Ministers for the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/coulton Latest releases from the Ministers en Support continues for drought-affected communities https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/coulton/media-release/support-continues-drought-affected-communities <p>Drought-hit communities will share in more than $1 million for community projects under the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal’s Tackling Tough Times Together program.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Foundation supports Australia’s regional communities experiencing the devastating effects of drought.</p> <p>“These projects help rural communities with the stress of the drought impacting families and businesses while also contributing to the local economy and infrastructure renewal,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>“We continue to deliver on our $15 million commitment under FRRR Tackling Tough Times Together initiative and this latest injection of funds comes at a critical time for parts of regional Australia doing it particularly tough due to drought.”</p> <p>Minister for Drought David Littleproud said the program created important economic stimulus in drought-affected areas.</p> <p>“These projects hire local people and use the services of local business,” Minister Littleproud said.</p> <p>“They support events, services and places where the community gathers which is important to emotional wellbeing and mental health in drought-hit areas.”</p> <p>Minister for Regional Services, Decentralisation and Local Government Mark Coulton said it was pleasing to see smaller towns applying for the grants.</p> <p>“Around a third of applications made under previous rounds were from communities of less than 500 people, while overall demand for grants was highest in communities of fewer than 5,000 people,” Minister Coulton said.</p> <p>Projects funded so far include community infrastructure, Parent and Community association activities, community festivals and Indigenous programmes.</p> <p>Applications for the programme are always open and groups in drought-affected areas are encouraged to apply.</p> <p>More information on the program and the latest round of recipients can be found at <a href="https://www.frrr.org.au/grants/TTTT">www.frrr.org.au/grants/TTTT</a> or at <a href="http://www.regional.gov.au/regional/programs">www.regional.gov.au/regional/programs</a>.</p> <p><strong>Background</strong><br /> Grants are managed by the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) and funded by more than 15 donors including government, business and individuals. The Federal Government has committed $15 million over three years.</p> Coulton Support continues for drought-affected communities Road Safety Awareness and Enablers Fund now open https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/media-release/road-safety-awareness-and-enablers-fund-now-open <p>Applications for the Road Safety Awareness and Enablers Fund are now open and the Federal Government is urging organisations with an interest in road safety education and awareness to apply.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the fund would increase road safety awareness and education, contributing to the reduction of road trauma in Australia.</p> <p>“The Federal Government takes road safety seriously, because one death and one crash on our roads is one too many,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>“We are looking forward to seeing proposals for projects that can make a difference to road safety by reminding everyone who uses our country’s road systems that we all have responsibility for keeping people safe on our roads.</p> <p>“Road safety enablers provide a key role in stimulating and supporting road safety action and communicating across consumer groups and the community.</p> <p>“The funding being rolled out through this initiative and other road safety grant projects over the next four years aims to reduce the number of fatalities and serious injuries occurring on our roads.</p> <p>“The Government has already committed $3.3 million of the Awareness and Enablers Fund to support road safety groups including the Australasian College of Road Safety, the Australian Road Safety Foundation, Driver Reviver Australia, the Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia, the Traffic Management Association of Australia and Safer Australian Roads and Highways (SARAH) Group in their valuable work.”</p> <p>Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said the Federal Government was taking strong action to ensure deaths and serious injuries from road crashes in Australia go down, not up, over the coming decade.</p> McCormack Road Safety Awareness and Enablers Fund now open Support continues for drought-affected communities https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/media-release/support-continues-drought-affected-communities <p>Drought-hit communities will share in more than $1 million for community projects under the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal’s Tackling Tough Times Together program.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Foundation supports Australia’s regional communities experiencing the devastating effects of drought.</p> <p>“These projects help rural communities with the stress of the drought impacting families and businesses while also contributing to the local economy and infrastructure renewal,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>“We continue to deliver on our $15 million commitment under FRRR Tackling Tough Times Together initiative and this latest injection of funds comes at a critical time for parts of regional Australia doing it particularly tough due to drought.”</p> <p>Minister for Drought David Littleproud said the program created important economic stimulus in drought-affected areas.</p> <p>“These projects hire local people and use the services of local business,” Minister Littleproud said.</p> <p>“They support events, services and places where the community gathers which is important to emotional wellbeing and mental health in drought-hit areas.”</p> <p>Minister for Regional Services, Decentralisation and Local Government Mark Coulton said it was pleasing to see smaller towns applying for the grants.</p> <p>“Around a third of applications made under previous rounds were from communities of less than 500 people, while overall demand for grants was highest in communities of fewer than 5,000 people,” Minister Coulton said.</p> <p>Projects funded so far include community infrastructure, Parent and Community association activities, community festivals and Indigenous programmes.</p> <p>Applications for the programme are always open and groups in drought-affected areas are encouraged to apply.</p> <p>More information on the program and the latest round of recipients can be found at <a href="https://www.frrr.org.au/grants/TTTT">www.frrr.org.au/grants/TTTT</a> or at <a href="http://www.regional.gov.au/regional/programs">www.regional.gov.au/regional/programs</a>.</p> <p><strong>Background</strong><br /> Grants are managed by the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) and funded by more than 15 donors including government, business and individuals. The Federal Government has committed $15 million over three years.</p> McCormack Support continues for drought-affected communities Road Safety Awareness and Enablers Fund now open https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/buchholz/media-release/road-safety-awareness-and-enablers-fund-now-open <p>Applications for the Road Safety Awareness and Enablers Fund are now open and the Federal Government is urging organisations with an interest in road safety education and awareness to apply.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the fund would increase road safety awareness and education, contributing to the reduction of road trauma in Australia.</p> <p>“The Federal Government takes road safety seriously, because one death and one crash on our roads is one too many,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>“We are looking forward to seeing proposals for projects that can make a difference to road safety by reminding everyone who uses our country’s road systems that we all have responsibility for keeping people safe on our roads.</p> <p>“Road safety enablers provide a key role in stimulating and supporting road safety action and communicating across consumer groups and the community.</p> <p>“The funding being rolled out through this initiative and other road safety grant projects over the next four years aims to reduce the number of fatalities and serious injuries occurring on our roads.</p> <p>“The Government has already committed $3.3 million of the Awareness and Enablers Fund to support road safety groups including the Australasian College of Road Safety, the Australian Road Safety Foundation, Driver Reviver Australia, the Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia, the Traffic Management Association of Australia and Safer Australian Roads and Highways (SARAH) Group in their valuable work.”</p> <p>Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said the Federal Government was taking strong action to ensure deaths and serious injuries from road crashes in Australia go down, not up, over the coming decade.</p> Buchholz Road Safety Awareness and Enablers Fund now open Booming suburbs to get new station and more services https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/media-release/booming-suburbs-get-new-station-and-more-services <p>Passengers will be catching trains at Victoria’s newest train station in a matter of weeks, with Cobblebank Station set to open on Monday 2 December as the Ballarat Line Upgrade enters its final stages of construction.</p> <p>The station opening will bring with it a new timetable including two extra peak services each day and new bus services for Melbourne’s booming outer west.</p> <p>Senator for Victoria Sarah Henderson said the new station was one of the key components of the half-a-billion-dollar project. </p> <p>“We know communities in Melbourne’s outer west are growing at a rapid rate and the Ballarat Line Upgrade will provide more frequent and reliable services for passengers,” Senator Henderson said. </p> <p>“The finish line for major construction on the Ballarat Line Upgrade is in sight, which means we’re one step closer to delivering huge benefits for passengers.”</p> <p>Two new peak services – one morning and one afternoon – will be introduced on Monday 2 December for Melton, Rockbank, Caroline Springs and Deer Park passengers when trains begin using the newly constructed 18km of duplicated track between Deer Park West and Melton.</p> <p>New bus services will also start running from 2 December to and from Cobblebank Station and between the newly rebuilt Rockbank Station and nearby Aintree, with services every 40 minutes.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the benefits of the Ballarat Line Upgrade would be delivered in stages, starting with the new station and new services for passengers in Melbourne’s west, followed by more services for the rest of the line in 2020.</p> <p>“There’s still more work to be done before the end of the year but it’s really exciting to know this investment is coming to fruition and the benefits are being realised,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>“In the leadup to the station opening and timetable change, a massive construction blitz will be undertaken along the Ballarat Line from Saturday 9 November to Sunday 1 December including signalling, laying of duplicated track and works at Ballan, Bacchus Marsh, Cobblebank and Wendouree stations.</p> <p>“The works blitz is critical to ensure major construction was complete on the project by the end of year.</p> <p>“Commissioning work including driver training and safety testing will be undertaken to make sure the new Cobblebank Station and the 18-kilometre duplicated track are safe and ready to be used by trains.”</p> <p>The new Cobblebank Station will be serviced by 285 trains each week and is a modern, accessible station featuring lifts, ramps, lighting and CCTV, as well as a car park with drop-off zone and secure bike storage.</p> <p>To celebrate its opening, the community is invited to a family day at Cobblebank Station from 10am to 2pm on Sunday 1 December. Details are available at <a href="http://www.regionalrailrevival.vic.gov.au">regionalrailrevival.vic.gov.au</a>.</p> <p>Passengers can download a copy of their new timetable at <a href="http://www.ptv.vic.gov.au">ptv.vic.gov.au </a>from Friday 1 November.</p> <p>Following major construction completion on the Ballarat Line Upgrade, the commissioning and safety testing period will continue early next year to enable even more services to be introduced on the line.</p> <p>Once completed, Ballarat line passengers will benefit from more peak services trains every 40 minutes off-peak, as well as more modern and accessible stations.</p> <p>The Federal Liberal and Nationals Government has committed $502 million and the Victorian Government $55 million to the upgrade of the Ballarat Rail line as part of the jointly-funded $1.75 billion Regional Rail Revival program.</p> McCormack Booming suburbs to get new station and more services New board members appointed to heavy vehicle regulator https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/buchholz/media-release/new-board-members-appointed-heavy-vehicle-regulator <p>Two new members have been appointed to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) board.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said current NHVR Board deputy chair Peter Garske and board member Coral Taylor would retire this month.</p> <p>“Julie Russell and Catherine Scott will replace Mr Garske and Ms Taylor when their appointments end,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>“Ministers have unanimously agreed Ms Russell and Ms Scott should be appointed to the board.</p> <p>“A staggered approach to board appointments was instituted last year to provide a smooth transition for new membership.</p> <p>“Duncan Gay will continue on as NHVR board chair, as will board members Ken Lay and Robin Stewart-Crompton.”</p> <p>Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said both Ms Russell and Ms Scott were highly respected within the heavy vehicle transport and logistics industry, bringing with them a wealth of experience.</p> <p>“Ms Russell was named Queensland Trucking Association Woman of the Year in 2014 and National Trucking Industry Woman of the Year in 2015,” Mr Buchholz said.</p> <p>“She is a third-generation member of a Queensland based trucking company.</p> <p>“Her commitment to road transport reform was recognised when she was appointed to the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) Board in April and an ongoing role as chair of the ATA's Industry Skills and Workforce Committee.</p> <p>“Catherine Scott's career combines experience in transport, infrastructure, and natural resources.</p> <p>“With expertise in risk management and corporate governance, Ms Scott has been chair of the Audit and Risk Committee of the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator since 2012.”</p> <p>Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey thanked Peter Garske and Coral Taylor for their years of service.</p> <p>“I would like to thank Mr Garske and Ms Taylor for their six years of exemplary service,” Mr Bailey said.</p> <p>“Mr Garske and Ms Taylor were foundation board members, with Mr Garske later accepting the deputy chair role.</p> <p>“Mr Garske's experience and in-depth industry knowledge have been invaluable. His influence was critical in helping the NHVR progress regulatory reform, benefitting the heavy vehicle transport industry.</p> <p>“I would also like to thank Ms Taylor for her industry advocacy and guidance to the board and the NHVR.”</p> Buchholz New board members appointed to heavy vehicle regulator New board members appointed to heavy vehicle regulator https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/media-release/new-board-members-appointed-heavy-vehicle-regulator <p>Two new members have been appointed to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) board.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said current NHVR Board deputy chair Peter Garske and board member Coral Taylor would retire this month.</p> <p>“Julie Russell and Catherine Scott will replace Mr Garske and Ms Taylor when their appointments end,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>“Ministers have unanimously agreed Ms Russell and Ms Scott should be appointed to the board.</p> <p>“A staggered approach to board appointments was instituted last year to provide a smooth transition for new membership.</p> <p>“Duncan Gay will continue on as NHVR board chair, as will board members Ken Lay and Robin Stewart-Crompton.”</p> <p>Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said both Ms Russell and Ms Scott were highly respected within the heavy vehicle transport and logistics industry, bringing with them a wealth of experience.</p> <p>“Ms Russell was named Queensland Trucking Association Woman of the Year in 2014 and National Trucking Industry Woman of the Year in 2015,” Mr Buchholz said.</p> <p>“She is a third-generation member of a Queensland based trucking company.</p> <p>“Her commitment to road transport reform was recognised when she was appointed to the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) Board in April and an ongoing role as chair of the ATA's Industry Skills and Workforce Committee.</p> <p>“Catherine Scott's career combines experience in transport, infrastructure, and natural resources.</p> <p>“With expertise in risk management and corporate governance, Ms Scott has been chair of the Audit and Risk Committee of the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator since 2012.”</p> <p>Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey thanked Peter Garske and Coral Taylor for their years of service.</p> <p>“I would like to thank Mr Garske and Ms Taylor for their six years of exemplary service,” Mr Bailey said.</p> <p>“Mr Garske and Ms Taylor were foundation board members, with Mr Garske later accepting the deputy chair role.</p> <p>“Mr Garske's experience and in-depth industry knowledge have been invaluable. His influence was critical in helping the NHVR progress regulatory reform, benefitting the heavy vehicle transport industry.</p> <p>“I would also like to thank Ms Taylor for her industry advocacy and guidance to the board and the NHVR.”</p> McCormack New board members appointed to heavy vehicle regulator Jobs, economic investment backbone of successful Western Sydney Deal in first Annual Report https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/tudge/jobs-economic-investment-backbone-successful-western-sydney-deal-first-annual-report <p>One year in, a boost in jobs, a ramp-up in economic investment and funding of congestion-busting infrastructure are key achievements of the Western Sydney City Deal.</p> <p>Today’s release of Western Sydney City Deal Annual Progress Report outlines progress made in the 12 months since the City Deal was signed by the Australian and NSW governments, along with the eight local governments.</p> <p>Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population, Alan Tudge, said the City Deal, the biggest in the country, had kick started the economic transformation of Western Sydney.</p> <p>“At Western Sydney International Airport we have already created hundreds of new jobs, more than half of which have been won by people living in Western Sydney,” Mr Tudge said.</p> <p>“Over the 20-year life of the deal, there will a $20 billion investment in game changing infrastructure making Western Sydney an enviable place to live, work and play.”</p> <p>Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said the Annual Progress Report showed an unprecedented level of partnership across the three tiers of government was already bringing opportunities to residents of the Western Parkland City.</p> <p>“By attracting international landmark businesses we’re creating jobs and an economic ecosystem in which local small and medium size businesses can grow and thrive,” Mr Ayres said.</p> <p>“It’s phenomenal to see what, a year in, the City Deal delivered for Western Sydney – with another 19 years left of this 20 year agreement we are sewing the seeds of a 22nd century city.”</p> <p>The City Deal will capitalise on the opportunities presented by the new Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport and provide 200,000 jobs within the Western Parkland City.</p> <p>There are 38 commitments across the City Deal that are being progressed and delivered.</p> <p>For more information on the Western Sydney City Deal, visit <a href="https://citydeals.infrastructure.gov.au/western-sydney">https://citydeals.infrastructure.gov.au/western-sydney</a></p> <h2>Western Sydney City Deal - Mayoral Quotes</h2> <h3>Councillor Mark Greenhill OAM, Mayor of Blue Mountains City Council</h3> <p>“Multiple community infrastructure projects planned for the Blue Mountains over the next three years will make it easier for our residents and visitors to access town centres, parks, pools, playgrounds and bushland. They will create more liveable and sustainable neighbourhoods.”</p> <h3>Councillor Barry Calvert, Mayor of Hawkesbury City Council:</h3> <p>“We are looking forward to working with all levels of government to deliver transformative change to Western Sydney. Hawkesbury City Council also welcomes the opportunity to work on local community infrastructure projects funded through this City Deal agreement.”</p> <h3>Frank Carbone, Mayor Fairfield City Council</h3> <p>“While there is much more to do, we are pleased to be working with all levels of government to ensure there is a greater focus and delivery of education opportunities, skilled jobs, industry connections, better transport options and quality of life benefits for the people of Fairfield and the region, as a result of the growth of the Western Parkland City.”</p> <h3>Councillor Ross Fowler OAM, Mayor of Penrith:</h3> <p>“The Western City Deal is clearly providing a framework to create a smart city that is more liveable, more productive, has more advanced skills and is more innovative. There is no doubt that the Western City will be the powerhouse of the state and a key player on the world stage. It’s an exciting time to live in Penrith; the heart of this new Western City.”</p> <h3>Councillor Theresa Fedeli, Mayor of Camden Council:</h3> <p>“The collaboration between all levels of government has delivered some fantastic outcomes for the Western Parkland City and our local communities, and I am looking forward to seeing many more great initiatives delivered out of the City Deal agreement in the years to come.“</p> <h3>Wendy Waller, Mayor of Liverpool City Council:</h3> <p>“I congratulate the Western Sydney City Deal, of which Liverpool is a proud partner, on its first year. It’s been a productive one.</p> <p>I’d like to call out for special mention the Western Sydney Investment Attraction Office being established in Liverpool, the $150 million Liveability Program launch and the strength through collaboration that is delivering planning and public transport outcomes that will realise our goal towards the 30-minute city.”<strong> </strong></p> <h3>Councillor George Brticevic, Mayor of Campbelltown City Council:</h3> <p>“We’re committed to working with three levels of government to ensure much needed transport and infrastructure is in place so that our community enjoys the benefits of theWestern Sydney Airport.</p> <p>Planning is already underway to develop the Campbelltown Billabong Parklands project which is funded through the Western Sydney City Deal’s Liveability Fund. The realisationof this project will contribute positive outcomes for our community and the broader Western Parkland City. ”</p> <h2>Outcomes of the Western Sydney City Deal within 18 months of signing</h2> <ol> <li>Realising the 30-minute city by delivering public transport for the Western Parkland City <ul> <li>Significant progress towards delivery of Sydney Metro Greater West from St Marys to the Western Sydney Aerotropolis ― with the $100 million jointly funded business case underway. Construction will commence in 2021 and the line will become operational in 2026</li> <li>The Australian Government announced $3.5 billion to develop the first stage of Sydney Metro Greater West and the NSW Government announced a contribution of</li> </ul> </li> <li>$2 billion over the next four years to the project as part of its commitment to joint funding <ul> <li>Creating 200,000 jobs by supercharging the Western Parkland City</li> <li>The Western City &amp; Aerotropolis Authority has been established as master planner and master developer of the Aerotropolis</li> <li>The Western Sydney Aerotropolis: Land Use and Infrastructure Implementation Plan was released for consultation</li> <li>The $5 million Investment Attraction Fund was launched</li> <li>The Western Sydney Investment Attraction Office was established in Liverpool</li> <li>The NSW Government has signed 10 Memoranda of Understanding with Aerotropolis ‘foundation participants’. These include investment agreements with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Hitachi, Urban Renaissance Agency (Japan), Vitex Pharmaceuticals, Northrop Grumman, 18 NSW space-focused small and medium-sized enterprises, Sydney Markets and the University of Sydney</li> <li>An agreement has also been signed with the NUW Alliance (Universities of Newcastle, NSW and Wollongong) and Western Sydney University to establish a higher education presence in the Aerotropolis by 2026</li> <li>An Indigenous Business Hub has been established to deliver coordinated business support services to grow a thriving Indigenous business sector</li> <li>NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (NDIS Commission) opened in Penrith providing up to 160 local jobs</li> <li>An Agribusiness Precinct Feasibility Study was released. It showed that there is great potential to capitalise on Western Sydney’s existing peri-urban agriculture sector, leverage the opportunities arising from the Aerotropolis and create 14,500 jobs over 10 years.  Future development of the Agribusiness precinct is being led by the Western City &amp; Aerotropolis Authority</li> </ul> </li> <li>Skilling our residents in the region and initiating new education opportunities <ul> <li>The NUW Alliance (University of Newcastle, University of NSW Sydney, University of Wollongong), Western Sydney University and the NSW Government signed a Statement of Intent to jointly deliver a world-class higher education and research presence specialising in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) by 2026</li> <li>A TAFE Skills Exchange on the Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport will provide local training for the workers needed to construct the airport</li> </ul> </li> <li>Respecting and building on local character, enhancing liveability and improving the quality of the local environment <ul> <li>The $170 million Liveability Program was launched and successful council projects from the first round of applications for funding commenced in early 2019. This program will give Western Parkland City communities new and redeveloped parks, sports facilities, rejuvenated town centres and cultural spaces. Round 2 of the Liveability Program recently closed and applications are currently being assessed.</li> </ul> </li> <li>Coordinated and innovative approaches to planning and delivery of housing <ul> <li>A Planning Partnership has been established, drawing together representatives of all eight Western Parkland City councils as well as Blacktown Council, and representatives from the NSW Department of Planning and Environment, Transport for NSW, Sydney Water and the Greater Sydney Commission. This partnership will achieve more efficient and higher quality outcomes for communities</li> <li>The Project Agreement was signed covering the Australian Government’s $15 million contribution for the Western Sydney Housing Package to streamline planning and housing development</li> <li>The Greater Sydney Commission has commenced work on two Growth Infrastructure Compacts to identify the local and regional infrastructure required to support the growth of the Western Parkland City</li> </ul> </li> <li>Getting on with delivering for the Western Parkland City through enduring tri-level governance <ul> <li>Tri-level governance through the Leadership Group, Implementation Board and Coordination Committee (meeting regularly since April 2018) has been established to oversee the delivery of the City Deal.</li> <li>An implementation plan―which clearly articulates how and when the commitments of the City Deal will be delivered and how their progress will be measured―was released in December 2018. Agreed by the three tiers of government, this document supports greater public awareness and understanding of the shared vision for Western Sydney in practical terms. </li> <li>This inaugural annual progress report was finalised and released. This and subsequent reports will enable the community to track the City Deal’s progress and be confident in the Western Parkland City’s long-lasting success.</li> </ul> </li> </ol> Tudge Jobs, economic investment backbone of successful Western Sydney Deal in first Annual Report Australian Government funds Norfolk Island artificial reproduction for livestock https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/marino/media-release/australian-government-funds-norfolk-island-artificial-reproduction-livestock <p>The Australian Government will provide the Norfolk Island community with $210,000 for critical infrastructure to boost the genetic diversity and sustainability of local ruminant livestock.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the funding to the Norfolk Island Cattle Association would provide for a liquid nitrogen plant, generator, portable cattle crush and portable yard fencing to support artificial reproduction for ruminants.</p> <p>“Our community development grants support and build our regional communities, making them even greater places to live by investing in projects such as this,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>“This funding is a great opportunity for the Australian Government, industry and the Norfolk community to work together to help improve the quality and genetic diversity of the local herds, supporting the continued supply of beef, goat and sheep products on Island while safeguarding the unique biosecurity status of the Island.”</p> <p>Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories Nola Marino said this project is the result of a lot of hard work over a number of years.  It responds to community concerns about the sustainability of the local ruminant populations. In February 2019, the Government commissioned work to improve cattle, sheep and goat genetics on Norfolk Island.</p> <p>“This report identified an urgent need for new males across all ruminant species and recommended actions to improve the effectiveness of artificial reproduction on Norfolk Island,” Mrs Marino said.</p> <p>“With today's announcement, the Government is supporting the agriculture industry on Norfolk Island in taking necessary action to protect livestock sustainability into the future.”</p> <p>“This project demonstrates what can be achieved when the community and Government work together to find solutions to local problems.”</p> <p>The Administrator of Norfolk Island Eric Hutchinson chairs a Working Group consisting of industry, community and government representatives.</p> <p>“The group was integral in the development of the report and looks forward to supporting the Norfolk Island Cattle Association to deliver on this critical community project,” Mr Hutchinson said.</p> <p>The report and its recommendations are available on the Department's website at <a href="https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/NI-ruminants">www.infrastructure.gov.au/NI-ruminants</a>.</p> <p>The Australian Government will work with the Norfolk Island Cattle Association to finalise a formal project proposal so that the funding can flow under the Community Development Grants Programme.</p> Marino Australian Government funds Norfolk Island artificial reproduction for livestock More upgrades finished for Flinders Highway https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/media-release/more-upgrades-finished-flinders-highway <p>More than six kilometres of the Flinders Highway between Townsville and Torrens Creek has been improved as part of a $22 million safety upgrade.</p> <p>The highway was widened at Mingela and Sellheim, north of Charters Towers and wide centre line treatments installed to better separate oncoming vehicles.</p> <p>Planning to widen an additional 1.5km section of the highway has also started.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the $22.2 million project was jointly funded under the Northern Australia Roads Program (NARP).</p> <p>"Through the Northern Australia Roads Program, we're delivering vital upgrades that improve transport networks and support economic development," Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>"This Flinders Highway upgrade will improve safety, travel times and conditions for tourism and supply vehicles.</p> <p>"Upgrades such as these will also enhance liveability in rural communities, by making roads to and from major cities safer and more accessible.”</p> <p>Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the Queensland Government had also provided additional funding for intersection upgrades to be delivered as part of the widening works.</p> <p>"As well as the six kilometres of widening works, we also used $1.3 million from our government’s Safer Roads Sooner program to install right-turn lanes at the Dotswood Road, Mingela Road and School Street intersections to improve safety," Mr Bailey said.</p> <p>“Earlier this month we also started work to repair flood damaged sections of the highway between Hughenden and Julia Creek, so the Flinders is getting some much needed investment to make it safer and more flood-resilient.</p> <p>“These works do temporarily slow drivers down with speed restrictions and traffic control measures will be in place, so we appreciate and thank motorists for slowing down around these sites and looking out for our road workers.</p> <p>FKG Group (FK Gardner) delivered the Flinders Highway Mingela to Sellheim upgrade works, which began in June 2018 and supported 51 jobs.</p> <p>Senator for Queensland Susan McDonald said the economic benefits of the project were already being felt by the community.</p> <p>“The works themselves are already supporting jobs, with an average of 51 direct jobs to be created over the life of the project,” Senator McDonald said.</p> <p>“It will make the highway much safer and more efficient, which is a great result for all motorists.”</p> <p>Projects under the $600 million Northern Australia Roads Program are funded by the Australian and State Governments on an 80:20 basis.</p> <p>The $22.2 million Flinders Highway widening project includes Australian and Queensland Government contributions of $17.8 million and $4.4 million.</p> McCormack More upgrades finished for Flinders Highway Australian Government funds Norfolk Island artificial reproduction for livestock https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/media-release/australian-government-funds-norfolk-island-artificial-reproduction-livestock <p>The Australian Government will provide the Norfolk Island community with $210,000 for critical infrastructure to boost the genetic diversity and sustainability of local ruminant livestock.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the funding to the Norfolk Island Cattle Association would provide for a liquid nitrogen plant, generator, portable cattle crush and portable yard fencing to support artificial reproduction for ruminants.</p> <p>“Our community development grants support and build our regional communities, making them even greater places to live by investing in projects such as this,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>“This funding is a great opportunity for the Australian Government, industry and the Norfolk community to work together to help improve the quality and genetic diversity of the local herds, supporting the continued supply of beef, goat and sheep products on Island while safeguarding the unique biosecurity status of the Island.”</p> <p>Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories Nola Marino said this project is the result of a lot of hard work over a number of years.  It responds to community concerns about the sustainability of the local ruminant populations. In February 2019, the Government commissioned work to improve cattle, sheep and goat genetics on Norfolk Island.</p> <p>“This report identified an urgent need for new males across all ruminant species and recommended actions to improve the effectiveness of artificial reproduction on Norfolk Island,” Mrs Marino said.</p> <p>“With today's announcement, the Government is supporting the agriculture industry on Norfolk Island in taking necessary action to protect livestock sustainability into the future.”</p> <p>“This project demonstrates what can be achieved when the community and Government work together to find solutions to local problems.”</p> <p>The Administrator of Norfolk Island Eric Hutchinson chairs a Working Group consisting of industry, community and government representatives.</p> <p>“The group was integral in the development of the report and looks forward to supporting the Norfolk Island Cattle Association to deliver on this critical community project,” Mr Hutchinson said.</p> <p>The report and its recommendations are available on the Department's website at <a href="https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/NI-ruminants">www.infrastructure.gov.au/NI-ruminants</a>.</p> <p>The Australian Government will work with the Norfolk Island Cattle Association to finalise a formal project proposal so that the funding can flow under the Community Development Grants Programme.</p> McCormack Australian Government funds Norfolk Island artificial reproduction for livestock More upgrades finished for Flinders Highway https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/media-release/more-upgrades-finished-flinders-highway-0 <p>More than six kilometres of the Flinders Highway between Townsville and Torrens Creek has been improved as part of a $22 million safety upgrade.</p> <p>The highway was widened at Mingela and Sellheim, north of Charters Towers and wide centre line treatments installed to better separate oncoming vehicles.</p> <p>Planning to widen an additional 1.5km section of the highway has also started.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the $22.2 million project was jointly funded under the Northern Australia Roads Program (NARP).</p> <p>"Through the Northern Australia Roads Program, we're delivering vital upgrades that improve transport networks and support economic development," Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>"This Flinders Highway upgrade will improve safety, travel times and conditions for tourism and supply vehicles.</p> <p>"Upgrades such as these will also enhance liveability in rural communities, by making roads to and from major cities safer and more accessible.”</p> <p>Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the Queensland Government had also provided additional funding for intersection upgrades to be delivered as part of the widening works.</p> <p>"As well as the six kilometres of widening works, we also used $1.3 million from our government’s Safer Roads Sooner program to install right-turn lanes at the Dotswood Road, Mingela Road and School Street intersections to improve safety," Mr Bailey said.</p> <p>“Earlier this month we also started work to repair flood damaged sections of the highway between Hughenden and Julia Creek, so the Flinders is getting some much needed investment to make it safer and more flood-resilient.</p> <p>“These works do temporarily slow drivers down with speed restrictions and traffic control measures will be in place, so we appreciate and thank motorists for slowing down around these sites and looking out for our road workers.</p> <p>FKG Group (FK Gardner) delivered the Flinders Highway Mingela to Sellheim upgrade works, which began in June 2018 and supported 51 jobs.</p> <p>Senator for Queensland Susan McDonald said the economic benefits of the project were already being felt by the community.</p> <p>“The works themselves are already supporting jobs, with an average of 51 direct jobs to be created over the life of the project,” Senator McDonald said.</p> <p>“It will make the highway much safer and more efficient, which is a great result for all motorists.” </p> <p>Projects under the $600 million Northern Australia Roads Program are funded by the Australian and State Governments on an 80:20 basis.</p> <p>The $22.2 million Flinders Highway widening project includes Australian and Queensland Government contributions of $17.8 million and $4.4 million.</p> McCormack More upgrades finished for Flinders Highway Billion-dollar investment in NSW dams https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/media-release/billion-dollar-investment-nsw-dams <p>The Morrison and Berejiklian Governments will deliver a $1 billion water infrastructure package for rural and regional communities impacted by the devastating drought in NSW.</p> <p>Prime Minister Scott Morrison, New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and Deputy Premier John Barilaro said both Liberal and Nationals governments had been working together to fund critical water infrastructure projects, including new and expanded dam projects.</p> <p>“Our response to the ongoing drought impacting rural and regional communities is comprehensive and committed. It deals with immediate needs for financial assistance in and longer term investments to build drought resilience for the future,” the Prime Minister said.</p> <p>“And it’s not set and forget. We are continually adding to our drought response, saying loud and clear that we’re backing Australians who are battling the drought.</p> <p>“Together we’ll deliver a $650 million upgrade of Wyangala Dam in the state’s Central West and a $480 million new Dungowan Dam near Tamworth.</p> <p>“Our 50/50 investment with the state government in these priority large-scale water infrastructure projects will free up NSW funding to allow them to progress critical town water projects across NSW. We want to get these projects underway because this is about water supply and security.</p> <p>“These projects don’t happen overnight but we’re working as quickly as possible to get all the necessary work done so we can start digging.</p> <p>“We’re also investing an initial $24 million on a 50/50 basis with NSW for the 100,000-megalitre proposed Border Rivers project on the Mole River, near the Queensland border. This will ensure the project is shovel ready and help to identify the potential benefits that could flow on to irrigators and local communities in NSW and potentially Queensland.</p> <p>“This funding brings our water infrastructure commitments to $1.5 billion across 21 projects that are committed or underway. This is part of more than $7 billion in drought support funding that we are already providing and have committed.”</p> <p>Ms Berejiklian said the NSW Government has already committed close to $3 billion to drought relief and water security since 2017.</p> <p>“In partnership with the Commonwealth, we will build the first new dam in NSW for more than 30 years. The last was Split Rock Dam on the Manilla River in 1987. That’s why today’s announcement is historic,” Ms Berejiklian said.</p> <p>“The NSW Government is working in lockstep with the Commonwealth to make absolutely certain all obstacles are cleared and these dams get built.</p> <p>“Our regional and rural communities are doing it incredibly tough and that’s why we’re making this massive additional investment in partnership with the Commonwealth Government.</p> <p>“This builds on the NSW Government’s record $3 billion in drought support and water security announced since 2017, including funding for 60 bores across 23 communities and 14 pipelines, such as that from Wentworth to Broken Hill.</p> <p>“Dams and other water infrastructure are an important part of the mix when it comes to increasing supply and reliability so that NSW’s water supply is more resilient to the terrible drought being experienced across the eastern states.”</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the funding would prioritise all necessary business case development and design works.</p> <p>“We are already making significant investments in water infrastructure capital projects nationwide and today’s announcement signals a major acceleration of that commitment,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.</p> <p>“No one should doubt our commitment to getting these sorts of projects done in partnership with all states and territories – our $1.3 billion National Water Infrastructure Development Fund and $2 billion National Water Infrastructure Loan Facility are in place to deliver the planning, assessment and construction work needed to build the water infrastructure of the 21st century.</p> <p>“These projects will fit into our strategic plan for improving regional water security through water infrastructure led by the National Water Grid Authority.”</p> <p>Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional New South Wales John Barilaro said the NSW Government has been getting on with building critical water infrastructure projects but this was a significant turning point to future-proof the state.</p> <p>“Only last week I was pleased to officially switch on the $12.85 million Malpas Dam to Guyra pipeline in the Northern Tablelands region, a project completed on time and under budget by the NSW Government,” the Deputy Premier said.</p> <p>“This partnership with the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government will mean more projects, in faster time frames.</p> <p>“Our priority is to get these major projects off the ground as quickly as possible, to combat ‘day zero’ and help regional and rural communities in NSW get through this devastating drought.”</p> <p>Formalised agreements between the Federal and NSW Governments outlining the timeframes will be finalised shortly.</p> McCormack Billion-dollar investment in NSW dams Croydon community collects park upgrade https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/media-release/croydon-community-collects-park-upgrade <p>A series of upgrades providing better access and new equipment to Croydon’s Blair Park will be a boon for Sydney’s Inner West.</p> <p>Federal Member for Reid Fiona Martin said the upgrade would foster active lifestyles by providing a quality venue boasting new field lighting, a picnic shelter and a playground.</p> <p>“This upgrade is a big win, particularly for the Burwood Football Club and local schools, who will be able to use the park to host carnivals and other school sports events,” Dr Martin said.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the project had seen a $1.3 million Federal Liberal and Nationals Government investment in the region’s sporting infrastructure.</p> <p>“We anticipate visitor numbers up to 120,000 people each year thanks to these fantastic new facilities, which also include a bocce court, new canteen and office areas for Council staff, along with improved access to the field itself,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>Mayor of Burwood Council John Faker said the Blair Park Embellishment Project had been a great success for the community of Burwood.</p> <p>“The Blair Park Embellishment Project is the first extensive enhancement to the park in 30 years. Our local community have been requesting more green space as well as improved facilities and Council have listened,” Cr Faker said.</p> <p>The project was jointly funded with the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government investing $1.3 million and the Burwood Council $29,855.</p> McCormack Croydon community collects park upgrade Sky News Live - Interview with Tom Connell https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/tudge/interview/sky-news-live-interview-tom-connell-0 <p><strong>Tom Connell:</strong> Joining me now here in the studio is Alan Tudge, Minister for Population, Cities, and Urban Infrastructure, thanks for your time.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> G’day Tom.</p> <p><strong>Tom Connell:</strong> Now, we’ve got agreements today. We always like it when people are getting along and helping out the nation. What are we talking about here, a new approach to population. What’s the detail that we can gleam from this? Because you’ve been talking about this approach for a while.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Yeah well that’s right, this is the first time that the states and territories, with the Federal Government, have agreed on a population planning framework, so in essence, for us to align each of our respective responsibilities much more closely. Because when you think about it Tom, we have the major population growth lever falling in our responsibilities. That's the migration rate, which comprises 60 per cent of the population growth. But the states and territories have the primary responsibility for the infrastructure delivery, for the housing approvals, for the services and the like. And you need to make sure those things are absolutely in sync because if they're not in sync, you have your population for example running ahead of infrastructure, and then you have congestion or you don't have the houses approved and you get house price spikes. That’s what today is all about, and that's why we've got a framework.</p> <p><strong>Tom Connell:</strong> So you go around to all the states and, for example, if you talk to Victoria, they go here's where we want Melbourne to be, here's where we see Victoria. You feed all of this in, and then that actually contributes to the overall net migration rate? That’s how this works?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Yeah. That's basically what that is saying, traditionally the Federal Government has largely set the population rate ourselves with some input from the states and territories, but now we want to have much greater input from them, in terms of what is your desired population growth in your city and your state; can we align our levers to achieve that. And what do you need to have in terms of infrastructure and housing approvals and services to be able to meet that population growth.</p> <p>Furthermore, you've got to look at the demographics too because that's critically important in terms of economic success; in terms of the ageing of the population, the skills there.</p> <p><strong>Tom Connell:</strong> Very hard to control.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Yes and no, again migration becomes so important in that regard. We do really well in Australia because we bring in largely skilled migrants who are young, an average age of about 26, and that keeps our working age population high so that we’re not ageing so rapidly, and therefore more are people working, being productive; to support those people into retirement.</p> <p><strong>Tom Connell:</strong> So you're getting more data and you want it to be more accurate, because it has been very inaccurate in the past. How does that feed into the overall population, I mean, are you going through a process where you'll have a population you want to hit in 2030, 2040, 2050, and do you control for that or let growth sort of control where the population goes?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> We are in terms of that second question, certainly much more strongly leaning in terms of where we want to see growth than we ever have. Now, traditionally again migration being the major population growth lever, it constitutes 60 per cent of our population growth. Traditionally we've just let people come and settle wherever they like. Now we've actually created incentives for new migrants to go to some of the smaller cities in the regions, which are desperate for more people but can't get them.</p> <p><strong>Tom Connell:</strong> And that’s the where, the overall, I mean, at the end of this process will you have a figure for 2030, 2040, 2050?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> We haven’t got to that yet.</p> <p><strong>Tom Connell:</strong> But is that what you want to achieve?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> We have agreed through the process today that we will have a rolling three yearly plan, which will update every three years, we’ll update a Population Plan. And we'll do that in collaboration with the states, and then we'll have a yearly statement as well which will in essence track ourselves against that plan. Now, we haven't worked out the details of that in terms of how far in advance we’ll forecast and want to say, well, we ideally do want to see X million people here and x thousand there.</p> <p><strong>Tom Connell:</strong> But is that a possibility?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> That’s where we’re leaning towards, I’m saying, Tom.</p> <p><strong>Tom Connell:</strong> And do you have a broad?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Which is much more of a settlement strategy.</p> <p><strong>Tom Connell:</strong> Yeah, yeah. But do you have an idea right now for where you might land, how far ahead- could we, in a year, possibly have 2030, here's where the population we want to get to, here's the number?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Well, we will certainly have better forecasts in relation to that based on our policy settings at the moment. And traditionally, Tom, on that, we've largely relied on, say, ABS, and you referred to how we're out in the past, or the Treasurer might have referred to that earlier today.</p> <p><strong>Tom Connell:</strong> Well, yeah. Basically from 2002 to now, you thought it’d be two and a half million bigger. It got to five million.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> It got to five million. And in part, those were projections rather than forecasts. What I mean by that is that it tended to look backwards as to how we've been going and just assumed that it would be going forwards, whereas we want to get to a position and today was about this, to say we actually need much more sophisticated forecasts of our population region by region, city by city.</p> <p><strong>Tom Connell:</strong> And so, if you have that forecast, a better one for 2030, is that a target you try really hard to hit and not go over? Or is that simply trying to get a better estimate? You know would you pull on levers and go: we’re going to be two million over, we don't want to be over?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> If you're doing a forecast, it'll be based on what our policy settings are, and then we want to track ourselves against those forecasts so that the councils and the state governments, who have the primary responsibility for the infrastructure and housing approvals, can have greater surety as well that, okay, this is what the population is much more likely to be coming, and we can plan accordingly rather than be planning for X and then all of a sudden, having a lot more people.</p> <p><strong>Tom Connell:</strong> And one of the big levers you can pull is net migration, permanent migration. You wouldn't be afraid to go: we’re going quite a bit over here. We are pulling migration right back?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Well, we haven't got to that point yet. We have said that we're going to pull the migration rate down and we're implementing that from 1 July of this year and we’ve said over the next four years, we will cap that permanent migration rate at that lower number, at 160,000 per annum, whereas it was at 190,000 per annum. Then, within that cap of 160, we've got 23,000 dedicated spots for the regions and the smaller cities.</p> <p><strong>Tom Connell:</strong> Can I ask you as well, temporary migration, because this can have a much bigger impact and oscillate very quickly, 700,000 I think in the country at the moment. Is there anything you can do to control that?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Well, it's a good point that you make. Our population is made up of obviously Australian citizens, and then you have new migrants who come in here as permanent residents and then you have temporary migrants. Sometimes they can be Kiwis, they might be international students, they’re long-term holiday makers and the like.</p> <p><strong>Tom Connell:</strong> But the same impact on resources.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> But they can have the same impact on resources and they tend to be more demand-driven programs, particularly, say, what used to be called the 457 visa which provides short-term people to fill skills gaps.</p> <p><strong>Tom Connell:</strong> Specialist, yeah.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Specialist skills gaps. Now, we have said, and we've put in place already, incentives particularly for international students, to go to some of the regional areas and the smaller cities because they're the biggest components of short-term migration. <strong>Tom Connell:</strong> Right. But that still has that same net impact. Would you look to reduce that overall or is that something that would hurt the economy so you wouldn’t look to reduce that?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> The permanent migration rate in the medium term is actually what drives the overall migration rate.</p> <p><strong>Tom Connell:</strong> So, is it bouncing around?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> It’s the<strong> </strong>year to year, it bounces a bit because of the temporary. But the permanent migration rate actually<strong> </strong>does establish the medium-term growth. <strong>Tom Connell:</strong> But you wouldn't want to temper that rate at all?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Well, the permanent migration rate, we have tempered, we have pulled down. Now, we've announced that for the next four years. Let's get to the next stage where we do announce… <strong>Tom Connell:</strong> Nothing yet on temporary?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Well again, for temporary, we've put in place incentives for the international students.</p> <p><strong>Tom Connell:</strong> I wanted to ask you finally about rail. So the Andrews Government is considering this cheaper airport rail link that will rely on existing tracks out to Sunshine. If they were going to go down this path, would the Federal Government still commit $5 billion towards it?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Well, we want to see a fair dinkum, high-quality service from Melbourne CBD to the airport. That's why we’ve put $5 billion dollars on the table and we're working cooperatively with the states to see that vision implemented. Now, there's a lot of complexity associated with this project so we’re just methodically working through it. A good rail network which is affordable and is at appropriate speeds that people can get there. It's competitive with the other options.</p> <p><strong>Tom Connell:</strong> So the question is, because I know there's a lot to these types of infrastructure, but at the same time, using that track out to Sunshine is seen as failing some of the measures you just mentioned there: being affordable for consumers, being fast as well. Would that be a deal breaker for your government?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Well, we haven't got to that yet, Tom. I mean, we're in the negotiations in relation to this and I'm having good faith negotiations with the Victorian Government on it. We think it is almost certainly that we'll need to have dedicated tunnel from basically from the CBD to Sunshine, which then becomes a really important node for fast rail to be able to shoot from as well.</p> <p><strong>Tom Connell:</strong> Rather than existing tracks?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Rather than existing track, and then to have upgraded track out to the airport. We think that’s most likely outcome.</p> <p><strong>Tom Connell:</strong> Right. If that was the option the Andrews Government wanted, you’d have a problem with that?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Well, we haven't got to that stage yet, Tom. I'm just saying that's our initial view was that…</p> <p><strong>Tom Connell:</strong> But the Andrews Government seems to be considering it.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> And that that becomes important as well for our vision for fast rail out to Geelong…</p> <p><strong>Tom Connell:</strong> Yeah. Exactly.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> …where we've got $2 billion on the table.</p> <p><strong>Tom Connell:</strong> Yeah.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> It relies upon having that fast connection out to Sunshine.</p> <p><strong>Tom Connell:</strong> Alright. We'll see where it goes, Alan Tudge. Thanks for your time.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Thanks very much Tom.</p> Tudge Sky News Live - Interview with Tom Connell Regional Airports Program takes off https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/media-release/regional-airports-program-takes <p>Regional Airport owners and operators will soon be able to apply for a share in $100 million of funding for safety upgrades as part of the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government’s new Regional Airports Program.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the guidelines are now available giving airport owners and operators more information on their eligibility for the program.</p> <p>“For many regional communities, the local airport provides an essential link to the rest of Australia,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>“That’s why we’ve committed $100 million over four years from 2019–20 to 2022–23 to help owners of regional airports right across Australia deliver safer runways, taxiways and other safety upgrades such as new fencing or safety equipment.</p> <p>“The Liberals and Nationals are backing people living in rural and regional Australia, whether that be through job creation, access to more reliable transport or better service delivery.</p> <p>“The Regional Airports Program will make sure regional airports meet the needs of communities and local industry now and into the future.”</p> <p>CEO of the Australian Airports Association Caroline Wilkie welcomed the announcement.</p> <p>“With so many regional airports struggling to make ends meet, access to funding for essential maintenance and upgrades will be a game changer for the regions,” Ms Wilkie said.</p> <p>“Our regional airports are the lifeblood of their communities and this funding will help them meet the needs of local people and businesses for years to come.</p> <p>“This is an important step towards ensuring a strong, safe and vibrant regional airport network for the benefit of all Australians.”</p> <p>CEO of the Regional Aviation Association of Australia (RAAA) Mike Higgins said the announcement further demonstrates the continuing support of regional aviation by the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government.</p> <p>“The RAAA looks forward to realising the benefits this program will provide in relieving cost pressures on regional airlines to help keep airfares as low as possible.”</p> <p>Owners and operators of any regional airport who can identify a real need for an upgrade are urged to make an application under Round 1 when they open on 24 October 2019.”</p> <p>Applications for Round 1 will remain open until 12 December 2019 to provide communities with the time needed to make strong proposals.</p> <p>The guidelines and other information is available from <a href="http://www.business.gov.au/assistance/regional-airports-program">http://www.business.gov.au/assistance/regional-airports-program</a> or by calling 13 28 46.</p> McCormack Regional Airports Program takes off Major works underway as Ballarat line upgrade construction nears completion https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/media-release/major-works-underway-ballarat-line-upgrade-construction-nears-completion <p>Ballarat line passengers are being asked to plan ahead for service changes as work continues on the massive pipeline of investment for passengers on one of Victoria’s busiest regional train lines.</p> <p>During a 23-day Ballarat Line Upgrade works blitz from Saturday 9 November to Sunday 1 December, coaches will replace trains for the entire journey between Ballarat/Wendouree and Melbourne.</p> <p>Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said buses would replace trains, as the staged commissioning of the Ballarat Line Upgrade works began.</p> <p>“It’s exciting to see the construction on the Ballarat Line Upgrade nearing completion, but there’s still work to be done to deliver passengers the extra services they’ve been waiting for,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>“Coaches will replace trains while crews get on the line in November to complete the duplicated track between Deer Park West and Melton, upgrade key stations and undertake critical signalling commissioning.”</p> <p>After works are complete, there will be a staged commissioning phase, including critical safety testing and driver training, prior to new services being introduced in 2020.</p> <p>Victorian Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan thanked passengers for their support and understanding while coaches replaced trains and urged people to plan ahead.</p> <p>“The good news is, the project has already delivered benefits for passengers, including a completely rebuilt Rockbank Station featuring a 350-space car park, pedestrian overpass and other modern facilities,” Ms Allan said.</p> <p>“We’ve also opened a new car park at Bacchus Marsh Station, and passengers will continue to see benefits as the project nears completion.”</p> <p>Senator for Victoria Sarah Henderson said the upgrade would deliver more frequent and reliable services.</p> <p>“This half-a-billion investment in the Ballarat line will bring more frequent and reliable services, transforming the state’s second busiest regional train line,” Ms Henderson said.</p> <p>“It will provide much-needed extra services in the morning and afternoon peak periods, plus a train every 40 minutes off-peak for growing communities along the line.”</p> <p>Crews have worked more than one million hours on the project, including laying almost 30 kilometres of track, building crossing loops and duplicated track, upgrading Wendouree, Ballan and Bacchus Marsh stations, and constructing a new station at Cobblebank.</p> <p>From Saturday 19 October to Thursday 24 October, V/Line will complete critical maintenance on the regional tracks leading to platforms 4, 5 and 6 at Southern Cross Station.</p> <p>While these works take place, Ballarat, Ararat and Maryborough passengers will travel on trains to Melton, connecting with coaches to and from Melbourne. Replacement coach services will also run between Bacchus Marsh and Melbourne.</p> <p>The Ballarat Line Upgrade team will also take the opportunity to complete track work at the Hopkins Road level crossing in Rockbank while trains aren’t running.</p> <p>For more information about the Ballarat Line Upgrade and other major projects across Victoria, visit <a href="http://bigbuild.vic.gov.au">bigbuild.vic.gov.au</a>.</p> <p>Passengers are encouraged to allow extra travel time and plan ahead by visiting <a href="http://ptv.vic.gov.au">ptv.vic.gov.au</a></p> <p>The Ballarat Line Upgrade is part of the $1.75 billion Regional Rail Revival, which is upgrading every regional passenger train line in Victoria, creating more than 1,000 jobs. Regional Rail Revival is a joint initiative of the Australian and Victorian governments.</p> McCormack Major works underway as Ballarat line upgrade construction nears completion Beach safety reaches new heights at Seacliff Surf Life Saving Club https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/media-release/beach-safety-reaches-new-heights-seacliff-surf-life-saving-club <p>Beachgoers at Seacliff will be safer on the beach from today with the official opening of the new Seacliff Surf Life Saving Club Patrol Tower.</p> <p>The Patrol Tower, which was jointly funded by the Federal Government, the Seacliff Surf Life Saving Club (Seacliff SLSC) and the City of Holdfast Bay, will provide greater visibility for beach patrols and an emergency management area as well as a new first aid room, disability accessible facilities and storage for the Club.</p> <p>Federal Member for Boothby Nicolle Flint said the completion of the Tower was a significant milestone for the community and for the hard working volunteers at the Seacliff SLSC.</p> <p>“The new Patrol Tower will help our wonderful Seacliff Surf Life Saving Club volunteers carry out patrols and keep our community safe at the beach,” Ms Flint said.</p> <p>“The new tower will also provide much-needed shelter and facilities for our Club volunteers, and equipment storage. The Club pioneered the Beach Access for All initiative that made Seacliff South Australia’s first disability accessible beach and their new facilities will help them support more South Australians to get onto the beach and into the water.”</p> <p>Ms Flint said she had worked closely with the Seacliff SLSC to secure $150,000 in federal funding toward the Patrol Tower and congratulated the Club on its completion.</p> <p>“I would like to recognise President Dr Glen Patten OAM, immediate Past President Andrew Chandler and everyone at the Seacliff SLSC for working with me on this important local project and for all they do for our community,” she said.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Australian Government’s $150,000 investment in the Seacliff SLSC Patrol Tower would “deliver important economic and safety benefits to the local community”.</p> McCormack Beach safety reaches new heights at Seacliff Surf Life Saving Club Inspector-General sets up shop in Mildura https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/littleproud/media-release/inspector-general-sets-shop-mildura <ul> <li>Office for Murray-Darling Basin Inspector-General to open in Mildura</li> <li>New office reinforces water oversight in southern Murray-Darling Basin</li> <li>Inspector-General safeguards water use and Basin Plan implementation</li> </ul> <p>Mildura is set to become home to the Inspector-General of Murray-Darling Basin Water Resources, with one of the two offices being set up in the city.</p> <p>Minister for Water Resources David Littleproud said the new office was a significant step that would restore confidence in delivery of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.</p> <p>“I’ve always said the people who operate the river should live on the river – and so should the people who police it,” Minister Littleproud said.</p> <p>“This will give the Inspector-General and his staff a real connection to the communities they serve.</p> <p>“The Inspector-General and his support staff will engage with Basin communities about Plan implementation and compliance.</p> <p>“Everyone needs to have confidence the Plan is working and the rules are being followed.”</p> <p>Minister for Regional Services, Decentralisation and Local Government Mark Coulton said it makes perfect sense for an office of the Inspector General to be established in Mildura. </p> <p>“Mildura has the added benefit of the having Victoria’s largest regional airport, which provides easy connectivity to our capital cities for families and businesses,” Minister Coulton said. </p> <p>“Regional centres are a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family and I'd like to see more people moving out of the capital cities and exploring what communities such as those here in the Sunraysia region have to offer.”<br /> Member for Mallee Dr Anne Webster said the Inspector-Generals office would help to strengthen community confidence in the Basin Plan.</p> <p>“I’m pleased the Inspector-General will have direct contact with people in the Mallee,” Dr Webster said.</p> <p>“Better still, his staff will live in Mildura and will have a real understanding on how the plan impacts on the wider Sunraysia region.</p> <p>“They’ll take their children to the same schools, join the same football clubs share the same community as people who’s livelihoods depend on water.</p> <p>“This will also bring more professional jobs into Mildura, so more people can return here after they finish university.”</p> <p>The Inspector-General will also have a presence in the Northern Basin. Both offices will create new economic opportunities in both regions.</p> <p>The Inspector-General will provide independent assurance of Basin Plan implementation and make sure Basin governments meet their responsibilities under the Water Act.</p> <p>The office of the Inspector-General will refer any matters of alleged wrongdoing to the statutory state and territory authorities, who are responsible for implementing and enforcing compliance in their areas.</p> Littleproud Inspector-General sets up shop in Mildura ABC Radio Melbourne - Interview with Jon Faine https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/tudge/interview/abc-radio-melbourne-interview-jon-faine <p><strong>Jon Faine: </strong>Alan Tudge is the Federal Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population, he joins me in the studio. Mr Tudge, good morning to you.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge: </strong>Good morning Jon.</p> <p><strong>Jon Faine: </strong>Do you think there is a climate extinction emergency at the moment? Sorry, extinction emergency.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge: </strong> I wouldn't use that language. Clearly, the Government believes that climate change is occurring and we all globally need to take action and that's what we're doing.</p> <p><strong>Jon Faine: </strong>Is it an emergency?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge: </strong> I mean, I don’t like what these protesters are doing in terms of blockading Melbourne and other cities around the country. Have your protest if you want to have your protest, make your point known, but don't interrupt everybody else's life as you go about it.</p> <p><strong>Jon Faine: </strong>But the whole point of the protest.</p> <p>If they do, I hope the police are there, and will move them on so that people can get on with their lives.</p> <p><strong>Jon Faine: </strong>The whole point of a protest is to cause people some disruption, to force them to stop their normal patterns of behaviour and think about something differently.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge: </strong>Sure. I mean, you can still do that, have your banners there on the side of the street, make your point known, but you don't have to disrupt everybody else's life as you go about it.</p> <p><strong>Jon Faine: </strong>Have you ever protested about anything in your life?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge: </strong> When I was a university student, I do recall being part of some protests.</p> <p><strong>Jon Faine: </strong>What about?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge: </strong> I mean the thing is about this particular group is they're deliberately going about city to city, constantly interrupting people's lives.</p> <p><strong>Jon Faine: </strong>That’s the whole point of it.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge: </strong> And I hope that the police are there, can move them on. So make their point. They've got some air time on prime time radio this morning, so they’ve been able to make their point with you.</p> <p>But for goodness sake, let people get to work, get home, do the things which they want to do. We’ve just been through an election, Jon.</p> <p><strong>Jon Faine: </strong>We have, and I made that point.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge: </strong> And you made that point early on.</p> <p><strong>Jon Faine: </strong>Do you support the protesters in Hong Kong like your Parliamentary colleague Tim Wilson, who went over there to march with them?</p> <p>That's a very different issue over there when you've got China who is aggressively muscling up in relation to residents in Hong Kong. And we obviously support what China had agreed to in terms of a one country, two systems ruling for the next 30 years, which is what they committed to do.</p> <p><strong>Jon Faine: </strong>Do you support the street protests?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge: </strong> It's up to residents of Hong Kong what they want to do.</p> <p><strong>Jon Faine: </strong>Should Australia supports human rights over an oppressive and tyrannical regime that's using military and police muscle to assert control over people protesting for liberty, freedom, and democracy?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge: </strong> I can understand where some of these protesters are coming from. However, the Australian Government's formal position is that we support a one country, two systems approach, which has been in place and which China had agreed to, and we’d want everybody just to de-escalate and resolve things peacefully.</p> <p><strong>Jon Faine: </strong>You're trying not to offend China.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge: </strong> I'm not the Government's spokesperson on these issues either, Jon, Marise Payne is, and the Prime Minister is, and I'll just leave it up to them to make further commentary on it.</p> <p><strong>Jon Faine: </strong>I hope you're a fan of the ABC TV satire Utopia. [Utopia excerpt]</p> <p><strong>Jon Faine: </strong> I have your press release here, a plan in place for Geelong City Deal rollout, Miniter. This is straight out of Utopia.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge: </strong>Jon, it’s your final week. I'd thought you'd be a bit less cynical in your final week.</p> <p><strong>Jon Faine: </strong> Sceptical, not cynical.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge: </strong>No, this is actually a really good plan that we've developed in consultation with the state government and local councils down there.</p> <p><strong>Jon Faine: </strong>Is that on the talking points?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge: </strong>What's that?</p> <p><strong>Jon Faine: </strong> This is a really good plan we’ve developed with the state government, local council, to revitalise Geelong.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge: </strong>Alright, let me at least give you a few key facts in relation to this.</p> <p><strong>Jon Faine: </strong> Yeah, and the substance please, not the spin.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge: </strong>And there’s substance, Jon, and it's your final week. So listen, this plan is $370 million of new money going towards revitalizing the tourism economy from Geelong down the Great Ocean Road.</p> <p><strong>Jon Faine: </strong> To be spent on what?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge: </strong>So, it's to be spent on a number of things. Now, the major point, though, is that outside of Melbourne, the Great Ocean Road down there is the most popular tourist attraction in Victoria.</p> <p><strong>Jon Faine: </strong> One of the most popular in Australia, more people go to it than the Great Barrier Reef and Uluru combined.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge: </strong>Absolutely, that’s right. About six million people go down there. But two-thirds of them literally just drive down there and back again. And the tourism infrastructure down there, in some respects, is a bit tired, as you probably know, particularly down towards the Twelve Apostles. So this money starts at the Twelve Apostles actually, a brand new visitor centre there. There's going to be a new seating area, where you can sort of sit and have your lunch under cover.</p> <p><strong>Jon Faine: </strong>There’s one that was just built, it was finished about a year ago.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge: </strong>New steps down to the-</p> <p><strong>Jon Faine: </strong> [Talks over] At the Apostles. It’s just been built, new toilets, facilities, café, it was only finished a year ago.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge: </strong>This is a whole new precinct down there with a new visitor centre. It's going to be upgrading the old homestead nearby. There's going to be new steps at the Gibson down to beach and it will actually go through the cliffs, so you walk down through the cliff down to the beach. It's going to be terrific new development down there, so that people hopefully go down there and stay.</p> <p>We're also putting in place electricity and sewerage and other things so that other businesses may be able to start up.</p> <p><strong>Jon Faine: </strong> What, so people don’t go to the toilet in the bushes anymore.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge: </strong>Well there’s obviously that, it is a lot more than that, Jon, in terms of upgrading the Twelve Apostles precinct which anybody who's been down there recently would probably acknowledge is pretty tired. But then from there there's also money going into other parts of the Shipwreck Coast and then all the way to Geelong where there will be a new Convention Centre built in Geelong.</p> <p><strong>Jon Faine: </strong> Well there's not a new convention centre being built, there's planning for a Convention Centre.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge: </strong>Well there’s money set aside for the actual construction as well, so the planning is the first piece of the puzzle. And then there’s money set aside for the construction.</p> <p><strong>Jon Faine: </strong> When?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge: </strong>Oh well the planning will take, say, 12 months and then the construction will be the two or three years thereafter.</p> <p><strong>Jon Faine: </strong> Ten years it says in your press release.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge: </strong>Well, we want to get on with it as quickly as possible, so our money is there. The State Government is the major funder of the Convention Centre. But we want to get cracking on it.</p> <p><strong>Jon Faine: </strong> So why is Senator Sarah Henderson, the former member who failed at the last election to be the Member for Corangamite, why is she on your press release instead of the actual sitting members who happen to be from your political opponent’s party, the Labor Party?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge: </strong>Well this is a three levels of government who have agreed to this, and Sarah Henderson is a member of the government.</p> <p><strong>Jon Faine: </strong> But the local member?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge: </strong>And she is our Senatorial representative in that part of Victoria.</p> <p><strong>Jon Faine: </strong>She’s not the Senator for Geelong and the Ocean Road. She’s the Senator for Victoria.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge: </strong>She’s the Senator for Victoria.</p> <p><strong>Jon Faine: </strong> So- but if you are in fact partnering with the State Government and the local member’s not even been given a look in, isn't that just you playing party politics with a major announcement?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge: </strong>No, not at all. I mean, I can see you've got the press release there in front of you. You've got three levels of government there at the top of the press release. We’ll be making the formal announcement down in Geelong today.</p> <p><strong>Jon Faine: </strong> But you've added on Sarah Henderson who lost the seat of Corangamite.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge: </strong>Well, she’s a Senator now, so she's a Senator from Victoria. She still lives down that way. She represents the area. For us, that is a very typical way the governments operate Jon.</p> <p><strong>Jon Faine: </strong> Alright. And just finally are you concerned about Donald Trump's plans for withdrawing US troops that have been between the Turks and the Kurds, which it's widely expected will lead to, well, possibly a massacre on worst case scenario of Kurds. You yourself were personally involved previously in bringing people from that troubled area and finding them sanctuary here in Australia.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge: </strong>I mean, this is a decision of the United States, not ours. And President Trump has been making the point that he'd be withdrawing troops for some time I think since he's been elected. We're, look we're obviously in close consultations with United States and our other allies in the region. We have some concerns for some of the Australians who are still in the region and Marise Payne, the Foreign Minister, is obviously dealing with that as we speak.</p> <p><strong>Jon Faine: </strong>Should we be bringing those women and children home?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge: </strong>Just let me finish on the previous point. I mean, she has said in her statements overnight that she's just calling on everybody just to de-escalate and just be calm in relation to the response here. President Trump has issued some statements in relation to Turkey.</p> <p><strong>Jon Faine: </strong> I don’t so much want a potted summary of where the geopolitics is, I'm more interested in what you, Alan Tudge, think we should do about Australian citizens who are trapped in this.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge: </strong>There's about 64 largely women and children who are trapped in one of the camps there.</p> <p><strong>Jon Faine: </strong> Should we bring them home?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge: </strong>We're not rushing to repatriate those people.</p> <p><strong>Jon Faine: </strong> So we've brought the Yazidis in because they're Christians, but we won't help these people because they’re Muslim?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge: </strong>No, it’s nothing to do with that. It's to do with there’s 64, these were typically the wives and children of some of the ISIS fighters. Some of them aren't Australian citizens at the moment. They may be eligible for Australian citizenship by virtue of having been married to one of the ISIS fighters who was Australian.</p> <p><strong>Jon Faine: </strong> Should we be bringing them back?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge: </strong>There may be some security risks associated with some of them as well, so we just need to tread carefully in relation to this and this is exactly what the Foreign Minister is doing.</p> <p><strong>Jon Faine: </strong> Thank you for your time this morning. It's always been fun to engage in the contest of ideas.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge: </strong>Well thank you Jon. It's been a pleasure having these discussions with you over the last, oh, a great many years over a lot of topics.</p> <p><strong>Jon Faine: </strong> I don't think you believe that, but you’re saying it anyway.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge: </strong>Well some of them have been fun, some of them less so, Jon, but congratulations to you on an outstanding career and you've made an absolutely terrific contribution to Melbourne so well done.</p> <p><strong>Jon Faine: </strong> That’s kind of you and thank you. Alan Tudge, Federal Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population and no, it's not true that he's the role model for utopia.</p> Tudge ABC Radio Melbourne - Interview with Jon Faine