></h2> <p>Prime Minister’s Press Office: <a href="tel:(02) 6277 7744">(02) 6277 7744</a></p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister’s Office: <a href="tel:(02) 6277 7520">(02) 6277 7520</a></p> <p>Minister Coulton’s Office: <a href="tel:(02) 6277 7495">(02) 6277 7495</a></p> Coulton $1.8 billion boost for local government Transcript - Triple M Riverina https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/interview/transcript-triple-m-riverina-0 <p><strong>POPPY PENNY</strong></p> <p>We are now joined by our very favourite Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Michael McCormack, good morning.</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>Good morning Poppy, you sound up and alive and you’ve probably been up for several hours like I have.</p> <p><strong>POPPY PENNY</strong></p> <p>I've had two coffees so I am bouncing off the walls.</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>I’m on my second at the moment I've got to tell you.</p> <p><strong>LEIGH RYAN</strong></p> <p>We're not here to talk about coffee though, because we are here to talk about an amazing amount of funding that is coming through for local government. I'll let you do the honours with this announcement.</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>Indeed, thanks Leigh. So this morning, I've announced $500 million for the 537 councils across Australia to fix up local roads, to build local community infrastructure. The decisions will be taken and made at a local level. For the Riverina electorate, this means a $13.8 million cash splash stimulus to boost local jobs, to boost local procurement. For Wagga Wagga local government area that's more than $2 million. And for Junee, it's more than $500,000. It’s nearly $600,000. Temora, $825,000. So it's based on their Roads to Recovery funding. So we’re going to ensure that they get this money as part of the $100 billion infrastructure roll out that we're doing across the nation over the next decade but we're giving it to them now. The cash will be in their accounts on July 1, they have to spend it within 12 months. We want to see high-vis workers on the ground. We want to see bulldozers pushing dirt around. We want to see that local procurement. That will be one of the criteria for this money, for this stimulus and it's going to make such a difference as we come out of COVID-19.</p> <p><strong>POPPY PENNY</strong></p> <p>So why the decision to give the funding now?</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>Because we need people in work. We need local procurement, small and medium enterprises around Wagga Wagga, around the Riverina district and around regional Australia need this money now because we need to get back on our feet and the best way to do it is at a local level. It's got to be a local-led recovery, Leigh and Poppy, it can't be a Canberra-led recovery. I’ve always said that, I want to see those local shopkeepers benefit from this and this is the way that I thought we could best do it.</p> <p><strong>LEIGH RYAN</strong></p> <p>You mentioned the $500 million for the Council's but there's a further $1.3 billion in Financial Assistance Grants, can you tell us a bit about those?</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>So each year, the Commonwealth distributes what's called Financial Assistance Grants. So they’re brought forward, that’s what we’re doing this time. So $1.3 billion of Financial Assistance Grants are being brought forward, so that councils can have access to that capital now. So there's going to be a lot of money for councils and we want councils to put those projects forward to get those road projects happening. Yes, we have a lot of potholes and we’ve got a lot of maintenance. We've got a lot of roads that need bitumen and so I think this will be such a stimulus, for Wagga Wagga, for all the areas that I represent, indeed, every one of the 537 local government areas across Australia are going to benefit from this.</p> <p><strong>POPPY PENNY</strong></p> <p>Speaking of good news, speaking of benefits, the footy is back! We’ve got the NRL coming back in six days now and the AFL back on June 11. This is exciting because local sports are coming back too.</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>Well, I know it’s important for Group 9, the Farrer and Riverina Football League, Hume League, indeed, our netball and league-tag, hockey, all those sports. Soccer, I know Football Wagga wants to get back on the park as quick as they can. And so, you know, training in groups of ten, they can have three lots of groups of ten training on the oval. So, I'm sure that footy players and netballers are going to be back in action on the training track from next week. You see individuals out running and they've been, you know, sweating it up over the recent weeks to keep trim to get – well, they can’t be match fit – but at least they can be fit for the return. Hopefully, the return can be sometime in June maybe or at least July. Interesting, as I did a little bit of research on Arthur Summons the other day, the first time he coached Wagga Magpies to a Grand Final win back in 1965, they played the Grand Final at Narrandera on October 10. So that's not to say that we haven't done this before, that we haven't had delayed seasons before. I appreciate that there were a few draws, there were reasons why they had such a delayed finish to the competition back in 1965, but it has been done before and hopefully we can do it this year, of course, due to different reasons – the pandemic of course.</p> <p><strong>LEIGH RYAN</strong></p> <p>Yeah, I know that Wagga Hockey is looking at a shortened season and I think that we will get a lot more details on the other competitions over the coming weeks. Michael, we are doing at the moment on Triple M, the greatest of all time – asking people to nominate the greatest artist of all time or what their greatest song is, for you, who would be the greatest artist of all time?</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK</strong></p> <p>Well, I like the King of Rock’n’Roll Elvis Presley and not just because Parkes, which is in my electorate and in the Riverina electorate, has the annual Elvis Festival which draws 25,000 people to that wonderful little central-western town. I do like Elvis, my mother used to play incessantly on the cassettes as I grew up. I am almost embarrassed to admit she played him and Kamahl as well. I met Kamahl, he's a great fellow but, you know, those songs resonate in your head when one of your parents plays them over and over. But, I do like Elvis. I have performed Suspicious Minds in front of 10,000 people who cheer the whole way through but I think they were cheering for the fact that it was about to end soon. But, I don’t always think that I’m caught in a trap, there is no way out etc. I do like Suspicious Minds, I’m always happy to get up and sing it, it is my go to song.</p> <p><strong>POPPY PENNY</strong></p> <p>Well, since you are always happy to get up and sing it, Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack, we’re going to set this one up and let you play us out.</p> <p>[Suspicious Minds plays]</p> <p><strong>LEIGH RYAN</strong></p> <p>As nominated by our Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack, as his greatest artist of all time and his favourite song. And in all seriousness, some great announcements there.</p> <p><strong>POPPY PENNY</strong></p> <p>Fantastic news for the regions, particularly our region. It’s fantastic having someone like Michael McCormack looking out for the regions in the position he’s in. I think that it does good things and as a result we get good funding like this.</p> <h2><strong>Media contacts: </strong></h2> <p>Tess Salmon, 0467 740 017</p> <p>Hannah Maguire, 0429 920 254</p> McCormack Transcript - Triple M Riverina Radio interview – Tasmania Talks https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/coulton/interview/radio-interview-tasmania-talks <p><strong>AARON STEVENS:  </strong></p> <p>Over the last week discussed some of the things that councils are doing.  In fact, over the last couple of months, we've discussed ways that councils are dealing with COVID‑19. </p> <p>We've heard from the State Government and local councils regarding the fast‑tracking of projects to provide a boost post‑COVID‑19.  And the Federal Government has now jumped on board with vital funding.  Let's get more from the Federal Minister for Local Government, Regional Health, Regional Communications, Mark Coulton this morning.  Hello.</p> <p>Firstly, are you happy with the way that councils, particularly in Tasmania, have responded to the COVID‑19 challenges? </p> <p><strong>MARK COULTON:  </strong></p> <p>Yes.  Councils, in most cases, have shown great local leadership, and I think that's really important. </p> <p>You know, particularly at the start of this crisis people were quite concerned and I think that councils have stepped up admirably. </p> <p>Sometimes some councils have even re‑deployed staff to help out Meals on Wheels and other voluntarily organisations within their local community. </p> <p>So council have done a great job. </p> <p><strong>AARON STEVENS:  </strong></p> <p>They've really shown the benefit of local council during this time, haven't they?  I mean, that local message is so important. </p> <p><strong>MARK COULTON:  </strong></p> <p>It certainly is.  Obviously I'm a little biased, I'm a former mayor.  So I understand that the local government is the level of government that's closest to the people with the greatest sort of finger on the pulse as to what a community needs. </p> <p>And you know, councils are led by their, their local mayor, they've have stepped up admirably. </p> <p><strong>AARON STEVENS:  </strong></p> <p>And one thing I've noticed is how well councils have worked together. </p> <p><strong>MARK COULTON:  </strong></p> <p>They have. </p> <p>We're seeing that more and more as councils combine to get a I think a better bang for the buck on infrastructure; they cross council borders, they're sharing senior staff, working collaboratively, you know, with libraries and things like that to actually be able to provide better services. </p> <p>Particularly the smaller councils, they really are stepping up and are working more collaborative and it is paying dividends for their local communities.</p> <p><strong>AARON STEVENS:  </strong></p> <p>So how much is being offered in this package that you're launching this morning?<strong>  </strong></p> <p><strong>MARK COULTON:  </strong></p> <p>So there's two parts to it and one of them really is just to bring forward the federal assistance grant, so 50% of next year's payments will be brought forward, paid early. </p> <p>That will obviously give them more certainty as to when they plan their budgets coming up in the next little while. </p> <p>The other one is $500 million, that will go across all the 537 councils in Australia. </p> <p>And the formula we'll use is the same formulas we've used for Roads to Recovery.  Each council won't get the same amount, but it will be a pro rata amount that is in line with the same guidelines and criteria that's used for the Roads to Recovery payment. </p> <p><strong>AARON STEVENS:  </strong></p> <p>So what sort of projects can you see this funding helping out on? </p> <p><strong>MARK COULTON:  </strong></p> <p>Look, I think we're trying to make the criteria fairly broad.  So I think in some regional councils a high proportion of this might go on to roads, but it can also include, and I suspect more of the, sort of, larger centres would maybe do some more infrastructure projects that have a high level of labour. </p> <p>So the community programs like painting local halls, or a new fence around the footy field, cycle ways, footpaths, you know, park upgrades.  Those sort of projects that will have a long‑term effect and provide a lot of employment. </p> <p>At the moment, you know, there are people who are obviously on the JobKeeper and JobSeeker program, but really looking to get out and do some meaningful work.  So I think this program will be well received. </p> <p>The councils have had time to think about it.  The Deputy Prime Minister wrote to them back in March and asked them to think about what they might find as appropriate projects to undertake as a stimulus. </p> <p>So it will be broad but, they'll get in and get it underway; local jobs, local procurement and buying the materials locally to support local businesses as well. </p> <p><strong>AARON STEVENS:  </strong></p> <p>You mentioned the JobKeeper payment.  It was a bit disappointing that the local councils weren't included in that, so this really gives them a chance to bring some of those staff back on board. </p> <p><strong>MARK COULTON:  </strong></p> <p>Yes, it certainly does.  And the JobKeeper was designed for private enterprise.  It was done on the taxation system. </p> <p>Local government has a very different financial system; they're more into service delivery than profit‑making, obviously, and so JobKeeper was always going to be difficult for them. </p> <p>But I have spoken to the head of the Australian Local Government Association - David O'Loughlin – and he is certainly pleased with the style of this program. </p> <p>I know the councils that I've been speaking to will be pleased to hear of this announcement today because they're ready to go. </p> <p>We've gone to council before, the Federal Government, and they've delivered grant programs and delivering programs now in bushfire affected areas. </p> <p>In times of actual disaster, councils are the ones that step up.  And we've got a good relationship with them, as a Commonwealth, and so it made sense that when we needed to get a stimulus that was actually targeted to individual communities, local government was obviously the obvious, you know, the place we would go to.</p> <p><strong>AARON STEVENS:  </strong></p> <p>With restrictions still in place, when do you think we'll start seeing the benefits? </p> <p><strong>MARK COULTON:  </strong></p> <p>Look, I would think the money should be available early July.  And I would like to think that soon after that they would be able to get into these projects. </p> <p>Obviously, we need them to be completed within the year.  That's the timeframe.  What we would like to see is ‑‑ we are starting to see the restrictions ease and the opportunity for people to get back to work. </p> <p>We'd like to see these projects sort of ready to go so when people feel it is safe to come out of isolation and get back to work, but this is an opportunity that might tide them over until the economy picks up and they can go and do a more permanent form of employment. </p> <p><strong>AARON STEVENS:  </strong></p> <p>Well, that's the important thing with this funding, it is an instant boost straight off the back of these restrictions being eased. </p> <p><strong>MARK COULTON:  </strong></p> <p>It certainly is.  One of the great myths in this country is that people actually choose to stay at home and not work. </p> <p>I think that's so far from the truth it is not funny.  And people that have been at home over the last couple of months, you know, maybe have lost their permanent work, maybe they work in hospitality or tourism, or one of those industries that have been really hit, they'll be, I'm sure, looking at an opportunity to get out of the house and undertake some meaningful work while everything else gets back on track.  And this is designed to be a very quick hit and designed to hit every local town. </p> <p><strong>AARON STEVENS:  </strong></p> <p>Yeah, obviously we talk about those benefits when it comes to employment and also the economy of local councils but, I mean, there's obviously roads that probably have been waiting to be repaired for long periods of time.  There's these projects that probably have gone missing during the last two or three months, so it is important we get back on those as quickly as possible. </p> <p><strong>MARK COULTON:  </strong></p> <p>That's right.  And so obviously we've been talking about the short‑term effects, but the long‑term effects is that then there's an upgrade level of infrastructure, whether it is roads or other community infrastructure, that will service the community, you know, into the future. </p> <p>So it does have long‑term benefits.  And you are right, a lot of the, sort of ‑‑ some of the workers had to stop because of the nature of it and, you know, not possible to do it with social distancing. </p> <p>But, I've got to say, many councils have continued on with the construction over this period of time, and so they'll be ready to take this up and I think will do a good job with it. </p> <p><strong>AARON STEVENS:  </strong></p> <p>In your role as Minister for Regional Health, what did you make of the report that came out of the northwest? </p> <p><strong>MARK COULTON:  </strong></p> <p>Look, I think there's two things: I think the ‑‑ what happened in the northwest was a very good example of how volatile this infection is, the virus is, but I think it also shows that all agencies and all levels of government in the end stepped up very well to handle that. </p> <p>It was obviously a very difficult time for the people of the northwest of Tassie with that, but the way that was handled was done well.</p> <p>But also because of what happened in Tasmania, you know the rest of Australia I think got a taste of what can happen, how volatile, how easy it is to happen and how, you know, innocently these things can happen. </p> <p>I'm pleased that we're through that, but it was a pretty tough time. </p> <p><strong>AARON STEVENS:  </strong></p> <p>And we've learnt a lot.  And it is pleasing to see that many of the recommendations from that report will be implemented.</p> <p><strong>MARK COULTON:  </strong></p> <p>Yes, it is.  And I know that my colleague, Senator Colbeck, who lives in the region there and also has responsibility for Aged Care in the Federal Government, I know, speaking to him about how difficult it was and how many people were impacted. </p> <p>If there is a silver lining in something like this it is that we've learnt a lot from what happened in the northwest, and maybe the pain that was caused there by coronavirus has probably saved other parts of not only Tasmania but the rest of the country as we've learnt how to handle the outbreaks.</p> <p><strong>AARON STEVENS:  </strong></p> <p>One of the things that was highlighted in the report there and what happened in the northwest is the number of health professionals that are required, just because of the way they operate, to move from one facility to another. </p> <p>That's something that's definitely been looked at but it is a part of the way that those regional centres operate, isn't it? <br />  </p> <p><strong>MARK COULTON:  </strong></p> <p>Yeah, it is.  And you know, before the wave of coronavirus outbreak we were working on sort of collaborative models of employment where, in a regional centre, people with a skillset, whether it is nursing or physio, doctors or whatever, work across different sectors to get the best benefit from their skills into a local community. </p> <p>So, there is a lot of cross over from hospitals to aged care to private practice in regional Australia. </p> <p>You know, it is probably essential to get the services we need.  We have shown, inadvertently, where our weaknesses are. </p> <p>One of the other things that's been surprising in the coronavirus crisis is that the downturn in health practices; and people have been staying away from normal check‑ups and the like, so rather than having the health sector run off its feet, in some cases, there's been a downturn at business.</p> <p>So now the messaging now has changed somewhat, that you need to go back to your doctor, you need to make sure that if you have got chronic health issues that you're following up on them, or even if you have a critical issue, chest pain or whatever, but it is safe to go and seek medical attention. </p> <p>So, we have learnt a lot from the virus outbreak, but we're in another stage.  And I know we haven't beaten it, but I think we are at a stage now where we're looking to get back to some more normality.  And what we've learnt over the last eight weeks, if we follow what we've learnt, and social distancing and cleanliness and things like that, we should get back to more normality quicker than otherwise. </p> <p><strong>AARON STEVENS:  </strong></p> <p>That outbreak highlighted the importance at the Mersey Community Hospital and the Burnie Hospital, the Northwest Regional Hospital, their future and how the hospital system will operate in the northwest is under question.  Do you have any thoughts on the future? </p> <p><strong>MARK COULTON:  </strong></p> <p>Look, I don't.  To be honest, the intimate details of the future of those hospitals is probably something that I'm not as familiar with that I would like to comment publicly about but, as I say, you know, it is a poor day when we don't learn from the past, and so if there needs to be changes made, then they will be, but I'm not familiar enough to comment any more than that. </p> <p><strong>AARON STEVENS:  </strong></p> <p>Yeah, sure.  We look forward to the benefits of that package that you announced this morning and appreciate your time.  Thank you. </p> <p><strong>MARK COULTON:  </strong></p> <p>It is a pleasure.  Any time.  Thank you. </p> <h2><strong>Media Contact:</strong></h2> <p>Mr Coulton – Steph Nicholls 0417 314 920</p> Coulton Radio interview – Tasmania Talks