Ministers for the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/rss.xml Latest releases from the Ministers en ABC Radio National Breakfast interview with Fran Kelly https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/tudge/interview/abc-radio-national-breakfast-interview-fran-kelly <p><strong>Fran Kelly:</strong> Another interest rate cut is on the cards before Christmas. The Reserve Bank expressing renewed concern about the state of the employment market and flat wages growth. With the economy still in the doldrums, the Morrison Government has deflected calls by the Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe to bring forward large-scale infrastructure projects to make them quote shovel ready as quickly as possible.</p> <p>Instead, the Federal Government's turning the heat up on the states to fast track developments to try and spur employment growth and kick start the economy. Alan Tudge is the Minister for Urban Infrastructure. Minister, welcome back to Breakfast<em>.</em></p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> G'day Fran.</p> <p><strong>Fran Kelly:</strong> You've publicly put it on the states to accelerate their infrastructure projects. It's up to them to make the economy stronger. Is that a concession that too much of the Federal Government's $100 billion infrastructure pipeline is going to arrive too late to make a difference which the economy needs right now?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Not at all. In fact, we've got a record amount of expenditure this financial year on infrastructure, almost double the amount that what we had before we came to government. And that means there's major projects going on, Fran, right across the country, particularly in our big capital cities. I mean, projects like a Western Sydney Airport in Sydney, or the M80 here in Melbourne, or North-South road in Adelaide. It's underway right now, but if we want to do more, of course we are ready to do more, but it's ultimately up to the states to bring forward their schedule.</p> <p><strong>Fran Kelly:</strong> Okay, just in terms of record Commonwealth spending, correct me if I'm wrong, but I think there's around $30 billion of $100 billion over the forward estimates over the next three years. That's 0.37 per cent of GDP, that's comparable to previous years, isn't it?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> So we've got about $45 billion over the forward estimates over the next four years, which is the forward estimates period. And that means that we've got right now about 160 major projects occurring as we speak, and about another 120 major projects in planning.</p> <p><strong>Fran Kelly:</strong> Okay, but in terms of previous spending, you're saying that's well above?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Well it's almost double the amount of what it was when we first came to office. I mean, five years ago people were lauding the fact that we had a $50 billion national infrastructure plan. Today we have a $100 billion national infrastructure plan, which not only is building right now but outlining a pipeline over the next decade.</p> <p>So absolutely, we are heeding the call of the Reserve Bank Governor, getting on with it, and we're having good discussions with the states and territories to see what else we can do, particularly, Fran, with some of these smaller Urban Congestion Fund projects, because they're the ones that can be done quickly.</p> <p><strong>Fran Kelly:</strong> Okay, let's look at the states. The large-scale construction work underway in New South Wales and Victoria is already pretty intense. If you look around Sydney, you'd have to ask where's the capacity for them to do anymore right this second. Then there's the $5.4-billion-dollar Cross River project in Brisbane entirely funded by the Queensland Government. I think not a single cent from the Commonwealth, the same in WA with Metronet. Where's the evidence that the states should be doing more right now?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Well many of the states are doing an enormous amount of work as well, and particularly New South Wales, as you point out. I mean, they have fantastic projects across Sydney, as well as across regional New South Wales, many of which have been supported by the Federal Government as well. Where there is capacity to do more, and where I've been having discussions with my state counterparts, as well as the Prime Minister with the Premiers, is particularly on some of these smaller projects as I've been saying.</p> <p>Now, these are often $5 million, $10 million, $50 million dollar projects in the suburbs across the major cities, and they inject real money into local communities, employ local people, and fix those really congested hot spots which cause grief to people on a daily basis. They're the types of things that we can get going really quickly, and I'd like to see nearly all of those up and running over the next 12 months or at least in the detailed planning phase.</p> <p><strong>Fran Kelly:</strong> And is that the sort of project that the Reserve Bank Governor was talking about? Isn't he talking about large infrastructure structure programs by and large?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> They're the other opportunities as well, and that's what I was signalling yesterday, that we do have a pipeline of other projects as well, Fran. And they're in the planning, and you do need to go through a rigorous planning exercise with the very big projects. You can't switch them on overnight. But if the states are able to bring forward and accelerate that planning, then we're willing to negotiate with them to bring forward our funding.</p> <p><strong>Fran Kelly:</strong> Because it sounded like in the comments yesterday, it sounded like you were basically criticising the states for not doing enough. I mean, and there is evidence, as I said before and given some examples, the states are doing a lot of the heavy lifting. $56 billion on roads and rail in New South Wales over the next four years. If the Commonwealth is so concerned that these projects need a kick along, why does the Commonwealth help from the Metro West link, which needs Commonwealth funding to proceed, for instance?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Well we've got our priorities, we've outlined our priorities in each state and territory. And some of those state governments haven't picked up on yet either, including for example the East West Link here in Melbourne. That is a project which the states wouldn't have to pay a cent in order to actually get built because we've committed the entire government share of it.</p> <p><strong>Fran Kelly:</strong> Just on that one, because I think I've asked you this before, the State Government of Daniel Andrews has rejected that. It's been re-elected overwhelmingly, it rejected it again. It doesn't think that's a priority. Why doesn't the Commonwealth, if you're so keen to get the state spending money on large infrastructure, just swap those funds to something that Victoria does want to build?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Well we've already got $27 billion worth of funding going into Victoria with massive projects going on. But on top of that we did say leading up to the last election, and one of our big commitments in the last week of the election, let us fund the entire amount and get on with the job because it is one of the only major freeways in the country which comes to full a stop in the city rather than connecting through the city onto another one.</p> <p>It has to be done, Fran. Infrastructure Australia says it has to be done. Infrastructure Victoria says it has to be done and we're willing to pay the entire government share to get the job done. So, I'm still hopeful that we can negotiate something with the Andrews Government in Victoria to get the job done because there's 50,000 motorists every single day that rely upon that work being completed.</p> <p><strong>Fran Kelly:</strong> You're listening to RN Breakfast. Its 17 minutes to eight. Our guest is Alan Tudge. He's the Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure.</p> <p>Philip Lowe, the Reserve Bank Governor, wants infrastructure projects run more like monetary policy, at arm's length from the government. He said, and I'm quoting here, some more independence with project selection would be a good idea.</p> <p>Why should the public trust the Government to get it right when it's clear that, not just your government, but governments use infrastructure budgets to favour marginal seats. I mean we saw that in the last federal election, Corangamite in Victoria, a very marginal seat that the Morrison Government was desperate to hang on to, in the end you weren't successful, given more than $26,000 per person in commitments at the last election.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Well I don't accept that figure but we do have Infrastructure Australia who provides advice to us on every single major project.</p> <p><strong>Fran Kelly:</strong> But you don't take its advice on every, I mean there are many projects funded by the Commonwealth that aren't signed off on Infrastructure Australia.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> So every single major project has to have a detailed business case done and it has to go to Infrastructure Australia for their assessment. But at the end of the day, come each budget period, the government of the day has to make the determination as to which piece of infrastructure goes next.</p> <p><strong>Fran Kelly:</strong> So in other words it is not this arm's length, independent project selection the Reserve Bank Governor is talking about.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> That takes into account what Infrastructure Australia says, that obviously takes into account what the State Governments want to do as well and frequently they'll have their own pipeline of work which they come to the Federal Government to help fund as well. So that's generally how the process works.</p> <p>Increasingly the Federal Government is taking the lead and putting projects on the table and encouraging the states to join up with us and the Melbourne Airport Rail Link is a classic example of that, where we put money on the table and then a year later on the Andrews Government also came to the table and said let's get on with it.</p> <p><strong>Fran Kelly:</strong> Sure. But what about this notion of more independence in project selection. That's what the Reserve Bank Governor suggested. Why isn't that a better idea?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Well, because at the end of the day the government of the day is accountable for the big financial decisions which have to be made and we have to submit ourselves to elections and to the accountability through that process. And they're big decisions, they're taking taxes from people to pay for those, and at the end of the day we take the advice from the experts and then make the decisions though and accept responsibility for them.</p> <p><strong>Fran Kelly:</strong> I know you're not the Industry Minister, but you are the Urban Infrastructure Minister and we've got these problems with cladding, combustible cladding and other building defects, they're going to come to a head tomorrow at this meeting with Commonwealth and state ministers.</p> <p>Victoria has taken the lead, it's announced a $600 million remediation program to rid buildings of flammable cladding but it wants the Federal Government to kick in half of that. You've said no, and yet isn't nation-wide cladding removal exactly the sort of job creation project that you're spruiking here. It needs to be done. It will create jobs immediately in local communities. Doesn't it exactly fit the description of what you said earlier?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Well, Fran, I mean there's all sorts of projects which could be done.</p> <p><strong>Fran Kelly:</strong> This needs to be done though.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> This absolutely needs to be done but at the end of the day these are state responsibilities. The Federal Government has nothing to do with building regulation, it's entirely constitutionally the responsibility of the state governments. And frankly, it's been their compliance failures over the last years which has caused these problems.</p> <p>So we're saying to the states it's terrific that you're taking responsibility for it. Get on with it. We would like to support you in terms of providing some national consistency in terms of the regulation, that's what Minister Andrews is doing. But in terms of fixing up the cladding problem, that's ultimately the states' responsibility.</p> <p><strong>Fran Kelly:</strong> So there'll not be a dollar coming from the Federal Government?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Well it's the state's responsibility.</p> <p><strong>Fran Kelly:</strong> So, no?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> At the end of the day we have our responsibilities, the states have their responsibilities and sometimes there's some shared responsibilities. In relation to building regulations, we have nothing to do with that. It's entirely the domain of the states. This was a failure of compliance, and, ultimately therefore the states have to take responsibility and fix it. That's what Daniel Andrews is doing and we're encouraging other states to likewise.</p> <p><strong>Fran Kelly:</strong> Minister, thank you very much for joining us.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Thanks very much Fran.</p> <p><strong>Fran Kelly:</strong> Alan Tudge is the Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure.</p> Tudge ABC Radio National Breakfast interview with Fran Kelly A City Connected: Adelaide Sensor Network Now Live https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/tudge/media-release/city-connected-adelaide-sensor-network-now-live <p>A major remote sensor network is now live in metropolitan Adelaide as part of the Australian and local government-funded Connected Cities project.</p> <p>Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said over 100 smart sensors were making public spaces safer and more enjoyable for the community.</p> <p>“This sensor network tells councils how many people are using facilities, where they need to mow, apply more water or save water and what play equipment requires maintenance,” Mr Tudge said.</p> <p>Federal Member for Sturt James Stevens said the $289,000 project was jointly funded by the Australian Government and six local government bodies, with support from the University of Adelaide.</p> <p>“The Australian Government has contributed $144,900 to this initiative through our Smart Cities and Suburbs Program, which enables local governments to apply innovative, technology-based approaches to improve the liveability of cities and address urban challenges,” Mr Stevens said.</p> <p>Mayor of the City of Prospect David O’Loughlin said the network assisted not only councils but also businesses and the community to solve local problems.</p> <p>“The sensors can also tell us when bins in parks are full, when public barbecues are occupied or simply when sporting grounds are busy in real time,” Cr O’Loughlin said.</p> <p>Port Adelaide Enfield Mayor Claire Boan said the bin sensors would revolutionise waste collection.</p> <p>“The sensors will allow the driver, with the use of a tablet, to only stop at bins that need emptying. We are very excited by the potential of this technology to improve collection efficiency, reduce costs and reduce carbon emissions,” Cr Boan said.</p> <p>City of Playford Mayor Glenn Docherty said the project was part of Playford’s strategy to implement Smart City initiatives that cost-effectively improve community services, while also providing the opportunity to implement ‘Internet of Things’ technology.</p> <p>“This project is really taking us a step further along the smart city journey and we are embracing the technologies and planning processes of the future,” Cr Docherty said.</p> <p>City of Campbelltown CEO Paul di Iulio said the sensors would enable his Council and the City of Burnside to evaluate the impact of the Magill Road Upgrade on the local community.</p> <p>“We are using the sensors to count people on Magill Road, helping to inform the design of the Magill Village Master Plan and evaluate the impacts of the streetscape upgrade. The trend data will also be provided to businesses and the broader community,” Mr di Iulio said.</p> <p>City of Burnside Mayor Anne Monceaux said the project introduced 29 smart sensors to measure live usage of facilities including tennis courts, the wading pool, playgrounds, barbecues and carparks.</p> <p>“Data obtained will assist in providing an evidence base and inform future upgrades of the park, allow for improved maintenance response times and provide an accurate real-time source of information for our community,” Cr Monceaux said.</p> <p>The $289,000 Connected Cities project was jointly funded, with the Australian Government comitting $144,900, the Cities of Prospect, Burnside, Port Adelaide Enfield and Playford providing $35,000 each and Campbelltown City Council committing $5,000.</p> Tudge A City Connected: Adelaide Sensor Network Now Live Transcript, ABC News with Jane Norman https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/tudge/interview/transcript-abc-news-jane-norman <p><strong>Jane Norman:</strong> Alan Tudge, welcome to the program.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> G'day Jane.</p> <p><strong>Jane Norman: </strong>Well, the Victorian State Government today has announced a $600 million package to fix hundreds of buildings with high-risk cladding and it’s asking for some Commonwealth assistance. Is this a request that you'd consider?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge: </strong>This is a good announcement from the State Government that they’re getting on with the job of trying to fix some of those really serious issues which people are facing in relation to cladding. In relation to what the Federal Government's role is, this will be no doubt brought up at the ministerial meeting on Thursday which Karen Andrews is leading.</p> <p>Most importantly, I think that Karen Andrews is trying to establish some national consistency across regulations state by state. In terms of the particular funding proposal, that will no doubt be considered by Minister Andrews and the Prime Minister in due course.</p> <p><strong>Jane Norman: </strong>That meeting is looking at, as you say, national regulations. The Minister wants to put together a taskforce to work with the states and territories to come up with some sort of nationally consistent building code, if you want to call it that. It’s about time the states and territories signed on to that, isn't it?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> At the end of the day, these things are governed by the states and territories but Minister Andrews has showed some leadership in trying to bring people together and have some, I think, greater national consistency across the country. So let's hope that there’s a constructive meeting on Thursday when all the building ministers get together to discuss this.</p> <p><strong>Jane Norman:</strong> Several building groups or industry groups have written to the Minister asking her to act on this issue, saying that the Federal Government needs to restore confidence in the building sector. We understand it's going through a real crisis of confidence at the moment. But given the apartment block disasters we've seen in Sydney, Melbourne, given the cladding issues, they haven't exactly covered themselves in glory, have they, this industry?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> As I said, they’re largely governed by the states and territories, these matters. But Karen Andrews is trying to take some national role here and provide some national leadership. I’ll leave the rest of the commentary to her in relation to it. But obviously, it's not great for individual residents if you have bought a house or an apartment and thinking that it’s going to be a safe apartment and then you only discover down the track that it's actually not a safe place to live and there's costs associated with that. So, that’s the issue at hand. I think Daniel Andrews made a good announcement today, and let's see what evolves from the meeting on Thursday.</p> <p><strong>Jane Norman:</strong> Do you think other states and territories should take Daniel Andrews' lead in terms of actually putting to some state government money to fix cladding issues in other states and territories?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Well, they’ll each have to consider that and I think they’ll be looking very closely at what Daniel Andrews did today. But I’ll leave the rest of the commentary, Jane, on that to Minister Andrews, and she’ll have more to say on this today, no doubt, as well as on Thursday after the meeting.</p> <p><strong>Jane Norman:</strong> All right, under your portfolio, Infrastructure, you are today urging the states and territories to bring forward some projects they’ve got in the pipeline to help boost economic activity. So where are these projects and are any of them, as they say, shovel ready?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Yeah Jane there’s a couple of issues here. My most important point that I’ve been saying today is that we’ve actually got a massive infrastructure pipeline underway right now. In fact, only five years ago, the federal expenditure was $50 billion. Now, it's $100 billion of investment and this, in some respects, deals with some of the Reserve Bank Governor's comments in relation to needing to put infrastructure into place in order to support the economy. We are doing that.</p> <p>But there are also opportunities to fast-track some other projects, and there’s three areas which I think that we can do that in. Firstly, in some of the projects which we have planned underway at the moment, if they’re able to be brought forward, then we're willing to negotiate the funding there.</p> <p>Second, there’s some projects which we’ve put money on the table where the state governments haven't yet committed to, and the biggest one there is the East West Link here in Melbourne. But thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, is that we've announced 160 smaller urban congestion projects, suburb by suburb, and we really want to get those going as quickly as possible, because it means that you fix up those urban congestion hotspots. But it also means you’re putting in $5 million, $10 million, $20 million into a local community, and that means jobs and that means economic growth in those particular suburbs as well.</p> <p><strong>Jane Norman:</strong> You mention East West Link there but the Victorian Daniel Andrews Government doesn't want that project, so aren't you kind of flogging your dead horse here?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> We’ll be continuing to push this project until it is complete.</p> <p><strong>Jane Norman:</strong> But is that the role of a Commonwealth Government? Isn't it up to the states to decide where urban infrastructure should go?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Well, increasingly, the Federal Government does have a role in setting priorities as well. Now, another big project here in Victoria where we put it on the agenda and did convince the State Government to come on board is with the Airport Rail Link. Now, we put $5 billion on the table just a little over 12 months ago now. It took a while for the State Government to agree to it but now they have and we’ll finally get that rail link built, and everybody agrees that that needs to be constructed.</p> <p>There’s also almost a strong view that the East West Link does need to be constructed as well. Certainly, Infrastructure Victoria has said that. Infrastructure Australia has said that. The 50,000 people who take the Eastern Freeway every single day know it has to be completed. And we’ve said to the State Government that we’re willing to pay for the entire government share of that road for it to be built, and so we’ll still be putting pressure on the State Government to take up that offer and get that road completed.</p> <p><strong>Jane Norman:</strong> Okay. So in your negotiations with the states and territories over the possibility of bringing forward some sort of state-based infrastructure projects, would you at the same time commit to expediting Commonwealth approvals? Because, as I understand it, there are some state projects waiting but they’re still waiting for their federal funding to be approved.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> What typically happens is that we'll profile our federal contributions to a road according to what the construction time frame is that the state governments have set. Now, if the state governments want to fast-track those construction time frames, then we're open to looking at whether or not we can re-profile our funding to match that and that's what we’ve said today. On top of that, if there are other projects which we have got federal money associated with, and I mentioned the East West Link but there’s others as well, that the State Government wants to get going on, we’ll be able to bring forward that money as well to get on with those projects. East West Link being one of them, the Rowville Rail. Obviously, over in Western Australia, there is the Roe 8 and 9 Project as well.</p> <p><strong>Jane Norman:</strong> During the election campaign, Labor promised that it would restore Infrastructure Australia to what it once was, give it back its independence and make it the pre-eminent advisory body on infrastructure.</p> <p>Now, the argument was this would address issues with pork barrelling by both parties and would also address what they described as the short-termism of thinking when it comes to these big infrastructure projects. Is this something that you should consider? Would it actually help you get more bipartisan support with the states for big projects?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Well, Infrastructure Australia still is an independent body, operates at arm's length from the Federal Government, and every single major project that we fund will go to Infrastructure Australia first. It will be assessed by Infrastructure Australia to determine the cost benefit analysis before any funding is determined and provided for that particular project.</p> <p>They do some great work in terms of working out where you do get the highest bang for your buck in terms of their priority list, which they put out regularly, and we do pay close attention to that priority list. And so we’ll continue to work with Infrastructure Australia, we’ll continue to listen to them and we’ll continue to invest in record amounts into infrastructure overall.</p> <p><strong>Jane Norman:</strong> You may listen to them, but it's not always the case that you actually take their advice. Isn't that correct?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Well, at the end of the day these big, often billion dollar decisions, are decisions of Government so we will listen to the advice of Infrastructure Australia. It’s always considered and we take heed of that. But at the end of the day, governments will make decisions, particularly when they are, as I said, billion dollar decisions or hundreds of millions of dollars. They’re big decisions for governments and we’ll take those appropriately.</p> <p><strong>Jane Norman:</strong> Okay Alan Tudge, I want to ask you about constitutional recognition for Indigenous Australians. The Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt put forward his ambition last week for a referendum in this term of Parliament. How realistic do you think that is?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Well, I do think it is realistic. And Ken Wyatt is the person that would be able to do it.</p> <p>It's going to be tough though and we need to work steadily and we need to bring everybody along the journey. And that's what Ken Wyatt has articulated. Because unless you actually get a very broad consensus across the community, you won't be successful in getting a referendum question up. That's been the experience across time.</p> <p>As you probably know, only eight referendum questions out of 44 have been successful and the last really substantial one that passed was the 1967 referendum. So, we have got to be cautious here, we’ve got to be steady, we’ve got to bring people along the journey, and that's what Ken Wyatt has committed to doing and working very closely with Linda Burney, who's his shadow from the Labor Party, as well as other members of the Parliament.</p> <p><strong>Jane Norman:</strong> There’s long been a divide in this debate between those advocating symbolic recognition and those wanting something more substantial; certainly Indigenous communities made it pretty clear through the Uluru Statementthat they want substantial change. What are your thoughts? Which side of this debate do you fall on?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> We've said, and the Prime Minister’s indicated this, that we’ve got some reservations in relation to this voice concept, which came out of the Uluru Statement, but we are committed to having Indigenous recognition in the Constitution. I guess at the end of the day, we do have to get a broad consensus across, at the very least both parties, but also across Indigenous Australia as well. And that’s the real challenge here.</p> <p>And different people have got different views on this, but unless we do come together and reach a broad consensus across Indigenous Australia, across the two major parties and, indeed, bringing the rest of the Australian public on board, then we won't be successful and we won't get a good outcome.</p> <p>I have always thought, to be honest, Jane, that the process itself is as important as the outcome. Because the process is making us think very deeply about what is unique about Indigenous Australians to this country, and how we properly do recognise them as a people and the fact that they’ve been here for 40,000 or 50,000 years, and we have to go through that discussion still before we get to the final outcome.</p> <p><strong>Jane Norman:</strong> So, the Voice appears to be one of the more contentious issues. Whether or not it gets into the Constitution is one question. Do you think there could be a compromise, whereby the voice to Parliament, as some sort of advisory body, becomes a legislated body, something that the Parliament determines?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Yeah this will be something which Ken Wyatt will have to consider in the discussions. At the moment, obviously we have committed to go through this process and to see how far we can get through this process, which Ken is leading. We have for some time have had a Prime Minister's Indigenous Advisory Council, which has provided advice to government and there's been some very good people on those Indigenous Advisory Councils, which has provided that advice.</p> <p>Whether or not we get to what you're discussing there, I don't know. That will be, time will tell going through the current process, as to how far we get.</p> <p><strong>Jane Norman:</strong> Okay and just finally, from one very complex and divisive issue to another, and that is religious freedoms. Your colleague, the Attorney-General Christian Porter, is drafting a religious discrimination bill. There are calls in the party to go a bit further, though, and actually enshrine religious freedoms in legislation. What are your thoughts on that? Would that be going too far?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Again Jane, as you pointed out, this is a really sensitive matter, which we do have to carefully work through. We are 100 per cent committed, though, to introducing a religious discrimination bill. We do want to ensure that people can practise their faith freely in this country as one of the fundamental rights which people should have.</p> <p>But there's some really tricky issues which need to be worked through very calmly and very sensitively. We don't want to make this a divisive issue, but we do want do introduce this bill and make sure there are proper protections for people to exercise their own faith.</p> <p><strong>Jane Norman:</strong> So you seem to be falling on the side of the religious discrimination bill, as opposed to going further and enshrining rights in legislation?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Well, that's been the commitment which we have made, is to introduce that religious discrimination bill. But again, we're taking this very calmly and methodically and we do want to bring the Australian people with us so it doesn't become a divisive issue. It's important for a great many Australians and we recognise that.</p> <p>We recognise that religious freedoms are fundamental to people's identity and who they are as a person. But we have just got to get this right and therefore the Attorney-General's just calmly going about this, consulting broadly, until we get the right answer.</p> <p><strong>Jane Norman:</strong> So you say that it's important to people of faith that you’ve obviously been speaking to, but it's been difficult finding actual examples where people's freedoms have been eroded. Philip Ruddock's own review into the religious freedoms in Australia found that it was A) hard to find examples of this in real life and B) that Australians largely enjoy a very high level of religious freedom. So why is this an issue that the Government needs to be legislating?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> At the same time, Philip Ruddock did outline 20 recommendations and we've adopted 15 of those recommendations and the other five more complex ones we have sent to the Australian Law Reform Commission to examine. He did identify a number of issues and consequently we are enacting those recommendations, or at least 15 initially, while the other five are getting further consideration.</p> <p><strong>Jane Norman:</strong> All right Alan Tudge, we’ll have to leave it there but thank you for your time.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Thanks very much Jane.</p> Tudge Transcript, ABC News with Jane Norman Federal Funding to Fix 71 'Black Spots' In Victoria https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/media-release/federal-funding-fix-71-black-spots-victoria <p>The safety of 71 Victorian road ‘black spots’ will be substantially improved over the next 12 months.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack today announced $25 million for the state under the Black Spot Program’s 2019–20 funding round.</p> <p>“The Australian Government is committed to building safer roads across the nation,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>“The Black Spot Program targets road locations where crashes are occurring, reducing the risk of crashes through funding safety measures such as traffic signals and roundabouts at dangerous locations.</p> <p>“The 71 black spot projects being funded across Victoria are an important contribution towards reducing the national road toll.”</p> <p>Mr McCormack said this investment in black spot projects would deliver safer roads in local government areas throughout Victoria.</p> <p>“Funding has been allocated to road locations that have been identified as high priority, with 326 casualty crashes recorded at these sites over the past five years, including 15 fatal crashes” he said.</p> <p>“The panel that reviews priorities for the program includes representatives from the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria, the Victorian Transport Association, Victoria Police, the Municipal Association of Victoria and VicRoads.”</p> <p>Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said the Black Spot Program showcases the Liberal and National Government’s commitment to making our roads safer.</p> <p>“Thanks to the strong financial management from the Liberals and Nationals Government, we can target our investment to where it’s most needed so Victorians will be able to travel more safely across the state,” Mr Buchholz said.</p> <p>“I am proud to be part of a government that is not only delivering on its commitment to do more to reduce crashes on our roads, but is delivering the infrastructure that Australians want, need and most importantly deserve.”</p> <p>The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) has found that, on average, Black Spot projects reduce the number of crashes causing death and injury by<br /> 30 per cent.</p> <p>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>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> <table class="tborder"> <tbody> <tr> <th> <p>Project name</p> </th> <th> <p>Proposed Treatment</p> </th> <th> <p>Funding</p> </th> <th> <p>Council</p> </th> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Arthurs Creek Road Deep Creek Road to<br /> Hurstbridge-Arthurs Creek Road<br /> ARTHURS CREEK</p> </td> <td> <p>Install Variable Speed Limit signs for school zone flashing '40' with<br /> static '60'; installation of guardrail on corner</p> </td> <td> <p>$188,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Nillumbik</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Avon Road<br /> Woori-Yallock Road to Kennedy Road AVONSLEIGH</p> </td> <td> <p>Seal shoulders east of Bird Road and east of Phillip Road (section without kerb and channel); installation of W- Beam safety barriers along the road side; and hazard clearing</p> </td> <td> <p>$635,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Cardinia</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Axedale-Goornong Road Epsom-Barnadown Road BARNADOWN</p> </td> <td> <p>Stagger Axedale- Goornong Road and Epsom- Barnadown Road intersection with realignment of Epsom-Barnadown Road</p> </td> <td> <p>$1,738,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Greater Bendigo</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Baillieu Street Billson Street WONTHAGGI</p> </td> <td> <p>Realign intersection, seal and linemark shoulders, install kerb on major approach, driveable culvert end-walls and splitter islands on the minor approach</p> </td> <td> <p>$373,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Bass Coast</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Beverleys Road<br /> from Stockdale Road to Bairnsdale-Dargo Road STOCKDALE</p> </td> <td> <p>Improve warning signage, install Chevron Alignment Markers and guideposts, install RRPMs and line marking adjustments, install guardrail on major culverts, construct T-intersection at Stockdale Road</p> </td> <td> <p>$527,530</p> </td> <td> <p>Wellington</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Boardwalk Boulevard Dunnings Road POINT COOK</p> </td> <td> <p>Install a mast arm on the north and west approach at the Boardwalk Boulevard/Dunning s Road intersection to improve traffic signal visibility for southbound and eastbound vehicles</p> </td> <td> <p>$63,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Wyndham</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Boardwalk Boulevard Tom Roberts Parade POINT COOK</p> </td> <td> <p>Introduce fully controlled right turns on Tom Roberts Parade in both directions (east and west approaches)</p> </td> <td> <p>$58,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Wyndham</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Boolara - Mirboo North Road Old Foster Road to 1.5km east of Old Foster Road<br /> MIRBOO NORTH</p> </td> <td> <p>Install additional barriers, barrier upgrades, improved delineation, warning signage and speed reduction</p> </td> <td> <p>$360,000</p> </td> <td> <p>South Gippsland</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Broadford-Wandong Road from 3.2km north of Epping- Kinmore Road<br /> CLONBINANE</p> </td> <td> <p>Install approximately 1550 metres of road safety barriers and terminals, install signage and improve delineation</p> </td> <td> <p>$361,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Mitchell</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Campbell Road<br /> McIntyre Road to Pullar Road COBRAM</p> </td> <td> <p>Construct 0.5m sealed shoulders and install tactile edgelines along Campbell Road between Parnell Road and Murray Valley Highway; construct splitter islands, install street lighting, refresh line marking at Pullar Road and Helay Road intersection</p> </td> <td> <p>$1,200,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Moira</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Chapel Street Inkerman Street ST KILDA EAST</p> </td> <td> <p>Upgrade lighting and install Give Way to pedestrian lanterns</p> </td> <td> <p>$136,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Port Phillip</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Charlton - Swan Hill Road North of Praters Road Intersection<br /> GLENLOTH</p> </td> <td> <p>Seal shoulders and install tactile edgelines on Charlton Swan Hill Road and remove hazards to improve sight distance and provide clear zone. Construct and seal 100m pavement on western approach. Improve drainage, install curve warning signs.</p> </td> <td> <p>$330,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Buloke</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Churchill Park Drive from Power Road to Landsdowne Road ENDEAVOUR HILLS</p> </td> <td> <p>Install Vehicle Activated Signs (Kangaroo Warning) at six locations</p> </td> <td> <p>$81,564</p> </td> <td> <p>Casey</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Colquhoun Road<br /> Ostlers Road to Baades Road LAKES ENTRANCE</p> </td> <td> <p>Improve delineation by line marking, and installing Raised Reflective Pavement Markers, signage and guide posts, seal shoulders in S- bend, trim batter to improve line of sight, move end of 80kph on Colquhoun Road after Baades Road intersection</p> </td> <td> <p>$111,000</p> </td> <td> <p>East Gippsland</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Coombes Road Ghazeepoore Road TORQUAY</p> </td> <td> <p>Install splitter islands to improve delineation - slight stagger</p> </td> <td> <p>$130,691</p> </td> <td> <p>Surf Coast</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Cottles Bridge-Strathewen Road<br /> Greens Road to Hildebrand Road<br /> COTTLES BRIDGE</p> </td> <td> <p>Install guardrail and Chevron Alignment Markers on hazardous corners</p> </td> <td> <p>$237,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Nillumbik</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Crusoe Road<br /> Calder Alternative Highway to Merindah Road<br /> LOCKWOOD</p> </td> <td> <p>Seal shoulders (1.20 metres wide) at five locations along Crusoe Road</p> </td> <td> <p>$300,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Greater Bendigo</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Diamond Hill Road Nankervis Road to Kangaroo Gully Road<br /> MANDURANG</p> </td> <td> <p>Seal shoulders, improve intersection and sight distance</p> </td> <td> <p>$510,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Greater Bendigo</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Eighth Street Riverside Avenue MILDURA</p> </td> <td> <p>Remove island on Riverside Avenue, create staggered intersection, install new splitter islands and speed cushions on Eighth Street approaches, mark centre line on Riverside Avenue and warning signs along Eighth Street</p> </td> <td> <p>$25,980</p> </td> <td> <p>Mildura</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Epsom-Barnadown Road near Huntly-Fosterville Road BAGSHOT</p> </td> <td> <p>Install safety barriers including approximately 1580m of safety barriers and 3050m of wire rope, seal shoulders</p> </td> <td> <p>$1,130,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Greater Bendigo</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Geelong Bacchus Marsh Road at Corio Village Shopping Centre<br /> CORIO</p> </td> <td> <p>Install fully controlled right turn and extend existing right-turn only lane</p> </td> <td> <p>$264,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Greater Geelong</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Gum Flats Road from Forest Road ANGLESEA</p> </td> <td> <p>Construct new pavement, install guard fence, Curve Alignment Markers and speed advisory signage, improve delineation</p> </td> <td> <p>$386,917</p> </td> <td> <p>Surf Coast</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>King Street Shakespeare Street and Gordon Street HAMILTON</p> </td> <td> <p>Install a single lane roundabout</p> </td> <td> <p>$283,012</p> </td> <td> <p>Southern Grampians</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Lake Road<br /> Between Murray River Road (Talgarno Road) to the north and 1.7km south of Kurrajong Gap Road<br /> BETHANGA</p> </td> <td> <p>Install safety barrier, seal shoulders, install guide posts, raised reflective pavement markers, chevron alignment markers, curve warning signs and advisory speed signs. Relocate Give Way sign and refresh line marking at intersection</p> </td> <td> <p>$179,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Towong</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Lardner Road<br /> Lardner Road from Main South Road to Lardners Track DROUIN</p> </td> <td> <p>Replace non- standard safety barrer, improve delineation, implement speed limit reduction</p> </td> <td> <p>$220,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Baw Baw</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Macclesfield Road<br /> 800m south of Shield Road YELLINGBO</p> </td> <td> <p>Install Ezy guard fence along a 65m length, and upgrade 240m pavement</p> </td> <td> <p>$260,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Yarra Ranges</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>McLeans Road Nathan Court BUNDOORA</p> </td> <td> <p>Install solar powered flashing lights at existing pedestrian crossing</p> </td> <td> <p>$75,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Whittlesea</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Mount Eliza Road from Rankins Road to Meadow Lane KERRIE</p> </td> <td> <p>Install approximately 1950m of guard rail (EzyGuard Smart), widen shoulders</p> </td> <td> <p>$929,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Macedon Ranges</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Mountain Glen Drive<br /> from Kennys Road to Watsons Road (entire length) TRAFALGAR EAST</p> </td> <td> <p>Upgrade existing safety barriers and improve intersection delineation</p> </td> <td> <p>$309,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Baw Baw</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Pakington Street Albert Street GEELONG WEST</p> </td> <td> <p>Upgrade signals with split phasing, improved lighting, and early start for pedestrians</p> </td> <td> <p>$147,804</p> </td> <td> <p>Greater Geelong</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Paternoster Road<br /> Bailey Road to Beaconsfield- Emerald Road<br /> EMERALD</p> </td> <td> <p>Install profiled (audio tactile) centreline and edge lines from Beaconsfield- Emerald Road to Bailey Road; install W-Beam safety barriers</p> </td> <td> <p>$364,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Cardinia</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Reynard Street Gordon Street COBURG</p> </td> <td> <p>Construct raised threshold including drainage, footpath works and speed humps either side on Reynard Street, install speed hump, signage and upgrade line marking on Portland Street, extend and expand school 40 limit</p> </td> <td> <p>$111,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Moreland</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Romsey Road<br /> from Knox Road, Glenfern Road, Kerrie Road ROMSEY</p> </td> <td> <p>Install approximately 1300m of guard rail</p> </td> <td> <p>$337,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Macedon Ranges</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Sedgwick Road<br /> from Nankervis Road to Storys Road MANDURANG SOUTH</p> </td> <td> <p>Install approximately 4310m of wire rope, widen shoulders, construct staggered intersection of Sedgwick Road/Nankervis Road by realigning Nankervis Road</p> </td> <td> <p>$920,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Greater Bendigo</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Short Street McEarcharn Street EAST BAIRNSDALE</p> </td> <td> <p>Reconfigure Y- Intersection at McEacharn Street to a T-Intersection. Mark parking lane to visually narrow street</p> </td> <td> <p>$215,000</p> </td> <td> <p>East Gippsland</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Skyline Road<br /> from Taylor Bay Road to Fraser Park Road EILDON</p> </td> <td> <p>Install guideposts, curve warning signs, advisory speed signs and Curve Alignment Markers at required locations along the road</p> </td> <td> <p>$51,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Murrindindi</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Stewarts Bridge Road between Bangerang Road and Echuca-Nathalia Road KANYAPELLA</p> </td> <td> <p>Install guide posts, curve warning signs, advisory speed signs and Curve Alignment Markers at required locations along the road</p> </td> <td> <p>$68,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Moira</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Stewarts Road Outtrim-Moyarra Road OUTTRIM</p> </td> <td> <p>Extend barriers and add rubrail, add kerb to intersection, skid resistant pavement through curve, bell mouth seal on Grays Road, extend splitter on Outtrim- Moyarra, speed reduction to 80km/hr, advisory speeds on curves</p> </td> <td> <p>$480,000</p> </td> <td> <p>South Gippsland</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Victoria Road Darebin Road NORTHCOTE</p> </td> <td> <p>Install mast arms on the east, west and south approaches; install a “Give Way to pedestrians" sign on the north west corner and reprogram signals so that pedestrians have a head start</p> </td> <td> <p>$92,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Darebin</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Victoria Street Panton Street EAGLEHAWK</p> </td> <td> <p>Construct splitter islands on both streets and channelisation including kerb outstands and footpaths</p> </td> <td> <p>$133,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Greater Bendigo</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Waterview Boulevard Marathon Boulevard CRAIGIEBURN</p> </td> <td> <p>Install fully controlled right turn phases at the signalised intersection</p> </td> <td> <p>$98,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Hume (VIC)</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Wellington Street Keele Street COLLINGWOOD</p> </td> <td> <p>Construct raised pedestrian crossing with a kerb extension, extend and refresh line marking, install new signage</p> </td> <td> <p>$138,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Yarra City</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Wentworth Avenue from Dandelion Drive ROWVILLE</p> </td> <td> <p>Install traffic calming measures (speed cushions)</p> </td> <td> <p>$130,800</p> </td> <td> <p>Knox</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Windrock Avenue Between Punt Street and Central Park Avenue CRAIGIEBURN</p> </td> <td> <p>Install fully controlled right turn phases at the signalised intersection. Add mast arms to the eastern and western approaches</p> </td> <td> <p>$126,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Hume (VIC)</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Windsor Avenue St Johns Avenue SPRINGVALE</p> </td> <td> <p>Reconstruct roundabout central island to improve deflection, install pedestrian safety treatments at roundabout</p> </td> <td> <p>$160,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Greater Dandenong</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Axedale-Goornong Road 1km either side of Campaspe Road<br /> BARNADOWN</p> </td> <td> <p>Install approximately 930m of safety barriers and seal shoulders</p> </td> <td> <p>$400,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Greater Bendigo</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Bellfield Drive Waterview Boulevard CRAIGIEBURN</p> </td> <td> <p>Introduce reverse curves on the north and south approaches to reduce vehicle speeds through the roundabout</p> </td> <td> <p>$238,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Hume (VIC)</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Bessie Creek Road<br /> Seymour Road to Dore Road NAR NAR GOON NORTH</p> </td> <td> <p>Seal shoulders between Seymour Road and Moore Road, install tactile edgeline between Seymour Road and Moore Road, install sections of W- Beam safety barriers along the road side, install drivable end walls, and remove roadside hazards</p> </td> <td> <p>$704,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Cardinia</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Bogong High Plains<br /> between Sun Valley Road and Wallace Hut Track BENAMBRA</p> </td> <td> <p>Install safety barrier and rubrail, correct crossfall, install delineation treatments including centreline and edgelines, curve warning signs, Curve Alignment Markers, Raised Reflective Pavements Markers, guideposts and reduce the speed limit</p> </td> <td> <p>$1,418,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Alpine</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Broadford-Glenaroua Road Dwyers Road and Camerons Creek Road<br /> GLENAROUA</p> </td> <td> <p>Install 0.3m shoulder at curve of Broadford- Glenaroua Road, reseal bellmouths, correct superelevation, install stop sign and linemarking, upgrade signage and CAMs, revise priorities at the two-way one lane bridge with improved signs and linemarking</p> </td> <td> <p>$106,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Mitchell</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Camp Street Church Street KANGAROO FLAT</p> </td> <td> <p>Install a roundabout</p> </td> <td> <p>$400,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Greater Bendigo</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Canning Street Richardson Street CARLTON NORTH</p> </td> <td> <p>Extend kerbs, install shared entry and exit lanes, construct C-shaped central traffic island, install raised zebra crossings, mark sharrows on approaching lanes, install pedestrian facilities, appropriate signage and line marking</p> </td> <td> <p>$527,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Yarra City</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Cedar Drive Poplar Avenue NEWINGTON</p> </td> <td> <p>Install a roundabout</p> </td> <td> <p>$426,822</p> </td> <td> <p>Ballarat</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Cuthberts Road Whites Road CARDIGAN</p> </td> <td> <p>Install a roundabout</p> </td> <td> <p>$1,569,300</p> </td> <td> <p>Ballarat</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Drummond Street Macpherson St CARLTON NORTH</p> </td> <td> <p>Construct kerb extensions, remove central parking, construct median islands, duplicate stop signs, construct raised platforms with contrasting pavement material, construct flat top road humps</p> </td> <td> <p>$375,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Yarra City</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Dublin Road Knaith Rd RINGWOOD EAST</p> </td> <td> <p>Install traffic signals</p> </td> <td> <p>$409,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Maroondah</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Forest Road Dorian Avenue FERNTREE GULLY</p> </td> <td> <p>Re-sheet the pavement with anti-skid surface (calcined bauxite)</p> </td> <td> <p>$222,360</p> </td> <td> <p>Knox</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Forge Creek Road<br /> Netley Road to Racecourse Road<br /> FORGE CREEK</p> </td> <td> <p>Install localised barrier protection, modify line marking</p> </td> <td> <p>$457,000</p> </td> <td> <p>East Gippsland</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Fullers Road<br /> from Landing Road to Poor Fellow Me Creek<br /> FOSTER</p> </td> <td> <p>Install seven lengths of guardrail barrier including terminals, install warning signs, implement speed limit reduction</p> </td> <td> <p>$261,000</p> </td> <td> <p>South Gippsland</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Kelp Street Timor Street WARRNAMBOOL</p> </td> <td> <p>Install a single lane roundabout</p> </td> <td> <p>$272,815</p> </td> <td> <p>Warrnambool</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Kilby Road Belford Road KEW EAST</p> </td> <td> <p>Upgrade the existing Zebra crossing to Wombat crossing and install chevron line marking</p> </td> <td> <p>$34,500</p> </td> <td> <p>Boroondara</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Larnders Track<br /> from 200m south of East West Road to 500m north of East West Road<br /> WARRAGUL</p> </td> <td> <p>Install W-beam safety barriers and delineation improvements</p> </td> <td> <p>$167,640</p> </td> <td> <p>Baw Baw</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Meredith Street Jacana Avenue BROADMEADOWS</p> </td> <td> <p>Raise Meredith Street approaches to Jacana Avenue, reconstruct splitter island to preserve east/west pedestrian refuge link to Olsen Place Activity Centre</p> </td> <td> <p>$126,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Hume (VIC)</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Mount Lyall Road<br /> from North Poowong Road to Weavers Road<br /> NYORA</p> </td> <td> <p>Seal shoulders, mark centreline, install guideposts, barriers, speed limit reduction</p> </td> <td> <p>$251,000</p> </td> <td> <p>South Gippsland</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Myers Street Swanston Street GEELONG</p> </td> <td> <p>Install fully- controlled right turn including exclusive right-turn lanes and pedestrian early start</p> </td> <td> <p>$95,746</p> </td> <td> <p>Greater Geelong</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Normanby Avenue Rayment Street THORNBURY</p> </td> <td> <p>Construct kerb extensions at the intersection and relocate stop lines further into intersection to improve sightlines, install raised platforms on the Rayment Street approaches</p> </td> <td> <p>$229,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Darebin</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Olympic Parade<br /> from 450m south of Calder Highway to 330m north of Symonds Street<br /> MAIDEN GULLY</p> </td> <td> <p>Install approximately 1350m of safety barriers</p> </td> <td> <p>$405,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Greater Bendigo</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Pentland Parade Hobbs Street SEDDON</p> </td> <td> <p>Construct raised intersection platform and 40km/h speed limit reduction</p> </td> <td> <p>$114,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Maribyrnong</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Rathdowne Street O'Grady Street CARLTON NORTH</p> </td> <td> <p>Install green surface treatment in bicycle lane across conflict point, extend keep clear zone, construct kerb extensions on the O'Gradys road approach, install warning signage on the north-east corner of the intersection</p> </td> <td> <p>$115,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Yarra City</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Union Road<br /> from Windsor Crescent to Montrose Street<br /> SURREY HILLS</p> </td> <td> <p>Lower speed limit on Union Road from 60km/h to 40km/h between Canterbury Road and Mont Albert Road</p> </td> <td> <p>$194,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Boroondara</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Yan Yean Road<br /> at Hazel Glenn Drive and Mitchells Run<br /> DOREEN</p> </td> <td> <p>Install traffic signals at Hazel Glen Drive, amend Mitchells Run to left in/left out only at Yan Tean Rd</p> </td> <td> <p>$525,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Whittlesea</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> McCormack Federal Funding to Fix 71 'Black Spots' In Victoria Transcript, Mornings, ABC Radio Melbourne, Interview with Jon Faine https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/tudge/interview/transcript-mornings-abc-radio-melbourne-interview-jon-faine <p><strong>Subjects:</strong> Infrastructure spending; tax cut package; Constitutional Recognition for Indigenous Australians.</p> <p><strong>Jon Faine:</strong> Alan Tudge is the Federal Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure, and Population. He's a Victorian Minister in Scott Morrison's Federal Government, Coalition Federal Government, and in the Fin Review today, he also says it's the states that are causing lag and delays in building the infrastructure that we're told will also help put the economy back on a stronger footing. He joins me this morning, as will shortly the State Government's Infrastructure Minister.</p> <p>Mr Tudge, good morning to you.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Good morning Jon.</p> <p><strong>Jon Faine:</strong> What is the evidence that the state governments are dragging the chain and holding up infrastructure investment in Australia?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Well I don't think that's a fair characterisation of what I've said. I’ve outlined in an article today in the Australian Financial Review. And in essence, my main message there was that we have enormous amounts of infrastructure going on right now across the country, including in Victoria, record amounts, by both the federal level and the state level.</p> <p>But if we want to do even more, there are a number of opportunities there, some of which of course involve the state governments, because ultimately they're the ones that actually do the physical building of the infrastructure, whereas we’re the primary funder on many of them.</p> <p><strong>Jon Faine:</strong> The Victorian State Government actually is spending more in the forward estimates on infrastructure than the Federal Government for the whole of Australia. How can you say that, for instance, the Victorian Government's not doing enough?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Well again, that's not my characterisation. I'm merely saying that…</p> <p><strong>Jon Faine:</strong> I’m not asking if it’s your characterisation, I'm asking you when the Victorian Government is spending more than the Commonwealth, how can you say the states aren't doing their share?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> But Jon, you’re putting to me a false assertion there. So what I'm saying is that at the federal level, we're putting record funding into infrastructure across the country. $100 billion over the decade, and the amount of money which we're spending this year is double that of what we came into office.</p> <p>The State Government is also investing record amounts in infrastructure here to Victoria too, and on many of these projects we’re partnering really well together. The biggest one of those is the Airport Rail Link, $5 billion each. That's in the planning stage at the moment, construction will begin in 2022, and we want to get that built as quickly as possible.</p> <p>We've also got though, Jon, and this is one of the things which I’m in discussion, in good discussions with my state counterpart, as is the Prime Minister with the Premier, over the smaller-scale suburban projects.</p> <p>Now, if you fast-track those ones, you can get $5 million, $20 million into local suburban communities, and it makes a real difference to those communities in terms of the jobs which it creates. And of course, it fixes up those congestion pinch points at the same time. So they're the types of things we really want to get cracking on and we're having good discussions with the states at the moment in relation to those.</p> <p><strong>Jon Faine:</strong> One of the problems that the unexpected win in the federal election has posed for Scott Morrison, and you as one of his senior ministers, is going to have to, you're going to have to solve some of these problems, is that you don't really, you didn't really come out of the election campaign with a blueprint, did you? You weren't expecting to be back on the government side of the Parliament, so you got caught by surprise.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Well Jon, again, I wouldn't agree with your characterisation there. I mean, we've got a massive blueprint in terms of our economic agenda. Now that includes obviously the big tax plan which we've just passed the Parliament, which delivers tax cuts to millions of Australians. A thousand bucks into their pocket as soon as they get in their tax return this financial year.</p> <p>In addition, this $100 billion infrastructure program that's over a decade, that's a massive part of our agenda. We've got defence expenditure going on. We've got all sorts of other programs underway as we speak, Jon. So I don't agree with that. And my message though is in relation to the infrastructure expenditure. We've got a massive program going on and people see this across Melbourne. Many of those projects are supported by federal money.</p> <p><strong>Jon Faine:</strong> And finally, before we hear from your state counterpart, the humiliation of your colleague – the Minister for Indigenous Affairs Ken Wyatt at the National Press Club – publicly committing the Government to a process of constitutional recognition and then getting cut off at the knees the next day by the Prime Minister.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Well Jon, again, I’m not going to agree with your assertion there. He made he made a carefully calibrated speech there. You should read the speech. He's an exceptionally good Minister and I think he'll do a great job in terms of navigating that…</p> <p><strong>Jon Faine:</strong> But what do you tell us about the dysfunction behind the scenes when one of your senior Ministers makes a public commitment one day, and then he's undermined by the Prime Minister's office the next?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Well again, I disagree with your assertion. I mean, we've got a commitment to working through a process towards constitutional recognition of Aboriginal people, and Minister Wyatt, the first Indigenous member of the Cabinet, the first Indigenous person who's an Indigenous Affairs Minister, is carefully working through this. Now, it’s not a simple matter, constitutional recognition. We have to bring the community along, and we just have to take it steadily, consult broadly, and that's exactly what he's going to do.</p> <p><strong>Jon Faine:</strong> Thank you for your time. Alan Tudge, Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Thank you.</p> Tudge Transcript, Mornings, ABC Radio Melbourne, Interview with Jon Faine Federal Funding to Fix 71 'Black Spots' In Victoria https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/buchholz/media-release/federal-funding-fix-71-black-spots-victoria <p>The safety of 71 Victorian road ‘black spots’ will be substantially improved over the next 12 months.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack today announced $25 million for the state under the Black Spot Program’s 2019–20 funding round.</p> <p>“The Australian Government is committed to building safer roads across the nation,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>“The Black Spot Program targets road locations where crashes are occurring, reducing the risk of crashes through funding safety measures such as traffic signals and roundabouts at dangerous locations.</p> <p>“The 71 black spot projects being funded across Victoria are an important contribution towards reducing the national road toll.”</p> <p>Mr McCormack said this investment in black spot projects would deliver safer roads in local government areas throughout Victoria.</p> <p>“Funding has been allocated to road locations that have been identified as high priority, with 326 casualty crashes recorded at these sites over the past five years, including 15 fatal crashes” he said.</p> <p>“The panel that reviews priorities for the program includes representatives from the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria, the Victorian Transport Association, Victoria Police, the Municipal Association of Victoria and VicRoads.”</p> <p>Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said the Black Spot Program showcases the Liberal and National Government’s commitment to making our roads safer.</p> <p>“Thanks to the strong financial management from the Liberals and Nationals Government, we can target our investment to where it’s most needed so Victorians will be able to travel more safely across the state,” Mr Buchholz said.</p> <p>“I am proud to be part of a government that is not only delivering on its commitment to do more to reduce crashes on our roads, but is delivering the infrastructure that Australians want, need and most importantly deserve.”</p> <p>The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) has found that, on average, Black Spot projects reduce the number of crashes causing death and injury by<br /> 30 per cent.</p> <p>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>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> <table class="tborder"> <tbody> <tr> <th> <p>Project name</p> </th> <th> <p>Proposed Treatment</p> </th> <th> <p>Funding</p> </th> <th> <p>Council</p> </th> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Arthurs Creek Road Deep Creek Road to<br /> Hurstbridge-Arthurs Creek Road<br /> ARTHURS CREEK</p> </td> <td> <p>Install Variable Speed Limit signs for school zone flashing '40' with<br /> static '60'; installation of guardrail on corner</p> </td> <td> <p>$188,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Nillumbik</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Avon Road<br /> Woori-Yallock Road to Kennedy Road AVONSLEIGH</p> </td> <td> <p>Seal shoulders east of Bird Road and east of Phillip Road (section without kerb and channel); installation of W- Beam safety barriers along the road side; and hazard clearing</p> </td> <td> <p>$635,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Cardinia</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Axedale-Goornong Road Epsom-Barnadown Road BARNADOWN</p> </td> <td> <p>Stagger Axedale- Goornong Road and Epsom- Barnadown Road intersection with realignment of Epsom-Barnadown Road</p> </td> <td> <p>$1,738,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Greater Bendigo</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Baillieu Street Billson Street WONTHAGGI</p> </td> <td> <p>Realign intersection, seal and linemark shoulders, install kerb on major approach, driveable culvert end-walls and splitter islands on the minor approach</p> </td> <td> <p>$373,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Bass Coast</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Beverleys Road<br /> from Stockdale Road to Bairnsdale-Dargo Road STOCKDALE</p> </td> <td> <p>Improve warning signage, install Chevron Alignment Markers and guideposts, install RRPMs and line marking adjustments, install guardrail on major culverts, construct T-intersection at Stockdale Road</p> </td> <td> <p>$527,530</p> </td> <td> <p>Wellington</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Boardwalk Boulevard Dunnings Road POINT COOK</p> </td> <td> <p>Install a mast arm on the north and west approach at the Boardwalk Boulevard/Dunning s Road intersection to improve traffic signal visibility for southbound and eastbound vehicles</p> </td> <td> <p>$63,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Wyndham</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Boardwalk Boulevard Tom Roberts Parade POINT COOK</p> </td> <td> <p>Introduce fully controlled right turns on Tom Roberts Parade in both directions (east and west approaches)</p> </td> <td> <p>$58,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Wyndham</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Boolara - Mirboo North Road Old Foster Road to 1.5km east of Old Foster Road<br /> MIRBOO NORTH</p> </td> <td> <p>Install additional barriers, barrier upgrades, improved delineation, warning signage and speed reduction</p> </td> <td> <p>$360,000</p> </td> <td> <p>South Gippsland</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Broadford-Wandong Road from 3.2km north of Epping- Kinmore Road<br /> CLONBINANE</p> </td> <td> <p>Install approximately 1550 metres of road safety barriers and terminals, install signage and improve delineation</p> </td> <td> <p>$361,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Mitchell</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Campbell Road<br /> McIntyre Road to Pullar Road COBRAM</p> </td> <td> <p>Construct 0.5m sealed shoulders and install tactile edgelines along Campbell Road between Parnell Road and Murray Valley Highway; construct splitter islands, install street lighting, refresh line marking at Pullar Road and Helay Road intersection</p> </td> <td> <p>$1,200,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Moira</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Chapel Street Inkerman Street ST KILDA EAST</p> </td> <td> <p>Upgrade lighting and install Give Way to pedestrian lanterns</p> </td> <td> <p>$136,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Port Phillip</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Charlton - Swan Hill Road North of Praters Road Intersection<br /> GLENLOTH</p> </td> <td> <p>Seal shoulders and install tactile edgelines on Charlton Swan Hill Road and remove hazards to improve sight distance and provide clear zone. Construct and seal 100m pavement on western approach. Improve drainage, install curve warning signs.</p> </td> <td> <p>$330,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Buloke</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Churchill Park Drive from Power Road to Landsdowne Road ENDEAVOUR HILLS</p> </td> <td> <p>Install Vehicle Activated Signs (Kangaroo Warning) at six locations</p> </td> <td> <p>$81,564</p> </td> <td> <p>Casey</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Colquhoun Road<br /> Ostlers Road to Baades Road LAKES ENTRANCE</p> </td> <td> <p>Improve delineation by line marking, and installing Raised Reflective Pavement Markers, signage and guide posts, seal shoulders in S- bend, trim batter to improve line of sight, move end of 80kph on Colquhoun Road after Baades Road intersection</p> </td> <td> <p>$111,000</p> </td> <td> <p>East Gippsland</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Coombes Road Ghazeepoore Road TORQUAY</p> </td> <td> <p>Install splitter islands to improve delineation - slight stagger</p> </td> <td> <p>$130,691</p> </td> <td> <p>Surf Coast</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Cottles Bridge-Strathewen Road<br /> Greens Road to Hildebrand Road<br /> COTTLES BRIDGE</p> </td> <td> <p>Install guardrail and Chevron Alignment Markers on hazardous corners</p> </td> <td> <p>$237,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Nillumbik</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Crusoe Road<br /> Calder Alternative Highway to Merindah Road<br /> LOCKWOOD</p> </td> <td> <p>Seal shoulders (1.20 metres wide) at five locations along Crusoe Road</p> </td> <td> <p>$300,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Greater Bendigo</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Diamond Hill Road Nankervis Road to Kangaroo Gully Road<br /> MANDURANG</p> </td> <td> <p>Seal shoulders, improve intersection and sight distance</p> </td> <td> <p>$510,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Greater Bendigo</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Eighth Street Riverside Avenue MILDURA</p> </td> <td> <p>Remove island on Riverside Avenue, create staggered intersection, install new splitter islands and speed cushions on Eighth Street approaches, mark centre line on Riverside Avenue and warning signs along Eighth Street</p> </td> <td> <p>$25,980</p> </td> <td> <p>Mildura</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Epsom-Barnadown Road near Huntly-Fosterville Road BAGSHOT</p> </td> <td> <p>Install safety barriers including approximately 1580m of safety barriers and 3050m of wire rope, seal shoulders</p> </td> <td> <p>$1,130,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Greater Bendigo</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Geelong Bacchus Marsh Road at Corio Village Shopping Centre<br /> CORIO</p> </td> <td> <p>Install fully controlled right turn and extend existing right-turn only lane</p> </td> <td> <p>$264,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Greater Geelong</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Gum Flats Road from Forest Road ANGLESEA</p> </td> <td> <p>Construct new pavement, install guard fence, Curve Alignment Markers and speed advisory signage, improve delineation</p> </td> <td> <p>$386,917</p> </td> <td> <p>Surf Coast</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>King Street Shakespeare Street and Gordon Street HAMILTON</p> </td> <td> <p>Install a single lane roundabout</p> </td> <td> <p>$283,012</p> </td> <td> <p>Southern Grampians</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Lake Road<br /> Between Murray River Road (Talgarno Road) to the north and 1.7km south of Kurrajong Gap Road<br /> BETHANGA</p> </td> <td> <p>Install safety barrier, seal shoulders, install guide posts, raised reflective pavement markers, chevron alignment markers, curve warning signs and advisory speed signs. Relocate Give Way sign and refresh line marking at intersection</p> </td> <td> <p>$179,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Towong</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Lardner Road<br /> Lardner Road from Main South Road to Lardners Track DROUIN</p> </td> <td> <p>Replace non- standard safety barrer, improve delineation, implement speed limit reduction</p> </td> <td> <p>$220,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Baw Baw</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Macclesfield Road<br /> 800m south of Shield Road YELLINGBO</p> </td> <td> <p>Install Ezy guard fence along a 65m length, and upgrade 240m pavement</p> </td> <td> <p>$260,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Yarra Ranges</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>McLeans Road Nathan Court BUNDOORA</p> </td> <td> <p>Install solar powered flashing lights at existing pedestrian crossing</p> </td> <td> <p>$75,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Whittlesea</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Mount Eliza Road from Rankins Road to Meadow Lane KERRIE</p> </td> <td> <p>Install approximately 1950m of guard rail (EzyGuard Smart), widen shoulders</p> </td> <td> <p>$929,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Macedon Ranges</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Mountain Glen Drive<br /> from Kennys Road to Watsons Road (entire length) TRAFALGAR EAST</p> </td> <td> <p>Upgrade existing safety barriers and improve intersection delineation</p> </td> <td> <p>$309,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Baw Baw</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Pakington Street Albert Street GEELONG WEST</p> </td> <td> <p>Upgrade signals with split phasing, improved lighting, and early start for pedestrians</p> </td> <td> <p>$147,804</p> </td> <td> <p>Greater Geelong</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Paternoster Road<br /> Bailey Road to Beaconsfield- Emerald Road<br /> EMERALD</p> </td> <td> <p>Install profiled (audio tactile) centreline and edge lines from Beaconsfield- Emerald Road to Bailey Road; install W-Beam safety barriers</p> </td> <td> <p>$364,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Cardinia</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Reynard Street Gordon Street COBURG</p> </td> <td> <p>Construct raised threshold including drainage, footpath works and speed humps either side on Reynard Street, install speed hump, signage and upgrade line marking on Portland Street, extend and expand school 40 limit</p> </td> <td> <p>$111,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Moreland</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Romsey Road<br /> from Knox Road, Glenfern Road, Kerrie Road ROMSEY</p> </td> <td> <p>Install approximately 1300m of guard rail</p> </td> <td> <p>$337,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Macedon Ranges</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Sedgwick Road<br /> from Nankervis Road to Storys Road MANDURANG SOUTH</p> </td> <td> <p>Install approximately 4310m of wire rope, widen shoulders, construct staggered intersection of Sedgwick Road/Nankervis Road by realigning Nankervis Road</p> </td> <td> <p>$920,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Greater Bendigo</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Short Street McEarcharn Street EAST BAIRNSDALE</p> </td> <td> <p>Reconfigure Y- Intersection at McEacharn Street to a T-Intersection. Mark parking lane to visually narrow street</p> </td> <td> <p>$215,000</p> </td> <td> <p>East Gippsland</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Skyline Road<br /> from Taylor Bay Road to Fraser Park Road EILDON</p> </td> <td> <p>Install guideposts, curve warning signs, advisory speed signs and Curve Alignment Markers at required locations along the road</p> </td> <td> <p>$51,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Murrindindi</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Stewarts Bridge Road between Bangerang Road and Echuca-Nathalia Road KANYAPELLA</p> </td> <td> <p>Install guide posts, curve warning signs, advisory speed signs and Curve Alignment Markers at required locations along the road</p> </td> <td> <p>$68,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Moira</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Stewarts Road Outtrim-Moyarra Road OUTTRIM</p> </td> <td> <p>Extend barriers and add rubrail, add kerb to intersection, skid resistant pavement through curve, bell mouth seal on Grays Road, extend splitter on Outtrim- Moyarra, speed reduction to 80km/hr, advisory speeds on curves</p> </td> <td> <p>$480,000</p> </td> <td> <p>South Gippsland</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Victoria Road Darebin Road NORTHCOTE</p> </td> <td> <p>Install mast arms on the east, west and south approaches; install a “Give Way to pedestrians" sign on the north west corner and reprogram signals so that pedestrians have a head start</p> </td> <td> <p>$92,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Darebin</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Victoria Street Panton Street EAGLEHAWK</p> </td> <td> <p>Construct splitter islands on both streets and channelisation including kerb outstands and footpaths</p> </td> <td> <p>$133,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Greater Bendigo</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Waterview Boulevard Marathon Boulevard CRAIGIEBURN</p> </td> <td> <p>Install fully controlled right turn phases at the signalised intersection</p> </td> <td> <p>$98,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Hume (VIC)</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Wellington Street Keele Street COLLINGWOOD</p> </td> <td> <p>Construct raised pedestrian crossing with a kerb extension, extend and refresh line marking, install new signage</p> </td> <td> <p>$138,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Yarra City</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Wentworth Avenue from Dandelion Drive ROWVILLE</p> </td> <td> <p>Install traffic calming measures (speed cushions)</p> </td> <td> <p>$130,800</p> </td> <td> <p>Knox</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Windrock Avenue Between Punt Street and Central Park Avenue CRAIGIEBURN</p> </td> <td> <p>Install fully controlled right turn phases at the signalised intersection. Add mast arms to the eastern and western approaches</p> </td> <td> <p>$126,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Hume (VIC)</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Windsor Avenue St Johns Avenue SPRINGVALE</p> </td> <td> <p>Reconstruct roundabout central island to improve deflection, install pedestrian safety treatments at roundabout</p> </td> <td> <p>$160,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Greater Dandenong</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Axedale-Goornong Road 1km either side of Campaspe Road<br /> BARNADOWN</p> </td> <td> <p>Install approximately 930m of safety barriers and seal shoulders</p> </td> <td> <p>$400,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Greater Bendigo</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Bellfield Drive Waterview Boulevard CRAIGIEBURN</p> </td> <td> <p>Introduce reverse curves on the north and south approaches to reduce vehicle speeds through the roundabout</p> </td> <td> <p>$238,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Hume (VIC)</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Bessie Creek Road<br /> Seymour Road to Dore Road NAR NAR GOON NORTH</p> </td> <td> <p>Seal shoulders between Seymour Road and Moore Road, install tactile edgeline between Seymour Road and Moore Road, install sections of W- Beam safety barriers along the road side, install drivable end walls, and remove roadside hazards</p> </td> <td> <p>$704,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Cardinia</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Bogong High Plains<br /> between Sun Valley Road and Wallace Hut Track BENAMBRA</p> </td> <td> <p>Install safety barrier and rubrail, correct crossfall, install delineation treatments including centreline and edgelines, curve warning signs, Curve Alignment Markers, Raised Reflective Pavements Markers, guideposts and reduce the speed limit</p> </td> <td> <p>$1,418,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Alpine</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Broadford-Glenaroua Road Dwyers Road and Camerons Creek Road<br /> GLENAROUA</p> </td> <td> <p>Install 0.3m shoulder at curve of Broadford- Glenaroua Road, reseal bellmouths, correct superelevation, install stop sign and linemarking, upgrade signage and CAMs, revise priorities at the two-way one lane bridge with improved signs and linemarking</p> </td> <td> <p>$106,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Mitchell</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Camp Street Church Street KANGAROO FLAT</p> </td> <td> <p>Install a roundabout</p> </td> <td> <p>$400,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Greater Bendigo</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Canning Street Richardson Street CARLTON NORTH</p> </td> <td> <p>Extend kerbs, install shared entry and exit lanes, construct C-shaped central traffic island, install raised zebra crossings, mark sharrows on approaching lanes, install pedestrian facilities, appropriate signage and line marking</p> </td> <td> <p>$527,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Yarra City</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Cedar Drive Poplar Avenue NEWINGTON</p> </td> <td> <p>Install a roundabout</p> </td> <td> <p>$426,822</p> </td> <td> <p>Ballarat</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Cuthberts Road Whites Road CARDIGAN</p> </td> <td> <p>Install a roundabout</p> </td> <td> <p>$1,569,300</p> </td> <td> <p>Ballarat</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Drummond Street Macpherson St CARLTON NORTH</p> </td> <td> <p>Construct kerb extensions, remove central parking, construct median islands, duplicate stop signs, construct raised platforms with contrasting pavement material, construct flat top road humps</p> </td> <td> <p>$375,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Yarra City</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Dublin Road Knaith Rd RINGWOOD EAST</p> </td> <td> <p>Install traffic signals</p> </td> <td> <p>$409,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Maroondah</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Forest Road Dorian Avenue FERNTREE GULLY</p> </td> <td> <p>Re-sheet the pavement with anti-skid surface (calcined bauxite)</p> </td> <td> <p>$222,360</p> </td> <td> <p>Knox</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Forge Creek Road<br /> Netley Road to Racecourse Road<br /> FORGE CREEK</p> </td> <td> <p>Install localised barrier protection, modify line marking</p> </td> <td> <p>$457,000</p> </td> <td> <p>East Gippsland</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Fullers Road<br /> from Landing Road to Poor Fellow Me Creek<br /> FOSTER</p> </td> <td> <p>Install seven lengths of guardrail barrier including terminals, install warning signs, implement speed limit reduction</p> </td> <td> <p>$261,000</p> </td> <td> <p>South Gippsland</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Kelp Street Timor Street WARRNAMBOOL</p> </td> <td> <p>Install a single lane roundabout</p> </td> <td> <p>$272,815</p> </td> <td> <p>Warrnambool</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Kilby Road Belford Road KEW EAST</p> </td> <td> <p>Upgrade the existing Zebra crossing to Wombat crossing and install chevron line marking</p> </td> <td> <p>$34,500</p> </td> <td> <p>Boroondara</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Larnders Track<br /> from 200m south of East West Road to 500m north of East West Road<br /> WARRAGUL</p> </td> <td> <p>Install W-beam safety barriers and delineation improvements</p> </td> <td> <p>$167,640</p> </td> <td> <p>Baw Baw</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Meredith Street Jacana Avenue BROADMEADOWS</p> </td> <td> <p>Raise Meredith Street approaches to Jacana Avenue, reconstruct splitter island to preserve east/west pedestrian refuge link to Olsen Place Activity Centre</p> </td> <td> <p>$126,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Hume (VIC)</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Mount Lyall Road<br /> from North Poowong Road to Weavers Road<br /> NYORA</p> </td> <td> <p>Seal shoulders, mark centreline, install guideposts, barriers, speed limit reduction</p> </td> <td> <p>$251,000</p> </td> <td> <p>South Gippsland</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Myers Street Swanston Street GEELONG</p> </td> <td> <p>Install fully- controlled right turn including exclusive right-turn lanes and pedestrian early start</p> </td> <td> <p>$95,746</p> </td> <td> <p>Greater Geelong</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Normanby Avenue Rayment Street THORNBURY</p> </td> <td> <p>Construct kerb extensions at the intersection and relocate stop lines further into intersection to improve sightlines, install raised platforms on the Rayment Street approaches</p> </td> <td> <p>$229,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Darebin</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Olympic Parade<br /> from 450m south of Calder Highway to 330m north of Symonds Street<br /> MAIDEN GULLY</p> </td> <td> <p>Install approximately 1350m of safety barriers</p> </td> <td> <p>$405,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Greater Bendigo</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Pentland Parade Hobbs Street SEDDON</p> </td> <td> <p>Construct raised intersection platform and 40km/h speed limit reduction</p> </td> <td> <p>$114,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Maribyrnong</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Rathdowne Street O'Grady Street CARLTON NORTH</p> </td> <td> <p>Install green surface treatment in bicycle lane across conflict point, extend keep clear zone, construct kerb extensions on the O'Gradys road approach, install warning signage on the north-east corner of the intersection</p> </td> <td> <p>$115,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Yarra City</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Union Road<br /> from Windsor Crescent to Montrose Street<br /> SURREY HILLS</p> </td> <td> <p>Lower speed limit on Union Road from 60km/h to 40km/h between Canterbury Road and Mont Albert Road</p> </td> <td> <p>$194,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Boroondara</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Yan Yean Road<br /> at Hazel Glenn Drive and Mitchells Run<br /> DOREEN</p> </td> <td> <p>Install traffic signals at Hazel Glen Drive, amend Mitchells Run to left in/left out only at Yan Tean Rd</p> </td> <td> <p>$525,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Whittlesea</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> Buchholz Federal Funding to Fix 71 'Black Spots' In Victoria Transcript, Sky News, Interview with Kieran Gilbert https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/tudge/interview/transcript-sky-news-interview-kieran-gilbert <p><strong>Subjects: </strong>Infrastructure spending</p> <p><strong>Kieran Gilbert:</strong> Some big news though on that cladding issue. Let’s get some reaction from the Federal Government. The Minister for Infrastructure joins me, Alan Tudge. Thanks so much for your time.</p> <p>The Victorian Government says it’s a nation-leading response, it’s not waiting for private companies, it’s stumping up $300 million, it wants the Federal Government to do the same. Will you?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> G’day Kieran. This will obviously be considered in due course. I’ve just heard that Premier Andrews is proposing to take this to COAG to be discussed there and no doubt he’ll be discussing this with the Prime Minister beforehand, and I’ll leave that obviously to the Prime Minister to address.</p> <p><strong>Kieran Gilbert:</strong> But given that this has been prompted obviously by events overseas, the Grenfell Tower tragedy and so on, this surely should be welcomed by the Federal Government that the Victorian Government is moving to act and make the highest risk building safe for residents.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Well, this is a really serious issue and it is good that Daniel Andrews is taking action here. I’m not across the details, I’m just literally hearing it for the first time as I’ve been sitting here in the studio so in terms of any formal response from the Federal Government, I’ll leave that to Karen Andrews or the Prime Minister to fully respond in due course.</p> <p><strong>Kieran Gilbert:</strong> Sure. Okay. Well on the infrastructure, no doubt, Daniel Andrews will be asked about your comments today in the AFR very shortly. But up until this point, he’s shown no inclination to back the major road project, the East West Link that you want to fund in Melbourne. Why doesn’t the Federal Government look elsewhere in terms of saying okay, we’re not going to get a deal on that, let’s put some infrastructure spending elsewhere in one of our biggest cities?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Well in essence, Kieran, we are doing that and we’ve got massive projects right across Victoria which we’re investing in, in partnership with the state government and actually we have a very good relationship with the State Government in terms of getting infrastructure built, perhaps no bigger one than the Airport Rail Link which is a $5 billion commitment each, to finally connect up Australia’s second biggest airport by rail.</p> <p>The East West Link is obviously a project which we think is vitally important because it will finally connect up the Eastern Freeway to the other side of town and ease the traffic for 50,000 commuters every single day.</p> <p>Now, our message to the State Government is obviously that we’re happy to pay for the entire federal contribution but putting that aside, we’ve largely got good co-operation with the State Government. We want to see other projects done quickly and I’m in good discussions with the state Minister in relation to those other projects, particularly some of the smaller Urban Congestion Fund projects which are in the suburb by suburbs across the city.</p> <p><strong>Kieran Gilbert:</strong> And on some of the larger projects as well though, you’re talking about the need to expedite those, the Federal Government, I think the Treasurer is going to making a similar point at lunch time today. What sort of things can you do to smooth out the planning and approval processes to expedite those?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> In some respects, as you’d know, there’s been a lot of discussion in relation to how you can accelerate the progress of our major infrastructure in Australia. Now, part of our response is to say well actually, we’ve already been doing this. We’ve already massively ramped up the expenditure on infrastructure from what was a $50 billion program five years ago, which was a record then, to now a $100 billion program today over the course of a decade.</p> <p>On top of that though, if we do want to do further work, then there’s three areas which we think that we can accelerate even further but all three do require state cooperation. The first is to fast track some of the 120 large projects which we have in the planning phase.</p> <p>The second is actually to get on with some of those big projects which the State Government hasn’t yet committed to such as the East West Link. And the third, and this is the most tangible one, is that we’ve got well over 100 projects around the country which are small-scale suburb-by-suburb, $5 million here, $20 million there which we want to get happening as quickly as possible.</p> <p>I’m in discussions with my state counterparts to see if we can get really cracking on those, not only to make a difference to local residents to fix up those congestion hotspots, but also to provide additional jobs in those local communities.</p> <p><strong>Kieran Gilbert:</strong> Let’s just go back to where we were a bit earlier in terms of the East West Link because it’s relevant to something else you’ve said there. In terms of the states and whether or not they’re acting sufficiently, isn’t it fair to say that Victoria is almost at full tilt anyway right now? So the question is would they have the capacity to make way for that particular project or at least facilitate that project?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> That’s some of the feedback which Premier Andrews has been saying, is they’re getting close to capacity and in particular in relation to concrete capacity. I suppose my message there would be that if you’ve got concrete shortages, let’s then expedite the quarry approval process so that we don’t have that in the future.</p> <p>Should we even give the go ahead to East West Link today? It would obviously still take a few years to do the detailed planning work et cetera, before you can really get the major construction underway. So in the meantime, let’s get cracking in terms of approving quarries so we don’t have those shortages.</p> <p><strong>Kieran Gilbert:</strong> What about the other states, are they doing enough? I know you go to Central Brisbane, you see the Cross River Rail, Sydney’s got various road projects, they look like New South Wales is moving quite sufficiently. Are the various other states doing enough in your view?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Well most jurisdictions are also investing record amounts in infrastructure, just as the Federal Government is. New South Wales is leading the way there and they’ve had a massive program now for a number of years, largely supported by the Coalition Government federally. We’ve obviously in New South Wales got a huge project which we’re funding entirely but The State Government is also supporting us with road and rail connected to this and that is the $5.3 billion Western Sydney Airport.</p> <p>That project, Kieran, will transform Western Sydney and it is going to be the largest earth-moving exercise in Australian history to flatten out that area around Badgerys Creek to create an enormous airport out there, which will be twice the size of Sydney’s Airport is presently. But there’s other projects going on in Sydney as there are around the country.</p> <p>The overall message is that, supported by the Federal Government, there is record amounts of funding in road and rail projects going on around the country. We’ve massively ramped that up and that’s a really important support for the economy overall, both now during the construction phase, but of course it increases the capacity of the economy overall so it has long-term impacts as well.</p> <p><strong>Kieran Gilbert:</strong> So given all of that activity, why then has the RBA Governor made more than a dozen requests in recent months for governments to do more on infrastructure? It sounds, according to what you’re saying today, that you believe it’s sufficient.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Well the Governor also did point out that our infrastructure plan is supporting economic growth, so he’s made that point. And you do need to read carefully what he is saying. And I suppose we’re point out that almost in response to some of the Governor’s comments is that we have massively ramped up our infrastructure expenditure.</p> <p>At last year’s Budget it was $75 billion, in this year’s Budget we’ve increased that to $100 billion. We’ve announced 900 major projects since we’ve been in government. Fully a third of those have been in the last 12 months alone, so you can see the ramp up in infrastructure expenditure already and that will continue on.</p> <p>I’m pointing out today in an important article in the Australian Financial Review, that if we want to even accelerate further, well there are opportunities there and I’m in discussions with the Deputy Prime Minister is also, in discussions with our state counterparts, to see whether or not those opportunities can be fulfilled.</p> <p><strong>Kieran Gilbert:</strong> Quick one to wrap up Minister, before I let you go, this analysis out of the Treasury, The Australian reports it today, that stubborn workers basically is how they’re described, not moving to more productive companies is putting downward pressure basically on wages growth. Should more onus though be put on companies given rising profits, that the onus be put on them to increase wages and provide that incentive to either move or to increase productivity.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Yeah Kieran, the Treasurer is giving a speech today and he’ll no doubt address some of those comments and I’ll just leave it to him to address those points today.</p> <p><strong>Kieran Gilbert:</strong> Okay. We’re out of time. Alan Tudge, we’ll talk to you soon.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Thanks very much Kieran.</p> Tudge Transcript, Sky News, Interview with Kieran Gilbert Pacific Highway upgrade motors on https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/media-release/pacific-highway-upgrade-motors <p>Motorists and freight operators are benefiting from nine kilometres of new single lane highway between Devils Pulpit and New Italy as part of the Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway upgrade.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said traffic recently moved onto the new northbound lanes while work continued along the existing highway, which will form the future southbound carriageway.</p> <p>“The Liberals and Nationals in Government are working together to deliver the Pacific Highway duplication,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>“We know just how important the project is, and together with the NSW Liberals and Nationals, I am excited to see the project progressing.”</p> <p>NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the Woolgoolga to Ballina project formed part of the Pacific Highway duplication and was already delivering smoother, safer journeys for road users.</p> <p>“The Pacific Highway duplication is one of the largest road infrastructure projects in Australia,” Mr Toole said.</p> <p>“With more than 80 per cent of the highway now duplicated, this huge project is now on the home stretch. We’re already seeing travel time reductions of around two hours, and fatal crashes have halved.</p> <p>“Once completed, the Pacific Highway will boast a four lane divided road from Hexham to the Queensland border, with improved travel reliability and better access for communities along the route.</p> <p>“This is just one of the many ways the Federal and NSW governments are delivering for the regions and building for the future.”</p> <p>Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan said it had been an exciting start to 2019, with more than 20 kilometres of new single carriageway already opened between Glenugie and Ballina.</p> <p>“The upgrade is on track to open to traffic in 2020 and sections of the new highway will continue to open progressively as they are completed, meaning smoother, and more reliable journeys,” Mr Hogan said.</p> <p>More information about the Woolgoolga to Ballina upgrade is available <a href="https://www.pacifichighway.nsw.gov.au/project-sections/coffs-harbour-to-ballina/woolgoolga-to-ballina">here</a>.</p> McCormack Pacific Highway upgrade motors on Federal funding to fix seven 'black spots' in the Northern Territory https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/media-release/federal-funding-fix-seven-black-spots-northern-territory <p>The safety of seven Northern Territory road ‘black spots’ will be substantially improved over the next 12 months.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack today announced $1.48 million for the Territory under the Black Spot Program’s 2019-20 funding round.</p> <p>“The Federal Liberal and Nationals Government is committed to building safer roads right across the nation because one crash, one fatality is one too many,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>“The Black Spot Program targets road locations where crashes are occurring, reducing the risk of crashes through funding safety measures such as traffic signals and roundabouts at dangerous locations.</p> <p>“The seven black spot projects being funded across the Northern Territory are an important contribution towards reducing the national road toll.”</p> <p>Senator for the Northern Territory Sam McMahon said this investment in black spot projects would deliver safer roads in six local government areas throughout the Northern Territory.</p> <p>“Funding has been allocated to road locations that have been identified as high priority, with 21 casualty crashes recorded at these sites over the past five years, including one fatal crash” Dr McMahon said.</p> <p>“The panel, which reviews priorities for the program includes representatives from the NT Road Transport Association, NT Police, Automobile Association of the NT and Territory and local governments.”</p> <p>Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said the Black Spot Program showcases the Liberal and National Government’s commitment to getting Australians home safely by targeting investment to where it is most needed.</p> <p>“Thanks to the strong financial management from the Liberals and Nationals Government, people in the Northern Territory will be able to travel more safely across the state,” Mr Buchholz said.</p> <p>“I am proud to be part of a government that is not only delivering on its commitment to reduce crashes on our roads, but is delivering the infrastructure that Australians want, need and most importantly deserve.”</p> <p>The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) has found that, on average, Black Spot projects reduce the number of crashes causing death and injury by 30 per cent.</p> <p>The Federal Liberal and Nationals 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>For more information on the Federal 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> <h2>2019-20 Northern Territory Black Spot Program</h2> <table class="tborder"> <tbody> <tr> <th> <p>Project Name</p> </th> <th> <p>Proposed Treatment</p> </th> <th> <p>Funding sought</p> </th> <th> <p>Council</p> </th> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>East Point Road<br /> Lampe Terrace<br /> FANNIE BAY</p> </td> <td> <p>Install wide median refuge/traffic island on East Point Road just north of Lampe Street with path links to both sides to improve sight lines to pedestrians and control vehicle speeds and alignment through the intersection</p> </td> <td> <p>$160,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Darwin</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Bonson Terrace<br /> from Elrundie Avenue to Tilston Avenue<br /> MOULDEN</p> </td> <td> <p>Replace existing halogen luminaires (28 units) with LEDs</p> </td> <td> <p>$91,100</p> </td> <td> <p>Palmerston</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Stuart Highway<br /> between Temple Terrace and Palmerston Indigenous Village<br /> FARRAR</p> </td> <td> <p>Installation of two sections of guardrail to the outbound verge</p> </td> <td> <p>$275,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Palmerston</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Central Arnhem Road<br /> through the community of Beswick<br /> BESWICK</p> </td> <td> <p>Install streetlighting and upgrade pedestrian facilities</p> </td> <td> <p>$420,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Roper Gulf</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>First Street<br /> south-east of Lindsay Street<br /> KATHERINE</p> </td> <td> <p>Relocate pedestrian crossing, extend kerb and median islands at roundabout (speed reduction), install four speed cushions, warning signs, repaint line marking, install pedestrian fencing on First Street</p> </td> <td> <p>$98,460</p> </td> <td> <p>Katherine</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Girraween Road<br /> Hillier Road<br /> GIRRAWEEN</p> </td> <td> <p>Upgrade existing Girraween Road and Hillier Road intersection to a combined rural Channelised Right Turn/ Auxiliary Left Turn layout intersection</p> </td> <td> <p>$365,432</p> </td> <td> <p>Litchfield</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Hartley Street<br /> between Gregory Terrace and Parson Street<br /> ALICE SPRINGS</p> </td> <td> <p>New street lighting has to be installed at three pedestrian crossings along Hartley Street to provide lighting for pedestrians safety at night</p> </td> <td> <p>$70,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Alice Springs</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> McCormack Federal funding to fix seven 'black spots' in the Northern Territory Federal funding to fix seven 'black spots' in the Northern Territory https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/buchholz/media-release/federal-funding-fix-seven-black-spots-northern-territory <p>The safety of seven Northern Territory road ‘black spots’ will be substantially improved over the next 12 months.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack today announced $1.48 million for the Territory under the Black Spot Program’s 2019-20 funding round.</p> <p>“The Federal Liberal and Nationals Government is committed to building safer roads right across the nation because one crash, one fatality is one too many,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>“The Black Spot Program targets road locations where crashes are occurring, reducing the risk of crashes through funding safety measures such as traffic signals and roundabouts at dangerous locations.</p> <p>“The seven black spot projects being funded across the Northern Territory are an important contribution towards reducing the national road toll.”</p> <p>Senator for the Northern Territory Sam McMahon said this investment in black spot projects would deliver safer roads in six local government areas throughout the Northern Territory.</p> <p>“Funding has been allocated to road locations that have been identified as high priority, with 21 casualty crashes recorded at these sites over the past five years, including one fatal crash” Dr McMahon said.</p> <p>“The panel, which reviews priorities for the program includes representatives from the NT Road Transport Association, NT Police, Automobile Association of the NT and Territory and local governments.”</p> <p>Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said the Black Spot Program showcases the Liberal and National Government’s commitment to getting Australians home safely by targeting investment to where it is most needed.</p> <p>“Thanks to the strong financial management from the Liberals and Nationals Government, people in the Northern Territory will be able to travel more safely across the state,” Mr Buchholz said.</p> <p>“I am proud to be part of a government that is not only delivering on its commitment to reduce crashes on our roads, but is delivering the infrastructure that Australians want, need and most importantly deserve.”</p> <p>The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) has found that, on average, Black Spot projects reduce the number of crashes causing death and injury by 30 per cent.</p> <p>The Federal Liberal and Nationals 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>For more information on the Federal 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> <h2>2019-20 Northern Territory Black Spot Program</h2> <table class="tborder"> <tbody> <tr> <th> <p>Project Name</p> </th> <th> <p>Proposed Treatment</p> </th> <th> <p>Funding sought</p> </th> <th> <p>Council</p> </th> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>East Point Road<br /> Lampe Terrace<br /> FANNIE BAY</p> </td> <td> <p>Install wide median refuge/traffic island on East Point Road just north of Lampe Street with path links to both sides to improve sight lines to pedestrians and control vehicle speeds and alignment through the intersection</p> </td> <td> <p>$160,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Darwin</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Bonson Terrace<br /> from Elrundie Avenue to Tilston Avenue<br /> MOULDEN</p> </td> <td> <p>Replace existing halogen luminaires (28 units) with LEDs</p> </td> <td> <p>$91,100</p> </td> <td> <p>Palmerston</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Stuart Highway<br /> between Temple Terrace and Palmerston Indigenous Village<br /> FARRAR</p> </td> <td> <p>Installation of two sections of guardrail to the outbound verge</p> </td> <td> <p>$275,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Palmerston</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Central Arnhem Road<br /> through the community of Beswick<br /> BESWICK</p> </td> <td> <p>Install streetlighting and upgrade pedestrian facilities</p> </td> <td> <p>$420,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Roper Gulf</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>First Street<br /> south-east of Lindsay Street<br /> KATHERINE</p> </td> <td> <p>Relocate pedestrian crossing, extend kerb and median islands at roundabout (speed reduction), install four speed cushions, warning signs, repaint line marking, install pedestrian fencing on First Street</p> </td> <td> <p>$98,460</p> </td> <td> <p>Katherine</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Girraween Road<br /> Hillier Road<br /> GIRRAWEEN</p> </td> <td> <p>Upgrade existing Girraween Road and Hillier Road intersection to a combined rural Channelised Right Turn/ Auxiliary Left Turn layout intersection</p> </td> <td> <p>$365,432</p> </td> <td> <p>Litchfield</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Hartley Street<br /> between Gregory Terrace and Parson Street<br /> ALICE SPRINGS</p> </td> <td> <p>New street lighting has to be installed at three pedestrian crossings along Hartley Street to provide lighting for pedestrians safety at night</p> </td> <td> <p>$70,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Alice Springs</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> Buchholz Federal funding to fix seven 'black spots' in the Northern Territory Doorstop - WestConnex M4 tunnels official opening https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/interview/doorstop-westconnex-m4-tunnels-official-opening <p><strong>Gladys Berejiklian:</strong> Well, today is an exciting day. It’s the official opening of these M4 tunnels. At least three years in hard construction and now we see this project completed and what excites me is the fact that people using the tunnel will save 20 minutes off their travel times, bypassing 22 sets of traffic lights. I’m incredibly proud of the fact that our governments worked hard to make this project a reality and from Saturday morning, from 2am, the people of this great state will be able to use these tunnels.</p> <p>I want to, in particular, thank the workers who’ve been involved in this project – the 4000 odd workers including 200 apprentices. Many of them who are here today and I want to thank you for your efforts because building a project like this takes a team effort and in that vein, I want to welcome in particular, in addition to my state parliamentary colleagues, the Deputy Prime Michael McCormack and thank the federal government for their contribution towards the WestConnex Project as well.</p> <p>This has been a really strong team effort and it shows what can happen when Government works closely with different levels of government, but also with the private sector to deliver a world-class project which will deliver world-class outcomes to the community. I also want to thank the local community here for their patience. We know that when you're building a major project, disruption happens, uncertainty happens and the community has been with us the whole way. We've taken a lot of learnings from building these tunnels and what it means for local residents and we've applied those learnings to future projects.</p> <p>So I do want to thank the community of the Inner West here for their patience and for keeping the Government accountable during the process. I also want to acknowledge all of the local members who are here today because we know for their communities, saving valuable time, being able to use that time to spend with your families or doing what you need to do, is much better than sitting in traffic.</p> <p>And I also want to stress today that there is a free option for people. I know people worry about paying tolls and I don't blame people for worrying about that. But please know that we have free registration in New South Wales for people who pay tolls a certain amount every week. We have discount registration available and our cost of living measures can mean households save about $2,000 a year depending on their circumstances. So, everywhere you look, the State Government does have a keen eye on the cost of living. But we also appreciate that to build the road networks in the future, we do need the help of non-government bodies, we do need the help of private sector, and I want to acknowledge all of our partners when making this project a reality. And I can't wait for local residents, especially those in western Sydney who travel those longer distances, to get the benefit of this wonderful new project. DPM.</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack:</strong> Well, thank you Premier Berejiklian. And this is what happens when you have a New South Wales Liberal-Nationals Government in surplus working with a federal Liberal-Nationals Government in surplus. We're getting things done. We're building things for the future. Today is a day that's a moment in history but it's also a day very much for the future. It's for the future of Sydney residents. It's for the future of busting through even more congestion and that's why in the recent federal Budget, we put even more money down to bust through congestion. Now, $4 billion busting congestion in Sydney and elsewhere. This is a fantastic day and I'd like to particularly commend Fiona Martin, the new member for Reid, because every time her and I have had a conversation, it’s been about infrastructure, it's been about what she can do to help the people in her electorate, to help the people she represents, to make sure that they get home sooner and safer, to make sure that they get to work sooner and safer because this is what this M4 tunnel is all about. This is what the whole WestConnex is all about. This is what our congestion busting is all about. It's getting people to home, as the Premier just said, sooner and safer. It's about getting people to work so that they don't have to sit all day in traffic just looking at the brake lights ahead of them.</p> <p>So it's a fantastic day. I congratulate those workers who've spent so much time, put so much hard work and engineering and diligence into this fantastic piece of infrastructure. This is nation building. It's a great outcome and I’ll now ask Andrew Constance to make a few comments as well.</p> <p><strong>Andrew Constance:</strong> Thanks. Well, I mean this is an historic day for our nation in many ways. I mean, this is now taking, without doubt, one of the most congested roads in the nation and making it liveable for those communities above ground. This tunnel is congestion busting at its best. It's going to transform so many lives just by having it open, reducing the travel time from Western Sydney into the city by 20 minutes, communities from Mulgoa, Penrith, Parramatta are all set to benefit in such an enormous way as a result of this tunnel.</p> <p>Can I also just echo the words of the Premier and the Deputy Prime Minister in relation to the workforce, particularly our partners CPB, John Holland and Samsung, Sydney Motorway Corporation and Transurban for what's happening here. This is going to transform communities. There's no doubt about it and it's absolutely tremendous. And just in relation to- again, Parramatta Road – it's there for people to continue to use it in the same way they have for generations. The great advantage of tolling is it gives us the ability to build infrastructure generations ahead of time, and we are providing people the option, the free alternative, with the road network that they've always experienced. But I'm pretty convinced when you take 10,000 trucks off Parramatta Road, we're going to see a very, very different outcome in terms of the road network for this part of Sydney.</p> <p><strong>Journalist:</strong> Is that 10,000 a year or- the trucks?</p> <p><strong>Andrew Constance:</strong> No, 10,000 trucks a day. I mean, that’s the power of this. And I think one point I’d make is this is the only the first of four tunnels that are opening in relation to WestConnex. I mean, this is the first stage. We’ve got the M5 duplication opening next year and then by 2023, the link between the M4 and the M5. That is WestConnex. We’re only going to get a taste of the power of the WestConnex with the opening of this part. We’re expected to see by 2021, 67,000 vehicle movements through this tunnel, 10,000 trucks a day off Parramatta Road. I mean, that is going to transform those communities from Haberfield to Homebush in a way that we’ve never seen before in terms of their liveability and their way to get around. So, it’s going to have an incredible impact. And in that regard, as I’ve pointed out, this is the first of the four tunnels which are going to transform this city forever.</p> <p><strong>Journalist:</strong> This is a motorway link that’s been missing for decades. People in Western Sydney, obviously, rightly think the rest WestConnex must be decades away. How quickly, realistically, like can that be delivered? I mean, I know you’ve got a deadline for it. But what’s- I mean, how can you guarantee that we’ll actually be seeing that this term?</p> <p><strong>Andrew Constance:</strong> Oh well, I’ll go first up. Yeah, I mean look, you know, if you go and have a look at the project in terms of M5 East, we're taking a four-lane freeway in terms of the M5 motorway and turning it into 10 lanes. And that's going to be open middle of next year. By 2023 the link between the M4 and the M5, the true Westconnex component, that connection is going to be opened by 2023. Gateway, which is going to link Westconnex to the airport and Port Botany are going to be, again, opened in 2023.</p> <p>So, you know, these are big projects. They’re announced years ahead of time and we see incredible work that is undertaken to get to this point, this historic day today. So there is going to be an opening in stages in relation to Westconnex but I'd urge everybody to have a look at it online because it's a phenomenal project which will completely transform freight movement, the way our tradies get around, our motorists get around. And it's going to ease enormous pressure on the existing roadway.</p> <p><strong>Journalist:</strong> You’ve just said the M5 tunnel is middle of next year, and the website says early next year. Is there a delay on the M5 tunnel?</p> <p><strong>Andrew Constance:</strong> I mean, Sean, as I said these projects take years to plan, years to build and ultimately we're going to see this project open next year. I mean you predicted today was going to be August; well, here we are in July. So we're getting on with it and we're going to continue to build very, very quickly – as quickly as we can – in partnership with the private sector.</p> <p><strong>Journalist:</strong> I think the Government predicted August but what is the opening date then, month at least, for the M5 tunnel?</p> <p><strong>Andrew Constance:</strong> Well I’d expect to- hopefully the second quarter of next year.</p> <p><strong>Journalist:</strong> Premier, it’s opening on a Saturday. Are you expecting a smooth run?</p> <p><strong>Gladys Berejiklian:</strong> Look I am. Not only we are opening it in the early hours of Saturday morning but it is during the school holidays as well and that's a pretty good time to open a major project. It allows people to get used to the circumstances and to allow traffic to ramp up. So, of course we won't see the full effect about the decisions people are making until the school holidays are over, but I think it's a really good time to open the tunnels. Any time is a good time to open a major project, let me just make that clear, but in particular I think the timing works well for the local community, for motorists, and gives people to adjust to the options they now have coming to and from work or for getting around their business.</p> <p><strong>Journalist:</strong> With drivers who plan on taking that trip tomorrow, is there anything they should be preparing for or looking out for in terms of the road conditions around this area?</p> <p><strong>Gladys Berejiklian:</strong> Well hopefully they'll find the road conditions to be world class. For the first time there will be lead-in lights and a concrete surface. So there are particular things in these tunnels that makes them unique and hopefully the experience will be a very positive one. But more than anything I hope when school's back and traffic's normally what it is that people experience those travel time savings which will mean a lot to them and their families.</p> <p><strong>Journalist:</strong> Is that travel time saving of 20 minutes, do you think, worth the amount of the toll?</p> <p><strong>Gladys Berejiklian:</strong> Well I- definitely it is and at the end of the day that's a choice for people to make. People can use the free option, or they can choose to use the new tunnels, or they can choose to use public transport. Alongside the opening of these road tunnels we’re investing billions in our Metro rail network but also in upgrading the existing rail network. So the real opportunities we're giving the local residents of Western Sydney and beyond is choice. You can use public transport, you can use the free road services or you can use these brand new tunnels. And that's the important thing, to give the community the choice and depending on the person's circumstances they can choose whichever mode works for them and whichever way or method works for them.</p> <p><strong>Journalist:</strong> So Premier, all up if you’re using it from, you know, woah to go it’s around $10 isn’t it?</p> <p><strong>Gladys Berejiklian:</strong> Well at the moment it's $7.89 if you're using it from woah to go, but obviously as the new sections open there'll be additional payments there. But at the end of the day that is an option for residents to take up, for motorists to take up. What I really want to stress is I know a lot of people aren’t aware of the free rego, the discount rego, and the other cost of savings measures we have through Service New South Wales. So, New South Wales families can save around $2,000 a year on a whole range of cost of living measures. And I asked families to take that into account when they’re considering their options about their future transport needs.</p> <p><strong>Journalist:</strong> Was the introduction of a one of those rebates, so initially it was 25- you spend $25 and then you introduced the one with the lower amount. Is that done to run in conjunction with the opening of this, so people using this motorway could potentially claim back?</p> <p><strong>Gladys Berejiklian:</strong> It was done because our data was telling us that a lot of people choose to use tolls now and then and may not get up to the $25, so we wanted to create an opportunity for people to save if they weren’t using $25 a week in tolls and give them the opportunity to make savings as well.</p> <p><strong>Journalist:</strong> Was it timed to be released because [indistinct].</p> <p><strong>Gladys Berejiklian:</strong> No. No.</p> <p><strong>Journalist:</strong> Deputy Prime Minister, what was the Federal contribution to this project?</p> <p><strong>Journalist:</strong> [Interrupts] So can I ask the Premier one more question before we swap around, just quickly? Oh, sorry, Gladys, I was want to say it’s not often a Government gets to see their babies come to fruition. It must be a very special moment for you?</p> <p><strong>Gladys Berejiklian:</strong> Yeah. I'm just grateful, I’m grateful to the people of New South Wales for having confidence in my team and myself to get on with the job of delivering things for the people of this state. Yes it is satisfying when you open a brand new project, but it's more satisfying to know the benefits it's going to bring the community and that's why we do this, that's why we're in public life, to make a difference to people and that's what excites me every time we have the chance to open projects like this.</p> <p>But again, I automatically turn to the workers – the people who designed the project, who told us it was possible to actually plan in detail and then constructed it. Today belongs to the 4000 people who made this possible and to the millions who’ll benefit from it potentially in decades to come.</p> <p><strong>Journalist:</strong> Sorry Deputy Prime Minister so- what was …</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack:</strong> Yes. No, no, I did hear the question. The question was how much did the Federal contribution amount to? It’s $1.5 billion as well as a $2 billion loan. But the fact is this is part of our $100 billion nationwide, 10 year infrastructure build. And I commend the New South Wales Government – it's rolling out $94 billion of infrastructure over the next four years.</p> <p>So that's what you can do and I reiterate that that's what you can do when you've got governments in surplus, governments who know how to handle money. It's public money, where we're putting this sort of infrastructure in for public good. As the Premier has just said it's making lives of the people that we represent better, it's getting them home sooner and safer, and we're doing that right across the nation.</p> <p><strong>Journalist:</strong> But is that, you know- is the Federal Government leaving New South Wales to go it alone because New South Wales has such good financial management?</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack:</strong> Absolutely not. Look, New South Wales is getting well and truly its fair share of Commonwealth spending. And indeed I work not only with Andrew Constance but Paul Toole right around the State to make sure that we've got better infrastructure in place, not just for the M4 but if you go on those dusty dirt tracks around regional New South Wales we're now putting bitumen down on them. Bitumen that was never even dreamt of, which is making the lives of rural and regional people from New South Wales so much better. We’re increasing supply chain efficiencies as Andrew Constance said, we're making productivity gains. When you actually put money down, whether it's in metro areas, whether it's in rural areas, you are increasing productivity, you're actually saving lives as well and that's what infrastructure spending is all about.</p> <p><strong>Journalist:</strong> What about Metro West, is there any money from the Feds for that?</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack:</strong> Well we're putting money down on the table all the time for these sorts of projects. I appreciate that this is a more than $16 billion build but when you look at this, Western Sydney Airport, other projects right around Sydney – indeed other projects right around the state – the Commonwealth is more than stumping up its fair share for New South Wales.</p> <p><strong>Journalist:</strong> But our State Treasurer has attacked the Federal Government for not putting in enough?</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack:</strong> Well, the State Treasurer has also talked about roundabouts and I'm more than happy to talk about roundabouts. Everything from roundabouts to Western Sydney Airport, we're helping the state build it. The fact is I know the Treasurer very well, we get on very well. We'll continue to have discussions about what we can do to make the lives of Sydney people, to make the lives of New South Wales people right around the state even better. We do it hand in hand, we do it shoulder to shoulder with our state colleagues. We’re all Liberals, we're all Nationals and we're getting on. We know how to manage money prudently. We're doing just that and we're building the infrastructure the people of New South Wales need, want, expect and most of all deserve.</p> <p><strong>Unidentified speaker:</strong> Other topics of the day?</p> <p><strong>Journalist:</strong> Just in regards to Indigenous recognition in the Constitution, there seems to be conflicting positions coming from inside the government. Does the Coalition support enshrining an Aboriginal voice to Parliament in the Constitution?</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack:</strong> Well what the government is supporting is Aboriginal recognition in the Constitution.</p> <p>I've said it; it’s been my personal view for as long as I've been in public life. I know that Ken Wyatt gave an outstanding speech to the Press Club the other day, the National Press Club in Canberra the other day. He is supported by Linda Burney in this regard.  Aborigines should be represented in the Constitution. I believe personally that so should local government. I believe it's the first tier of government. I also believe that local governments should be recognised in the Constitution. But in this NAIDOC week I think it's important that we do put in place the first steps to make sure that we get this issue resolved. It's been discussed before. The fact is we've never been quite able to agree before.</p> <p>Thankfully we've now got Ken Wyatt and Linda Burney working in a very bipartisan way to ensure that we get the right question to put to the people of Australia because when we do put the question to the people of Australia we want the right outcome. No point going to a referendum if you're not going to get the response that I think Australians need and I think Australians have asked for many, many years.</p> <p><strong>Journalist:</strong> But can you clarify exactly what the Coalition is hoping to achieve through a referendum if it’s not an advisory body to government?</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack:</strong> Well those sorts of issues will be sorted out in the weeks and months and perhaps in the next year or two. We won't be having a referendum – I wouldn't think – until the next election. Fact is, you know, it needs to be resolved in the right way so that when it does go to the people of Australia it's done in a bipartisan way so that there's not conflict, so that there's not people going on a partisan manner, so that we get the right outcome for Aboriginal Australians, for Torres Strait Australians and indeed for all Australians.</p> <p><strong>Journalist:</strong> What can you tell us about the Chinese spy boat that's off the coast of Australia?</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack:</strong> Well I can't tell you anything quite frankly. You know, these are matters of national security and as a member of the National Security Council I don't talk about anything that comes up before that committee.</p> <p><strong>Journalist:</strong> Is it in Australian waters?</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack:</strong> Well again I say, I'm not about to say anything that comes out of national security. The fact is I know that national security is the first and foremost provision of government.  I know that's why we've worked so hard to stop the boats, I know that's why we work so hard as a government to put national security front and centre because it's the most important thing as a Commonwealth government that we can do. But on matters of national security to this end, we’ll just have to leave that question for now.</p> <p><strong>Journalist:</strong> Can you assure the people of Australia that measures are being taken to stop the spy boat hacking into our defence information?</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack:</strong> Well of course we place cyber security at the front and centre of everything that we do and, you know, in the last budget we put even more money down to enable our cyber security measures to be exactly what they need to be. But of course we're always- it’s a constant watch, it’s a constant protection process that the government puts in place at a Commonwealth level to make sure that our computer systems at every level of government are indeed what they ought to be.</p> <p><strong>Journalist:</strong> There's a terrible case of a teenage Sydney girl being taken to Lebanon to marry her cousin. She was then abused heavily by her uncle. What's the Federal Government – and Premier I'll ask you as well – the state government doing to protect our young people and stop them being taken overseas for exploitation?</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack:</strong> Well indeed we do take these matters very seriously and very compassionately, and of course at an international level we always make sure that we are in constant contact with other countries to make sure that if needed, we get our Australians back, particularly our young Australians who are our future. We always want to make sure that young people are afforded the very most protections that they should be and can be under our law, under international law and I know that ministers always work very hard in this regard to ensure just that.  I know the Foreign Affairs Minister does, know the Home Affairs Minister does and will continue to do that.</p> <p><strong>Journalist:</strong> Premier, she's just a girl. I mean is there a gap in the system that has allowed her to be taken from her family or sent by her family like that?</p> <p><strong>Gladys Berejiklian:</strong> I would just like to take the opportunity to thank the very courageous people that brought this to the attention of authorities, it takes a lot of courage to let people know what’s going on. And of course it’s the responsibility of government to protect children in all circumstances at all times. But we also do ask people to be courageous and come forward if they know of anything of this nature because protecting children is the first and foremost priority of governments.</p> <p><strong>Journalist:</strong> Deputy Prime Minister, can we ask just quickly there’s an aged care crisis unfolding on the Gold Coast. A nursing home shut last night, 71 residents, paramedics had to come and get them because the family couldn’t pay. Are we in need of aged care reforms as a start…</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack:</strong> Well we've got a royal commission occurring at the moment into aged care and I'm sure these and other matters are going to go before that royal commission. Of course this is an urgent crisis and I know that the government will be doing everything it can to protect those elderly and vulnerable people. But that is why – indeed – we have got a royal commission happening at the moment.</p> <p><strong>Journalist:</strong> The state government’s called on the federal government to step in and offer assistance in this particular case. Is that something the government is looking at?</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack:</strong> And we are looking at that.</p> <p><strong>Journalist:</strong> What position will Australia take if it receives an official request from America to assist securing the Strait of Hormuz for the world’s oil supply?</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack:</strong> Well again we'll look at that as a government in Cabinet, and again I don't discuss what goes on in Cabinet.</p> <p><strong>Journalist:</strong> Are those developments concerning though?</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack:</strong> Well of course they are, I mean any international incident that is occurring is of course concerning for Australia. I mean we want to make sure that, Anna, we live in a stable and peaceful environment and we always want to make sure that our international relations are what we should be and that's why I've got every confidence in the Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the government to do exactly that.</p> <p><strong>Journalist:</strong> Premier, on another matter, you’ve discussed the recent apartment defaults around Sydney when will you appoint a new building commissioner?</p> <p><strong>Gladys Berejiklian:</strong> Hi. I answered this question yesterday. Imminently, we're going through the process as quickly as we can. We want to make sure we get the right person and of course we’ll announce that to the community as soon as the person's been identified. But we are working night and day, not only in appointing the building commissioner but also in putting together legislation to be presented to Parliament this session to overhaul the entire system.</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack:</strong> Thank you.</p> <p><strong>Gladys Berejiklian:</strong> Thanks everybody.</p> <p><strong>Journalist:</strong> Premier, have our friends across the border stumped up with their bet?</p> <p><strong>Gladys Berejiklian:</strong> Not yet. Can you get onto her?</p> <p><strong>Journalist:</strong> I will.</p> <p><strong>Gladys Berejiklian:</strong> Thank you.</p> McCormack Doorstop - WestConnex M4 tunnels official opening M1 Pacific Motorway's Underwood Road Bridge opens https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/tudge/media-release/m1-pacific-motorways-underwood-road-bridge-opens <p>Today's opening of the new Underwood Road Bridge has brought Queensland's congestion-busting Pacific Motorway upgrade another step closer to completion.</p> <p>Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said motorists were beginning to experience the benefits of the $195.3 million Pacific Motorway upgrade.</p> <p>“This investment is about keeping Queenslanders moving. The M1 Pacific Motorway experiences some of the state's heaviest traffic, with daily traffic volumes exceeding 148,000 vehicles and expected to grow,” Mr Tudge said.</p> <p>State Member for Springwood Mick de Brenni said construction of the bridge was a major milestone in a nationally significant project.</p> <p>“The opening of the bridge means we've made huge progress to deliver on our commitment to get you home to your family sooner,” Mr de Brenni said.</p> <p>“Not only have we created 130 jobs on the bridge itself, fixing the motorway will save small business millions on lost time each year, which instead can be spent on jobs for locals.”</p> <p>Federal Member for Forde Bert van Manen said the partial opening of the bridge at Eight Mile Plains would make it easier for local residents to bypass the Pacific Motorway.</p> <p>“Upgrading the Pacific Motorway will improve congestion, improve freight efficiency and road safety, and better connect local businesses, communities and motorists in the region,” Mr van Manen said.</p> <p>“I'd like to thank the community for its ongoing patience as we work to complete the Pacific Motorway upgrade.”</p> <p>Project early works started in September 2017, major construction began in April 2018 and the project is expected to be completed in mid-2020, weather permitting.</p> <p>The $195.3 million Pacific Motorway Upgrade: M1/M3 Gateway merge project is jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments, with the Australian Government committing $115 million and the Queensland Government committing $80.3 million</p> <p>State Member for Macalister Melissa McMahon said the next big step for the project was to remove the old Underwood bridge.</p> <p>“The expansion on Underwood Road, the M1 and M3 will make it faster and safer for Logan families to get to where they need to be,” Ms McMahon said.</p> <p>“With traffic now open on the new bridge, motorists travelling at night along the Pacific Motorway will find changed traffic conditions between Upper Mount Gravatt and Underwood as the old bridge is deconstructed over the Pacific Motorway lanes.”</p> <p>This process will take place over the next four to six weeks, with some road closures expected, and motorists are urged to plan their journeys if they are travelling through this section of the M1 during this time.</p> <p>For up-to-date traffic information, call 13 19 40, visit the QLDTraffic website or download the QLDTraffic app.</p> <p>For more information, phone 1800 571 816 or visit <a class="external" href="https://www.tmr.qld.gov.au">www.tmr.qld.gov.au</a></p> Tudge M1 Pacific Motorway's Underwood Road Bridge opens New M4 Tunnels officially opened https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/media-release/new-m4-tunnels-officially-opened <p>The new M4 Tunnels have been officially opened and the first drivers will make their way through the 5.5-kilometre tunnels from Homebush to Haberfield early tomorrow morning.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the opening of new M4 tunnels was another important step in the WestConnex project.</p> <p>“These tunnels are a game changer for the people of western Sydney, doubling the capacity of the corridor between Homebush and Haberfield,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>“We know congestion in our cities is a real problem and the Australian Government is doing everything it can to fix it through our record $100 billion pipeline of infrastructure projects over the next decade.”</p> <p>Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the ribbon was cut today on the $3.8 billion project, which will allow drivers to bypass the notoriously congested Parramatta Road.</p> <p>“These twin tunnels give drivers the option to avoid 22 sets of traffic lights, slashing up to 20 minutes off a trip from Parramatta to the Sydney CBD,” Ms Berejiklian said.</p> <p>“This is a major step towards giving back more time to people, so they spend less time in traffic and more time with family and friends, as well as doing the things they love.”</p> <p>NSW Minister for Roads and Transport Andrew Constance said there would always be a toll free option for drivers and that the new M4 Tunnels were expected to reduce the overall traffic volume on the existing Parramatta Road by more than 50 per cent.</p> <p>“Within two years it is expected there will be about 67,000 trips a day through the tunnels, taking traffic off local streets,” Mr Constance said.</p> <p>“The new M4 Tunnels are the first of four major WestConnex tunnels. When WestConnex is finished in 2023, drivers will save an estimated 40 minutes on a trip from Parramatta to Sydney Airport.”</p> <p>Federal Member for Reid Fiona Martin said the new M4 tunnels had supported many jobs.</p> <p>“The new M4 tunnels are higher and wider than others in Sydney and will help to divert an estimated 10,000 trucks per day off Parramatta Road,” Dr Martin said.</p> <p>“The construction of the tunnels supported more than 4,000 jobs and almost 200 apprentices and trainees. This is a great result for the community.”</p> <p>The Eastbound tunnel is expected to open from 2am on Saturday, followed by the Westbound tunnel about an hour later.</p> <p>The $16.8 billion WestConnex project has been jointly funded by the Australian and NSW governments, with the Australian Government committing $1.5 billion and providing a concessional loan of $2 billion.</p> McCormack New M4 Tunnels officially opened Doorstop at Junee Bulk Freight Future Symposium https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/speech/doorstop-junee-bulk-freight-future-symposium <p><strong>Michael McCormack</strong>: Fantastic to be here at Junee for the Inland Rail Symposium and we’ve got a number of stakeholders from the ARTC, to local farmers, to of course shires – local shires around here, Temora and Junee. Great to be here with the member for Cootamundra, the hardworking Steph Cooke. She knows how important this Inland Rail is – she knows how important it is to get it right and that’s why we’re here today to listen to local stakeholders, to see how local shire councils, farmers, businesses can benefit from what’s going to happen with this 1700-kilometre corridor of commerce.</p> <p>It is going to be a transformation, such a game changer particularly for regional Australia, particularly for areas such as the Riverina and Central West. Because we know that the CSIRO have just recently independently assessed that it’s going to be a cost saving for manufacturers, for small businesses, for farmers, for producers of not $10 as the original business case suggested but indeed $76 on average per tonne. So that’s a significant saving, that’s a significant game changer for these local businesses, for these local farmers for whom the benefits will be in more investment, more opportunities for our markets that we’ve established through our free trade agreements with South Korea, with China, with Japan and elsewhere. But also in the creation of more regional jobs and Steph Cooke and I are working hard every day to help the creation of more local jobs which provides for communities such as Junee.</p> <p>Junee has been a rail town for 130 years. So it’s got great heritage there but we want to make sure that that heritage has a future as well. We will make sure that places such as Junee – we heard from the Deputy Mayor Matt Austin today how Junee can benefit from the Inland Rail, we’re looking to further wealth creation and job creation in places such as Junee, places such as Wagga Wagga, Parkes. Indeed, right up and down the line, this is going to be a game changer for Australia, particularly for regional Australia and it’s great to be here in Junee for this symposium.</p> <p><strong>Journalist</strong>: [Indistinct] just with the Inland Rail project, it hasn’t been a smooth process given the effect of the route on some properties. How are negotiations going [indistinct]?</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack</strong>: Well, there’s been years of consultation and of course, yes, there are some farmers for whom the Inland Rail is still going to have an impact and I just spoke to Eric McKenzie a minute ago, he’s understandably concerned, it’s going to go through his property and I understand that. But you can’t build nation-building infrastructure without having an impact on some farmers.</p> <p>And as we reduce the corridor from in some places as it is at the moment, five kilometres wide, down to a more final route alignment between 50 and 60 metres, you’re going to make sure that fewer and fewer farmers, indeed, hundreds of farmers are not impacted by the Inland Rail. Of course, there will be some farmers who are, I understand that. The ARTC, as they’ve always done, will continue to work in consultation with those farmers to get the best outcomes for all concerned.</p> <p>And as for the project, well it’s delightful that just recently, the latest shipment of steel was dropped off at Parkes for the Parkes to Narromine section. This is Whyalla steel, South Australian steel, Australian steel and that means Australian jobs. So we’re using Australian products on the Inland Rail. I know there are many businesses whether they’re making ballast, whether they’re making steel, they’re benefiting from the Inland Rail. They’ll continue to do so; it will continue to create jobs for regional Australia.</p> <p><strong>Journalist</strong>: There’s a lot happening with bulk freight at the moment. There’s the construction of the intermodal hub at Wagga and the national logistics hub in Parkes. Is there going to be enough demand to sustain all this new infrastructure? What might that mean for country roads?</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack</strong>: Well, absolutely. Well, for country roads – I’ll answer the last bit of your question first. For country roads it’s going to mean fewer trucks on the road. There’ll still be of course, for those wonderful regional transport trucking companies, they’ll still get plenty of work, don’t worry about that. The freight task is expected to double over the next 20 or so years for freight infrastructure across the nation. So there’ll still be plenty of work for our transport companies. But already the infrastructure that the Commonwealth – that’s just the Commonwealth, not the state, which is spending $94 billion over the next four years on infrastructure.</p> <p>But already what the Commonwealth’s done in recent times has potentially saved thousands of accidents on our road by better roads, by more rail, by better infrastructure. That’s what we’re doing, we’re saving that freight task, getting trucks off the road, we’re saving lives, we’re making</p> <p>sure that we improve supply chains, improving productivity outcomes for people and this is only going to create more jobs. So it’s good news all around.</p> <p><strong>Journalist</strong>: On infrastructure – and I’d also like to ask you some questions about Indigenous issues for the SBS at the end if that’s okay. But on infrastructure first, you said it’s an age of infrastructure inside but the latest ABS statistics which came out on Wednesday showed construction and building activity figures show that infrastructure spending is down 4.9 per cent in the March quarter and 13.5 per cent on the previous corresponding quarter. That’s got to be alarming, isn’t it?</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack</strong>: It’s a 10-year rollout. It’s a 10-year rollout of a $100 billion and you know, fact is, you can’t do it all at once. You go anywhere in regional Australia whether it’s a remote, regional, rural, country, coastal community, go into any inland centre at all, large or small, indeed, you go to any metropolitan city you will see cranes, you will see hi-vis workers, stop-go people, you will see excavators, it’s rolling out everywhere you go. Better roads, more rail, you know, public [indistinct]. We are building a better future for our nation. And while some months might be as high as the corresponding month a year ago, two years ago, whatever the case might be. Fact is, it's a 10-year plan, rolling out over a decade.</p> <p><strong>Journalist</strong>: What's more important – protecting your surplus or stopping the nation falling into a recession?</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack</strong>: Well the fact is, we are making sure that we've got a surplus. We said that, but Labor hasn’t produced a surplus since 1989. Fact is, we've produced the first surplus for 12 years and we've done that through prudent, measured, considered economic management. Josh Frydenberg and before him, Scott Morrison, now the Prime Minister, have done a great job as the Treasurers of this nation.</p> <p><strong>Journalist</strong>: [Interrupts] But aren’t we already-</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack</strong>: They’re working in tandem with the – please let me finish – working in tandem with the Finance Minister Mathias Cormann. Fact is, we do have economic headwinds from overseas and we'll closely assess our position on what we can do. But we can also make sure that we are essentially recession proof by building stronger markets, by making sure that we build those trade agreements. Labor never produced a free trade agreement to save themselves and they scoffed at what we were doing when it came to the Trans-Pacific Partnership-11 – a $13.3 trillion opportunity, let alone the free trade agreements that we've arranged with Peru, with China, with Japan, with South Korea. These are building Australia's economic wealth and we'll continue to make sure that we build on that.</p> <p><strong>Journalist</strong>: Aren't you ignoring the Productivity Commissioner and the Reserve Bank Governor in his last speech, when he clearly laid out that money is cheap at the moment and he was giving you advice to say borrow more, spend up and spend up on infrastructure.</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack</strong>: I know Philip Lowe well; I went to school with him. In fact, another we talked about Laurie Daley in the symposium – a great Riverina product we don't only just have sports stars here, we have people like Philip Lowe who went to St Michael’s Regional High School, and I'm proud to call him a school mate. Now of course we listen to what Philip Lowe says, he’s the Reserve Bank Governor. We listen to what the Productivity Commission says, but we also listen to the people of Australia. And they spoke loud and clear on 18 May that they wanted a Liberal Nationals’ Government in Canberra working for them. They knew and they know that in the past and now and in the future, that we are the government of choice, that we will make sure that we do our very best to ensure that we have economic productivity and activity [indistinct]-</p> <p><strong>Journalist</strong>: I don’t think you're answering the question though. Haven't you ignored their advice that you should be spending more on infrastructure and bringing that infrastructure spending forward?</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack</strong>: Well we’re spending $100 billion on infrastructure [indistinct].</p> <p><strong>Journalist</strong>: That’s over 10 years though. I mean, we're on the verge of a recession now.</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack</strong>: Well, sure, but you can’t do it all at once. You cannot build all the infrastructure at once. There's only so much that those companies who provide the sorts of infrastructure and build the right infrastructure and are the best people in place to do it. You know, you have to be able to work in tandem with our states as well and I’ve called on the state governments. I was delighted that the New South Wales Government is working very closely with us and looking forward to yet another announcement at an opening with Gladys Berejiklian the Premier in Sydney tomorrow. But the fact is you can't build it all once. I've called on the state governments to bring forward the projects that they feel can improve productivity, can improve the job creation and looking forward to going to Queensland later this morning, to again, hold more talks with the Queensland Government. And I urge and encourage that governments such as them and Victoria, to do what they can to work with us.</p> <p><strong>Journalist</strong>: For the SBS. Do you support Indigenous recognition in the Constitution…?</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack</strong>: [Interrupts] Yes I do. Always have.</p> <p><strong>Journalist</strong>: … and Indigenous voice in Parliament?</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack</strong>: Well I do support an Indigenous recognition in the constitution – I think that's really, really important and I know that Ken Wyatt gave an outstanding speech this week in Canberra, extolling the virtues of just that. And as for other things, well the fact is that can take part in the national discussion as we go forward. It's not the Government's position to have those sorts of select spots just for Indigenous participation in the Parliament. We've already got Indigenous participation on merit. And I congratulate those Indigenous members who’ve got there on merit. And I know Ken Wyatt and Linda Burney are going to work very closely to help try and close the gap even further to make sure that Indigenous recognition is included in the Constitution as it should be and on other Aboriginal matters that are so important to our nation for a better future.</p> <p><strong>Journalist</strong>: Was the party room informed ahead of time about the plan for Indigenous recognition [indistinct]?</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack</strong>: I don't discuss things that go on in the party room.</p> <p><strong>Journalist</strong>: A second question from SBS. There seems to be some division in the Coalition about how to best go about Indigenous recognition. An example is Barnaby Joyce saying they should work within the current format and just have more indigenous Senators. If you can't reach consensus within your own party, do you think it's possible to get consensus with the Australian public?</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack</strong>: Well the fact is we're working towards making sure that we have Indigenous engagement in the Constitution and we're doing that on a bipartisan level. And I hope that Linda Burney and Ken Wyatt work very closely together to get better outcomes for all Aboriginal people. That's the goal of this Parliament. The fact is we've got a lot of other issues on the go at the moment too. The fact is, and we're working to making sure that we build a better Australia, and that's what the people on 18 May, that's what they said they wanted. That's what they have with the Liberal Nationals’ Government and we're working hard to build a better Australia – we're doing that every day.</p> <p><strong>Journalist</strong>: Do backbench concerns within the Coalition threaten to derail the constitutional recognition process?</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack</strong>: Well again, I say I know Ken Wyatt and Linda Burney are going to work in a bipartisan way to ensure that we do the most we can and the best we can to have Aboriginal recognition in the Constitution. The fact is, if we put it up to the people – and it is a referendum – if we put it up to the people, we have to give it the best outcomes and the best hope that it's going to succeed. You look back at referenda in the past, and not many have succeeded. In fact, it's only about eight or nine or 10 have succeeded over more than 40 referendums since Federation.</p> <p>So we need to make sure that when we put it up that it gets passed. It's like local government recognition in the Constitution. I believe that local government, as the first level of government, the first level that is so important to so many people – I believe it should be also acknowledged in the Constitution. If we're going to put these things up, we have to do them on a bipartisan basis to ensure that they have the best possible chance of succeeding.</p> <p><strong>Journalist</strong>: What do you think of Barnaby Joyce's idea for reforms to the Senate so more people [indistinct] Australia elected?</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack</strong>: Well again, it would have to go to the people by way of constitutional referendum, and if you’re going to do that, you need to make sure that it has the best possible chance to succeed. Look, of course, I want to make sure that regional Australia gets the best possible representation. You know, and that’s what I’ve always been about. That’s why I’m delighted that each and every one of the 16 National Party Federal members in the Lower House, in the House of Representatives, were re-elected to Parliament. Or indeed, in a couple of cases, Pat in Cowper and Anne Webster, they were elected for their first terms and they will make such a difference. And I was delighted that Perin Davey was chosen to represent New South Wales for The Nationals. I think that’s really, really important. But to have, you know, representation of the regions in the Senate on a regional basis,</p> <p>well that would have to go to the people, and the people have to decide by way of a constitutional referendum.</p> <p><strong>Journalist</strong>: Will regional Australia be a priority?</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack</strong>: Regional Australia is very much a priority. And when you’ve got the Minister for Infrastructure as a regional member, of course regional Australia is going to get its fair share. And every part of my working day is spent on making sure that regional Australia gets its fair share and I’ll continue to do that.</p> <p><strong>Journalist</strong>: What form of work you think would you like to see in an Indigenous voice to Parliament actually take in practice?</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack</strong>: Well, we’ve got an Indigenous voice in Parliament. In fact we’ve got …</p> <p><strong>Journalist</strong>: Well you didn’t appoint to Parliament.</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack</strong>: Well, we’ve got an Indigenous voice in Parliament. We’ve got Ken Wyatt.</p> <p><strong>Journalist</strong>: To Parliament.</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack</strong>: To Parliament?</p> <p><strong>Journalist</strong>: As in, you know …</p> <p><strong>Journalist</strong>: [Interrupts] The Statement from Uluru.</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack</strong>: Well, Indigenous voices have always going to have that level of discussion and discourse with the federal parliament. In fact, it is …</p> <p><strong>Journalist</strong>: This proposal was being discussed, it’s currently under discussion by your government. What will …</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack</strong>: As in constitutional recognition?</p> <p><strong>Journalist</strong>: As in constitutional recognition. You know, in by or based on the Uluru Statement. What form would you like to see?</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack</strong>: Well, I’ll let the experts to decide what form of words are going to be in the constitution. Fact is, I know it’s been talked about, I know it’s been talked discussed, but I’m sure that in the foremost of time that that will be even further discussed to get the right form of words that are going to be acceptable to the Australian people. Because you put anything with the Australian people, they ultimately get the choice and the vote as they should. We live in a democratic society, and the Australian people, they need to be able to have a form of words that they are contended. That they are happy with. And I’m sure when that time comes, that those form of words will be correct because they’ll go through, hopefully, on a bipartisan level. At the moment, Linda Burney and Ken Wyatt are working very closely together, and I’m sure and I hope that that continues.</p> <p><strong>Journalist</strong>: You don’t have any personal preference on how you like to see that play out?</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack</strong>: Well, I’m sure as I say, Linda and Ken are working closely together. They’ll have a lot to say about this, as well as the other Aboriginal members of Parliament. We’ve got other Aboriginal members of Parliament, but also all members of Parliament will have a say on this. But say to Aboriginal Groups right across the nation. I’m sure the Wiradjuri – the people who I represent here in the Riverina and Central West – they’ll have a say as well as other Aboriginal nations in our one country. So they’ll all have a say, and we look forward in doing that.</p> <p><strong>Journalist</strong>: The energy issues, a big issue for The National Party. Do you know what is stopping Angus Taylor getting the State energy ministers together for this meeting that is supposed to be happening?</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack</strong>: Oh sure he’ll get them together in due course. And I look forward for the big stick legislation passing the Federal Parliament, because that’s something that we need. The best deterrent laws in place so that energy companies know full well that if they continue to charge people highly for their energy needs, the Government will look very seriously at breaking them up. We want to make sure that we get the best possible outcomes when it comes to energy, and that big stick legislation will do just that.</p> <p><strong>Journalist</strong>: What’s your position on nuclear power?</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack</strong>: Well, the fact is, we need to discuss all forms of energy. Nuclear power isn’t on the table as far as the Federal Government is concerned. At the moment, we want to get our big stick legislation through. But that’s not to say it won’t be part of the discussion in the years to come.</p> <p><strong>Unidentified Speaker: </strong> Thanks guys.</p> McCormack Doorstop at Junee Bulk Freight Future Symposium Transport savings on track for Aussie farmers https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/media-release/transport-savings-track-aussie-farmers <p>Significant transport savings could be on the way for farmers and manufacturers who shift their products and produce to the transformational Inland Rail.</p> <p>In March 2019, a Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) pilot study determined cost-savings of an average $76 per tonne for horticulture and post-processed food transported on Inland Rail.</p> <p>The same study is now being further applied to Inland Rail’s southern corridor between Narromine and Seymour, broadening the already significant evidence base underpinning the nation-building project — kicking off with industry and community workshops in regional New South Wales and Victorian communities between 11 and 18 July.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said that extending the study corridor will focus on ensuring our regional producers and manufacturers are best placed to seize the amazing opportunities delivered by this nation-building project.</p> <p>“The data is clear — Inland Rail is a game-changer,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>“In order for Inland Rail to deliver its full benefits, industry and community need to be able to identify and plan for its roll-out.</p> <p>“That is why we are bringing them to the table early, ensuring we have identified the supply chains — grains, cotton, minerals, meat products, wine and bio-oil among others— that will likely be the biggest beneficiaries of Inland Rail.”</p> <p>The first phase of the study between Narromine and Seymour will be followed by a second phase to be rolled out between Narromine and Toowoomba in July 2020.</p> <p>“The cost-savings announced in the pilot will be an incredible boost for regional Australia —an average saving of $70 million a year for those commodities alone,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>“Ninety per cent of fresh produce sold in our supermarkets is produced here in Australia. The costsavings for farmers — between paddock and port — will be a significant competitive advantage when accessing new domestic and international markets.</p> <p>“The Liberals and Nationals Government believes in regional Australia. That is why we are getting on with the job of delivering Inland Rail to build the capacity and capability for regional producers and manufacturers to compete on the world stage with world-class products.”</p> <p>Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said that he was pleased to see that the first phase of the CSIRO study on Inland Rail was underway.</p> <p>“This study will help give industry confidence to invest in our regions and make our economy stronger and more resilient,” Senator Cormann said.</p> <p>“Inland Rail is an important part of our pro-growth agenda. We want our producers to be internationally competitive — ensuring we have cost-competitive freight options is a very important part of that.”</p> <p>Minister for Regional Services, Decentralisation and Local Government and Assistant Trade and Investment Minister Mark Coulton said the Liberal and Nationals Government wants to see Inland Rail deliver benefits for producers and underpin increased economic activity across these regions.</p> <p>“Phase one of the study will focus on supply chain costs between Narromine and Seymour, which are an important component for market access for our farmers and the nation’s international competitiveness,” Mr Coulton said.</p> <p>“The study will also look at the additional transformative benefits of Inland Rail, because I want to see every community able to make the most of the opportunities that Inland Rail will deliver.</p> <p>“This important project will better connect our farms, businesses and communities to Australian and international markets to ensure that our regions continue to be viable places to do business.”</p> <p>For more information on the CSIRO TraNSIT study visit <a href="https://www.inlandrail.gov.au/">www.inlandrail.gov.au</a></p> McCormack Transport savings on track for Aussie farmers Transport savings on track for Aussie farmers https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/coulton/media-release/transport-savings-track-aussie-farmers <p>Significant transport savings could be on the way for farmers and manufacturers who shift their products and produce to the transformational Inland Rail.</p> <p>In March 2019, a Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) pilot study determined cost-savings of an average $76 per tonne for horticulture and post-processed food transported on Inland Rail.</p> <p>The same study is now being further applied to Inland Rail’s southern corridor between Narromine and Seymour, broadening the already significant evidence base underpinning the nation-building project — kicking off with industry and community workshops in regional New South Wales and Victorian communities between 11 and 18 July.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said that extending the study corridor will focus on ensuring our regional producers and manufacturers are best placed to seize the amazing opportunities delivered by this nation-building project.</p> <p>“The data is clear — Inland Rail is a game-changer,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>“In order for Inland Rail to deliver its full benefits, industry and community need to be able to identify and plan for its roll-out.</p> <p>“That is why we are bringing them to the table early, ensuring we have identified the supply chains — grains, cotton, minerals, meat products, wine and bio-oil among others— that will likely be the biggest beneficiaries of Inland Rail.”</p> <p>The first phase of the study between Narromine and Seymour will be followed by a second phase to be rolled out between Narromine and Toowoomba in July 2020.</p> <p>“The cost-savings announced in the pilot will be an incredible boost for regional Australia —an average saving of $70 million a year for those commodities alone,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>“Ninety per cent of fresh produce sold in our supermarkets is produced here in Australia. The costsavings for farmers — between paddock and port — will be a significant competitive advantage when accessing new domestic and international markets.</p> <p>“The Liberals and Nationals Government believes in regional Australia. That is why we are getting on with the job of delivering Inland Rail to build the capacity and capability for regional producers and manufacturers to compete on the world stage with world-class products.”</p> <p>Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said that he was pleased to see that the first phase of the CSIRO study on Inland Rail was underway.</p> <p>“This study will help give industry confidence to invest in our regions and make our economy stronger and more resilient,” Senator Cormann said.</p> <p>“Inland Rail is an important part of our pro-growth agenda. We want our producers to be internationally competitive — ensuring we have cost-competitive freight options is a very important part of that.”</p> <p>Minister for Regional Services, Decentralisation and Local Government and Assistant Trade and Investment Minister Mark Coulton said the Liberal and Nationals Government wants to see Inland Rail deliver benefits for producers and underpin increased economic activity across these regions.</p> <p>“Phase one of the study will focus on supply chain costs between Narromine and Seymour, which are an important component for market access for our farmers and the nation’s international competitiveness,” Mr Coulton said.</p> <p>“The study will also look at the additional transformative benefits of Inland Rail, because I want to see every community able to make the most of the opportunities that Inland Rail will deliver.</p> <p>“This important project will better connect our farms, businesses and communities to Australian and international markets to ensure that our regions continue to be viable places to do business.”</p> <p>For more information on the CSIRO TraNSIT study visit <a href="https://www.inlandrail.gov.au/">www.inlandrail.gov.au</a></p> Coulton Transport savings on track for Aussie farmers New M4 tunnels to open this weekend https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/tudge/media-release/new-m4-tunnels-open-weekend <p>The new M4 Tunnels will open from Saturday morning, slashing travel times for tens of thousands of Western Sydney drivers who currently sit in traffic on Parramatta Road every day.</p> <p>Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the new M4 Tunnels will bypass 22 sets of traffic lights from Homebush to Haberfield and cut up to 20 minutes off a trip from Parramatta to the Sydney CBD.</p> <p>“We are now just days away from drivers benefiting from the first underground section of WestConnex,” Ms Berejiklian said.</p> <p>“This is yet another major project which will allow people to spend less time in traffic and more time doing what they want.”</p> <p>Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure the Hon Alan Tudge said the M4 Tunnels are the first of four tunnel pieces in the WestConnex puzzle.</p> <p>“This gamechanging project will help bust Sydney’s congestion, cutting travel times and return local streets to locals,” Mr Tudge said.</p> <p>Minister for Roads Andrew Constance said within two years it is expected about 67,000 trips will be made through the new M4 Tunnels each day.</p> <p>“WestConnex will take up to 10,000 trucks a day off Parramatta Road, which is welcome news for anyone who sits in bumper to bumper traffic on that notoriously congested corridor,” Mr Constance said.</p> <p>“I would like to thank communities for their patience throughout construction over the past three years.”</p> <p>The $3.8 billion 5.5 kilometre twin tunnels will be three lanes in each direction and extend the widened M4 from Homebush to Haberfield. It is expected to reduce the overall traffic volume on Parramatta Road by 53 per cent by 2021.</p> <p>The WestConnex project also includes the New M5, the M4-M5 Link and the Rozelle Interchange, connecting Sydney’s west and southwest via more than 30km of continuous motorway.</p> Tudge New M4 tunnels to open this weekend Making the right turn on new Calder and Sturt Highway intersection upgrades https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/media-release/making-right-turn-new-calder-and-sturt-highway-intersection-upgrades <p>Construction will soon start on new intersection upgrades on the Calder Highway that will reduce the risk of crashes at two notorious intersections while improving freight efficiency in north-west Victoria’s Sunraysia region.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the works at the Hattah–Robinvale Road intersection and Mildura’s 17th Street, due to begin in early July, would make these roads safer.</p> <p>“These two new intersections will reduce the risk of crashes and improve traffic flow at these busy intersections, which have seen a total of 13 crashes in the past five years,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>“The roundabouts are part of a joint $20 million investment in boosting safety on the Calder Highway from Mildura to Ouyen and improving conditions for freight and transport on the intersecting Sturt Highway.”</p> <p>Victorian Minister for Roads Jaala Pulford said the new intersections would slow vehicles to safer speeds and guide traffic in one direction.</p> <p>“Our research data indicates that intersection upgrades reduce the chance of crashes by up to 85 percent and when crashes do unfortunately occur, they are likely to be at lower speed and reduced severity,” Ms Pulford said.</p> <p>“The design of the 17th Street intersection upgrade also incorporates the capability to be converted to a double-lane configuration should the volume of traffic increase in the future.”</p> <p>Federal Member for Mallee Dr Anne Webster said local residents had been asking for improved safety measures at these locations, so the start of works would come as a welcome relief for every driver, motorcyclist and cyclist on the roads.</p> <p>“It will also make life easier for the 280-plus heavy vehicles that pass through the intersections each day,” Dr Webster said.</p> <p>“As both the Calder and the Sturt highways serve as key links to important domestic and international trade markets, these upgrades will make it easier and safer for the region’s primary producers and freight operators to access trade opportunities.”</p> <p>Works on the projects are expected to be completed in early 2020.</p> <p>Speed reductions will be in place for the duration of the works for the safety of drivers and workers. The speed limit will be returned to 60 km/h when works are complete.</p> <p>The $20 million Calder Highway – Bendigo to Mildura Upgrade is jointly funded by the Australian and Victorian governments on a 50:50 basis.</p> McCormack Making the right turn on new Calder and Sturt Highway intersection upgrades Keep River Road Contract Awarded Creating Local Jobs https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/media-release/keep-river-road-contract-awarded-creating-local-jobs <p>The tender to upgrade Keep River Road has been awarded to local company Exact Contracting Pty Ltd for $58 million.</p> <p>Northern Territory Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics, Eva Lawler said the upgrades will improve road safety and increase flood immunity, ensuring year-round access to such an important supply route.</p> <p>“During construction alone this project will more than 100 local jobs,” Ms Lawler said.</p> <p>“These works will also support Project Sea Dragon – the $1.45 billion prawn aquaculture project which has the potential to create around 1,500 ongoing local jobs.”</p> <p>“Work will help access to remote communities like Legune Station, Spirit Hills Station, Cannon Hills Station, Kneebone Outstation and Marralum Family Outstation. It will also strengthen transport connections for agriculture, resources and pastoral industries – creating opportunities for future investment and more jobs for the region.”</p> <p>Works will be delivered in two stages, with Stage 1 works including the upgrade of 13.4 kilometres from the WA border to a two-lane standard toward the Legune Station, and a bridge over the Keep River. Stage 2 works will include a bridge over Sandy Creek.</p> <p>The road is located on the Western Australia/Northern Territory border, approximately 47 kilometres northeast of Kununurra and 160 kilometres northwest of Timber Creek.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the works would improve safety and reliability of the critical supply route and support economic growth in the north.</p> <p>“The Federal Government is making good on its commitment to get Australians where they need to go sooner and safer,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>“This is an important investment on a vital transport link for industries which rely on this road to move produce from paddock to plate as well as give the local economy a shot in the arm with construction jobs.”</p> <p>Senator for the Northern Territory Sam McMahon said the investment would deliver a significant boost for the region.</p> <p>“This is fantastic news for the local community and for the whole Northern Territory,” Dr McMahon said.</p> <p>“Not only will this road upgrade further enhance the capabilities of existing businesses in the region but will open up opportunities for further economic investment.”</p> <p>The Keep River Road project is part of the Northern Australia Roads Program and is a partnership between the Australian Government and Northern Territory Government.</p> McCormack Keep River Road Contract Awarded Creating Local Jobs Transcript, Sky News Live, Interview with Kieran Gilbert and Annelise Nielsen https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/tudge/interview/transcript-sky-news-live-interview-kieran-gilbert-and-annelise-nielsen <p><strong>Kieran Gilbert:</strong> Let’s get more now on the debate around infrastructure. Joining us is the Infrastructure Minister Alan Tudge.</p> <p>The Finance Minister this morning when we spoke to him, Mr Tudge, said that he thinks that the RBA Governor’s comments have been over-interpreted. What’s your vide?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Well what the RBA Governor was saying is that we need infrastructure investment as one tool to keep the economy strong, and it certainly is a very big component of our economic plan. And we’ve massively increased our infrastructure investment from what was a $75 billion pipeline to now a $100 billion pipeline. So we’ve increased that by $25 billion just in the May budget.</p> <p>So this is a record amount and it means we have massive projects going on right across the country as we speak. 150 major projects and about 1,000 small-scale projects going on as we speak. It’s the bulldozers going, it’s the bitumen being rolled out, it’s the concrete being poured. This is what’s occurring right now in our big cities and across the country.</p> <p><strong>Annelise Nielsen:</strong> The RBA Governor did flag that there is benefit to be gained from investing in the regions in particular. Does it seem like the regions would have a lot of confidence in the Morrison Government putting that infrastructure investment in when you’re specifically being touted as the Minister for congestion busting? That’s more of a big city issue.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Well, in some respects we’ve got two infrastructure Ministers now. I mean, that’s an indication of the importance of this to Australians as well as to the economy. Michael McCormack tends to look after the regional infrastructure while I look after the urban infrastructure. We’ve got record money though flowing out into the regional areas. I will say in terms of though where we can get new projects up and running very quickly, and that is with the Urban Congestion Fund money. Now, as you probably know, we announced a lot of projects.</p> <p>In fact, 166 projects over the last six months which are typically in the 10 to 15 million or $20 million scale in suburb by suburb around the country. Now, those smaller scale projects are easier to ramp up and get going quickly and we want to see them done ASAP. I want to see them started tomorrow if possible, and I’m in discussions with my state counterparts to see how quickly we can roll out those medium-scale projects, $3 billion worth. Let’s get them cracking, both to help local residents as well as being further economic stimulus.</p> <p><strong>Kieran Gilbert:</strong> You’ve been talking about this overall envelope of infrastructure spending. But is there room to bolster that further? The Finance Minister this morning seemed to be suggesting a flexibility in the Government, if the time’s warranted, then you will deliver that.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Inevitably as budgets roll on, we re-examine what our expenditure outlook is. But I emphasise this point: that we are at record levels of infrastructure investment. I mean, this year just in transport infrastructure it’s $9.8 billion which is more than double what it was when we came to office just six years ago.</p> <p>So it’s a massive increase. State governments are also spending record money on infrastructure, to the extent that many commentators are now saying that we’ve got some capacity constraints in the construction market, is what some people are saying. But what I’m indicating is that how can we get more going quickly right now, and that’s where the small and medium-scale projects is what we want to see happen immediately and that’s what I’m in discussions with my state counterparts about, to get those ones going ASAP. We’ve got the money there, $3 billion worth. Let’s get cracking.</p> <p><strong>Annelise Nielsen:</strong> When it comes to the RBA Governor’s comments though, will more of that money be going to the regions?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> We do have record money going into the regions with what’s called the ROSI program and Michael McCormack looks after that. And that’s rolling out. We’ve got thousands of projects going on across the country in terms of small-scale projects as well as massive-scale projects such as Inland Rail and the Bruce Highway. Both of those are $10 billion projects.</p> <p><strong>Kieran Gilbert:</strong> Now in terms of the Government’s win this week on the tax cuts, it’s the big policy platform.</p> <p>Beyond the tax agenda, what else is the vision of the Morrison Government?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Well the tax agenda is a massive reform. It delivers obviously $1,080 to individuals who earn less than $126,000 and that’s about 10 million people. They’ll get that in the next few weeks when<br /> they put in their tax return. So that’s a massive bonus for those hardworking Australians, but it’s also important economic reform because it flattens out the tax rate and that creates better incentives for people to work harder.</p> <p>I mean, in addition we’ve got a very large economic plan on top of that: the infrastructure plan which I’ve talked about; the free trade agreements which we continue to negotiate; industrial relations reform; continued record investments in schools and in training which are obviously important in terms of providing skills and improving the productivity of the workforce over time.</p> <p>So, these are really important elements as well which bolster our overall economic plan.</p> <p><strong>Annelise Nielsen:</strong> When it comes to the next few sitting weeks of Parliament, we know they’re a little bit ways away, but it does seem like a lot of power is vested with the crossbench. Do you think that it’s giving them a lot of power, the agreements that have been struck with the crossbench so far? Is it going to be an ongoing challenge for the Government?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> We have to work with the crossbench constructively, maturely, we’ve been doing that very well for many, many months now and we’ll continue to do that. And I think the fact that we could negotiate these significant tax cuts through the Senate with the assistance of the crossbench shows that we can actually work well with them and deliver good reform for Australians.</p> <p><strong>Kieran Gilbert:</strong> Alan Tudge, we appreciate that. Thanks so much. We’ll talk to you soon.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Thank you.</p> Tudge Transcript, Sky News Live, Interview with Kieran Gilbert and Annelise Nielsen