Ministers for the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/coulton Latest releases from the Ministers en Boost to the Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/gee/media-release/boost-tasmanian-freight-equalisation-scheme <p>The Morrison Government is boosting the Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme (TFES) by modernising its operation and enhancing the benefits for Tasmanian businesses.</p> <p>Tasmanian businesses play an important role in our economy and our government is committed to ensuring they have a level playing field with their mainland counterparts through the TFES.</p> <p>Under a proposed extension of the scheme, eligible businesses will receive new funding assistance for eligible goods that are imported to Tasmania via an Australian port, where there is no direct Australian-made equivalent. This extension will follow a review process to ensure that any unforeseen consequences can be addressed in a way that does not adversely affect stakeholders.</p> <p>The Government is also reviewing the level of assistance provided to Tasmanian businesses faced with the costs of transporting high-density goods to and from the mainland.</p> <p>These improvements will be subject to a review, which is already underway, and the findings will be delivered to the Government by the end of year.</p> <p>Geography should not be a barrier to prosperity and the review will consider increasing the rates to ensure the level assistance we provide for freight and high-density goods reflects current freight costs to put Tasmania’s business owners and employers on a level playing field.</p> <p>The Government will also institute a transparent annual review process that will consider stakeholder submissions and publish the outcomes and underlying assumptions of reviews, with the first review to commence in January 2020. This will ensure the TFES is working as it is intended and no Tasmanian businesses are worse-off.</p> <p>This is a common-sense approach that will provide greater assistance to Tasmanian businesses, particularly in the state’s growing agriculture and fisheries industries.</p> <p>The Government will also permanently integrate into the ongoing TFES the 2016 extension, which introduced assistance for Tasmanian goods transhipped at mainland ports.</p> <p>This will ensure that funding for eligible Tasmanian transhipped goods will be permanent, ongoing, uncapped and demand-driven, consistent with the overall funding approach for the TFES.</p> <p>Integrating the expansion into the ongoing TFES recognises that the expansion is achieving its goal of allowing Tasmanian manufacturers and primary producers to better compete with their mainland counterparts on equal terms in all markets.</p> <p>Further, the Government recognises that long TFES payment processing times can adversely impact businesses.</p> <p>To reduce administrative burden and cut red tape for businesses, the Government will reduce the payment processing times from the date of a correctly submitted claim from 35 to 30 days.</p> <p>To ensure TFES claims are processed as soon as possible, the Government will impose interest payments, based on the General Interest Charge rate, on late TFES payments so that businesses are not left out of pocket if a payment from Government is not made on time.</p> <p>The Government acknowledges the advocacy of the Tasmanian Liberal Senate Team, our Liberal Lower House members and Senator Jacqui Lambie, who have consistently advocated for changes to the TFES on behalf of their constituents.</p> <p>The Government is committed to supporting Tasmanian businesses and is making these changes to ensure they remain competitive and prosperous now and in the future.</p> Gee Boost to the Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme Newell Highway Corridor Strategy delivers investment roadmap https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/buchholz/media-release/newell-highway-corridor-strategy-delivers-investment-roadmap <p>Freight efficiency, road safety and support for drought-affected areas will continue to improve across regional New South Wales thanks to the completion of the Newell Highway Corridor Strategy.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development and Member for Riverina Michael McCormack said the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government-funded strategy would ensure the corridor serves the needs of the freight industry and regional communities well into the future.</p> <p>“The Newell Highway is one of the most significant freight and tourist routes in New South Wales, providing a major regional freight and passenger transport connection to Victoria and Queensland,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>“The strategy delivers an evidence-based 10-year investment roadmap that will inform future investment across the length of the Newell Highway over the long term to maximise productivity gains for freight users on the corridor.</p> <p>“The Federal Liberal and Nationals Government had already committed $70 million to the Newell Highway corridor through the 2019–20 Budget.</p> <p>“Planning is well advanced for our $100 million Parkes Bypass election commitment, with construction due to begin in mid-2020.”</p> <p>Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said the strategy was further proof of the Federal Government’s commitment to supporting and enhancing critical regional roads.</p> <p>“The strategy, developed through evaluation of current and future demand along the corridor, assessment of existing performance and stakeholder engagement, identifies six key corridor objectives,” Mr Buchholz said.</p> <p>“These objectives include road and rail solutions designed to meet growing freight efficiency demands and reduce costs for regional supply chains.</p> <p>“By taking a strategic approach to guide future investment priorities, the Federal Liberal and</p> <p>Nationals Government is prioritising getting Australians home or to where they need to be, no matter where they live, sooner and safer.”</p> <p>The strategy can be viewed at <a href="https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/roads/newell-highway/">https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/roads/newell-highway/ </a></p> Buchholz Newell Highway Corridor Strategy delivers investment roadmap Newell Highway Corridor Strategy delivers investment roadmap https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/media-release/newell-highway-corridor-strategy-delivers-investment-roadmap <p>Freight efficiency, road safety and support for drought-affected areas will continue to improve across regional New South Wales thanks to the completion of the Newell Highway Corridor Strategy.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development and Member for Riverina Michael McCormack said the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government-funded strategy would ensure the corridor serves the needs of the freight industry and regional communities well into the future.</p> <p>“The Newell Highway is one of the most significant freight and tourist routes in New South Wales, providing a major regional freight and passenger transport connection to Victoria and Queensland,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>“The strategy delivers an evidence-based 10-year investment roadmap that will inform future investment across the length of the Newell Highway over the long term to maximise productivity gains for freight users on the corridor.</p> <p>“The Federal Liberal and Nationals Government had already committed $70 million to the Newell Highway corridor through the 2019–20 Budget.</p> <p>“Planning is well advanced for our $100 million Parkes Bypass election commitment, with construction due to begin in mid-2020.”</p> <p>Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said the strategy was further proof of the Federal Government’s commitment to supporting and enhancing critical regional roads.</p> <p>“The strategy, developed through evaluation of current and future demand along the corridor, assessment of existing performance and stakeholder engagement, identifies six key corridor objectives,” Mr Buchholz said.</p> <p>“These objectives include road and rail solutions designed to meet growing freight efficiency demands and reduce costs for regional supply chains.</p> <p>“By taking a strategic approach to guide future investment priorities, the Federal Liberal and</p> <p>Nationals Government is prioritising getting Australians home or to where they need to be, no matter where they live, sooner and safer.”</p> <p>The strategy can be viewed at <a href="https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/roads/newell-highway/">https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/roads/newell-highway/ </a></p> McCormack Newell Highway Corridor Strategy delivers investment roadmap Connectivity key to unlocking regional benefits from Inland Rail https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/coulton/media-release/connectivity-key-unlocking-regional-benefits-inland-rail <p>The Liberal and Nationals Government is rolling out a $44 million program and enhancing its network of offices in the bush to support regional communities and industry to better connect to Inland Rail and the benefits that flow from fast, reliable and cost-competitive freight rail.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, said the Inland Rail Interface Improvement Program (II Program) would create productive rail-based supply chains at regional centres and build capacity on key country rail lines to enhance regional connectivity.</p> <p>“The freight and logistics sector is incredibly important to a vast nation like ours. Each year billions of tonnes of goods are transported thousands of kilometres across Australia and that comes at a cost to everyone. It’s vitally important we invest in infrastructure, such as Inland Rail, to reduce costs and meet the growing freight task,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>“We’re serious about helping regional supply chains reduce their costs to connect to new markets and the opportunities that Inland Rail provides. It is truly the backbone of the national freight network.</p> <p>“To support new connections, we’ve allocated $24 million to assess the costs and benefits of proposed improvements to country lines that intersect with Inland Rail and a further $20 million for business cases looking at ways to enhance supply chain productivity,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>Over the coming months, the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development will engage state and local governments, community, track operators and supply chain managers to canvass ideas and identify industry preferences for projects funded for consideration under the II Program.<br /> Projects brought forward through the II Program will be assessed against a range of criteria and considered in light of their contribution to regional economic growth, capacity to encourage a modal shift to Inland Rail and ability to drive national freight and supply chain priorities.</p> <p>Minister for Regional Services, Decentralisation and Local Government Mark Coulton said the ongoing engagement with regional communities and industry would be a vital input to the program and welcomed the Department’s expanding regional presence, with offices now located in Dubbo, Toowoomba, Wodonga and shortly Moree.</p> <p>“These departmental staff, living and working in our regions, provide a way for local people to talk to the Australian Government face-to-face about the suite of opportunities and benefits that Inland Rail will deliver,” Mr Coulton said.</p> <p>“These local connections are especially important as we deliver the $44 million Interface Improvement Program over the next two years. The II Program is one of many pathways for communities, industry and local government to drive further freight and agriculture productivity from Inland Rail and put the case forward for connecting their region.”</p> <p>Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, said the Inland Rail Interface Improvement Program would help drive significant improvements in productivity, building a stronger economy creating more jobs, leveraging our $9.3 billion federal investment in Inland Rail.</p> <p>“The cost of freight is a significant part of the cost of doing business for Australian exporters. We’re committed to improving efficiencies in supply chains to help push costs down and support industry market access here and internationally.</p> <p>“Through the Inland Rail Interface Improvement Program, we are driving further improvements in freight and supply chain infrastructure on the basis of appropriately prioritised market identified investments,” Senator Cormann said.</p> <p>Further information, including advice on how to access opportunities under the Inland Rail Interface Improvement Program, is available from <a href="http://www.inlandrail.gov.au">www.inlandrail.gov.au</a>  </p> Coulton Connectivity key to unlocking regional benefits from Inland Rail Sealing work on Burke Developmental Road https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/media-release/sealing-work-burke-developmental-road <p>The sealing of key cattle supply routes in North Queensland continues apace, with works under way on the Burke Developmental Road between Chillagoe and Almaden.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development<br /> Michael McCormack said the works were part of the $100 million Northern Australia Beef Roads Program and jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments on an 80:20 basis.</p> <p>“The Burke Developmental Road is a key route for cattle transport in northern Queensland, servicing a number of cattle producers in the region between Chillagoe and Almaden,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>Senator for Queensland Susan McDonald said once the project is completed, it will improve the efficiency of cattle supply chains by enhancing safety and reducing vehicle operating and maintenance costs.</p> <p>“The bitumen seal will reduce the amount of loose stones that are propelled into passing vehicles, and increase livestock welfare by lessening stress that can be caused by road roughness and dust generation,” Senator McDonald said.</p> <p>Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said local residents and businesses would benefit from the project.</p> <p>“The extended sealing of the Burke Developmental Road will improve reliability, reducing road closures and load limits during the wet season,” Mr Bailey said.</p> <p>Queensland Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said Queensland’s cattle industry is worth approximately $5 billion, and the beef processing sector alone supports 18,000 jobs.</p> <p>“This industry is dependent on a reliable and efficient supply chain so our world-renowned produce can get to dinner tables here in Queensland and around the world,” Mr Furner said.</p> <p>The upgrade of the Burke Developmental Road between Chillagoe and Almaden will be delivered in two stages. </p> <p>Stage 1 involves 3.45 kilometres of progressive sealing works on unsealed sections of the road between Chillagoe and Almaden. Stage 2 will seal 1.8 kilometres of the road to further improve safety and productivity on this important supply route in North Queensland.</p> <p>Works are scheduled to be completed by December 2019, weather permitting.</p> <p>The project is jointly funded with the Australian Government committing $5.97 million and the Queensland Government committing $1.49 million. </p> McCormack Sealing work on Burke Developmental Road Connectivity key to unlocking regional benefits from Inland Rail https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/media-release/connectivity-key-unlocking-regional-benefits-inland-rail <p>The Liberal and Nationals Government is rolling out a $44 million program and enhancing its network of offices in the bush to support regional communities and industry to better connect to Inland Rail and the benefits that flow from fast, reliable and cost-competitive freight rail.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, said the Inland Rail Interface Improvement Program (II Program) would create productive rail-based supply chains at regional centres and build capacity on key country rail lines to enhance regional connectivity.</p> <p>“The freight and logistics sector is incredibly important to a vast nation like ours. Each year billions of tonnes of goods are transported thousands of kilometres across Australia and that comes at a cost to everyone. It’s vitally important we invest in infrastructure, such as Inland Rail, to reduce costs and meet the growing freight task,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>“We’re serious about helping regional supply chains reduce their costs to connect to new markets and the opportunities that Inland Rail provides. It is truly the backbone of the national freight network.</p> <p>“To support new connections, we’ve allocated $24 million to assess the costs and benefits of proposed improvements to country lines that intersect with Inland Rail and a further $20 million for business cases looking at ways to enhance supply chain productivity,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>Over the coming months, the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development will engage state and local governments, community, track operators and supply chain managers to canvass ideas and identify industry preferences for projects funded for consideration under the II Program.<br /> Projects brought forward through the II Program will be assessed against a range of criteria and considered in light of their contribution to regional economic growth, capacity to encourage a modal shift to Inland Rail and ability to drive national freight and supply chain priorities.</p> <p>Minister for Regional Services, Decentralisation and Local Government Mark Coulton said the ongoing engagement with regional communities and industry would be a vital input to the program and welcomed the Department’s expanding regional presence, with offices now located in Dubbo, Toowoomba, Wodonga and shortly Moree.</p> <p>“These departmental staff, living and working in our regions, provide a way for local people to talk to the Australian Government face-to-face about the suite of opportunities and benefits that Inland Rail will deliver,” Mr Coulton said.</p> <p>“These local connections are especially important as we deliver the $44 million Interface Improvement Program over the next two years. The II Program is one of many pathways for communities, industry and local government to drive further freight and agriculture productivity from Inland Rail and put the case forward for connecting their region.”</p> <p>Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, said the Inland Rail Interface Improvement Program would help drive significant improvements in productivity, building a stronger economy creating more jobs, leveraging our $9.3 billion federal investment in Inland Rail.</p> <p>“The cost of freight is a significant part of the cost of doing business for Australian exporters. We’re committed to improving efficiencies in supply chains to help push costs down and support industry market access here and internationally.</p> <p>“Through the Inland Rail Interface Improvement Program, we are driving further improvements in freight and supply chain infrastructure on the basis of appropriately prioritised market identified investments,” Senator Cormann said.</p> <p>Further information, including advice on how to access opportunities under the Inland Rail Interface Improvement Program, is available from <a href="http://www.inlandrail.gov.au">www.inlandrail.gov.au</a>  </p> McCormack Connectivity key to unlocking regional benefits from Inland Rail Investigation starts into NT 'super food bowl' https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/media-release/investigation-starts-nt-super-food-bowl <p>A comprehensive investigation into transforming the Northern Territory's Roper River catchment into a ‘super food bowl’ has been kicked off by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government had contracted CSIRO to deliver the $3.5 million Roper River Water Resource Assessment (RoWRA), which will run from 1 July 2019 to December 2021.</p> <p>“CSIRO estimates more than one million hectares of the catchment area could be suitable for irrigated cropping,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>“The catchment is located near major transport routes and key agricultural centres, adding to its potential.</p> <p>“This assessment will provide the key information needed to unlock investment in the agricultural potential of the Roper River catchment area and support our farmers into the future.”</p> <p>Northern Territory Senator Sam McMahon said she was pleased the project was already underway, demonstrating the government's commitment to delivering greater water security for rural communities while continuing to support regional economic growth, employment and prosperity.</p> <p>“I, along with the Deputy Prime Minister, look forward to receiving an assessment that provides detailed and scientifically validated data,” Dr McMahon said.</p> <p>“The resulting information will be readily accessible for governments, investors and communities to plan future projects that will drive the economic growth of the region.</p> <p>“CSIRO will closely engage with the NT Government, agribusiness and local communities to deliver this assessment.”</p> <p>The project's first methods workshop and field trip will be held this week, with the stakeholder attendees including the NT Farmers' Association, NT Cattlemen's Association, Northern Land Council and others.</p> <p>Topics will include agriculture, economics, ecology and surface water storage as they apply to the Roper River catchment.</p> McCormack Investigation starts into NT 'super food bowl' Safer journey on the Princes Highway East of Bairnsdale https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/media-release/safer-journey-princes-highway-east-bairnsdale <p>The Princes Highway has been made safer for the thousands of people travelling between Bairnsdale and Nowa Nowa each day with a major package of upgrades now complete.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said upgrading the Princes Highway between Sale and the New South Wales border was about getting motorists in regional areas home sooner and safer.</p> <p>“The Princes Highway is a road of national significance that provides an important link between Victoria and NSW for tourists and the freight industry, so it is vital we make sure the highway is safe and reliable,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>In the five years to the end of 2018, there were 90 casualty crashes recorded on the Princes Highway between Bairnsdale and Nowa Nowa, with one person tragically losing their life and 26 people seriously injured.</p> <p>Victorian Minister for Roads, Road Safety and the TAC Jaala Pulford said the Victorian Government was committed to improving safety on the state’s highest risk roads.</p> <p>“The Princes Highway is one of the state’s most popular tourist and freight routes and carries a high volume of long-distance travellers, which increases the risk of fatigue-related crashes – something these safety upgrades will address,” Ms Pulford said.</p> <p>“The communities of Swan Reach, Johnsonville and Nicholson have welcomed better parking, upgraded bus stops and pedestrian improvements, while along the highway there has been intersection upgrades and road widening and sealing,” Mr Chester said.</p> <p>“This latest package of improvements add to recently completed upgrades in Nicholson and the new roundabout, parking, streetscaping and pedestrian safety improvements delivered in Cann River.</p> <p>Works included road shoulder construction and intersection improvements along the highway, as well as bus stop improvements, new pedestrian refuges, upgraded crossings and parking improvements through the towns of Nicholson, Johnsonville and Swan Reach.</p> <p>These road improvements form part of the Australian and Victorian governments’ $50 million investment package for road improvements on the Princes Highway between Sale and the NSW border.</p> McCormack Safer journey on the Princes Highway East of Bairnsdale Government consults on reducing heavy vehicle crashes https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/gee/media-release/government-consults-reducing-heavy-vehicle-crashes <p>The Federal Liberal and Nationals Government has today begun consulting on technology to reduce the number and severity of heavy vehicle rear impact crashes.</p> <p>Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister Andrew Gee said heavy vehicles represent three per cent of all registered vehicles in Australia and account for just over eight per cent of vehicle kilometres travelled on public roads, however they are involved in 17 per cent of fatal crashes.</p> <p>“In line with the National Road Safety Action Plan 2018-2020, the Government has released a consultation Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) to examine options more closely. The RIS identifies Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) that meets international standards as the most effective countermeasure available. The RIS proposes to adopt AEB across the new heavy vehicle fleet,” Assistant Minister Gee said.</p> <p>“The RIS also considers expanding out the current requirements for Electronic Stability Control where AEB is fitted and applying the requirements to some smaller vehicles as well.</p> <p>“Regardless of where the fault lies, crashes involving heavy vehicles can be particularly severe. Crashes involving heavy vehicles striking the rear of other vehicles cost the community around $200 million each year. They also have a devastating effect on the individuals and families involved.</p> <p>“AEB systems detect likely forward collisions, provide the driver with a warning and, if the driver does not respond, puts the brakes on automatically.”</p> <p>Research commissioned by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development has found that AEB systems meeting the standards would reduce the number and severity of almost 15 per cent of all heavy vehicle crashes, with reductions of fatalities and injuries by up to 57 per cent.</p> <p>Assistant Minister Gee highlighted that harmonising with established international standards ensures that the safest vehicles are made available to Australian operators at the lowest cost.</p> <p>The consultation RIS is available at <a href="https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/vehicles/design/adr_comment.aspx">www.infrastructure.gov.au/vehicles/design/adr_comment.aspx</a> and will remain open for a six-week public comment period. Submissions may be emailed to: <a href="mailto:standards@infrastructure.gov.au">standards@infrastructure.gov.au</a></p> Gee Government consults on reducing heavy vehicle crashes Kiewa Valley Highway safety improvements at Wodonga now complete https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/media-release/kiewa-valley-highway-safety-improvements-wodonga-now-complete <p>The Kiewa Valley Highway between Wodonga and Tawonga is now safer for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians following the completion of safety improvements.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the works would also support northern Victorian industries through increased freight efficiency.</p> <p>“We recognise the role an efficient road network plays in supporting a region’s economic prosperity, which is why this Kiewa Valley Highway upgrade is so essential,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>Senator for Victoria Bridget McKenzie said the $3.5 million Stage 1 works included sealed road shoulders, targeted intersection upgrades and safety barriers installed at high-risk locations.</p> <p>“These works are all part of the Federal Government’s plan to get Australians home to their families sooner and safer, no matter where they live,” Senator McKenzie said.</p> <p>“It’s great to see Stage 1 complete and I’m looking forward to seeing work get under way on the second stage of the Kiewa Valley Highway Upgrade which will include improvements at the intersections of Boyd Road, Gundowring and Kergunyah Road, Kergunyah.</p> <p>“Works will start later this year, weather permitting.”  </p> <p>Victorian Minister for Roads, Road Safety and the TAC Jaala Pulford said the safety improvements were critical in reducing the risk of accidents and serious injury.</p> <p>“These works have delivered sealed road shoulders to reduce the risk of crashes and provide safer separation of cyclists from traffic,” Ms Pulford said.</p> <p>Victorian Member for Benambra Bill Tilley said reflective markers down the centre of the road and new warning signs would help drivers stay in their lanes around sharp bends and under poor conditions at night and in fog.</p> <p>“Kiewa Valley Highway is an important local, tourist and freight route from Wodonga to Mount Beauty and these improvements will help road users to safely reach their destinations,” Mr Tilley said.</p> <p>The $8 million Kiewa Valley Highway Upgrade is jointly funded by the Australian and Victorian governments on a 50:50 basis, with all stages expected to reach completion by mid-2020.</p> McCormack Kiewa Valley Highway safety improvements at Wodonga now complete Massive gains for Monbulk https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/media-release/massive-gains-monbulk <p>The Monbulk community is celebrating the opening of the Monbulk Community Sports Pavilion. The pavilion, a purpose built community facility, is also the new home for Monbulk Football/Netball Club and Monbulk Cricket Club.</p> <p>Federal Member for Casey Tony Smith said the new two-level Monbulk Community Sports Pavilion, which boasts new kitchen facilities and community activity spaces, was a great win for the local community and the region.</p> <p>“The pavilion provides a permanent home for the more than 500 members of senior netball, senior and junior football, junior Auskick and cricket teams and gives local schools such as Monbulk College, Monbulk Primary and St. Paul’s Primary, a place to hold meetings and social gatherings,” Mr Smith said.</p> <p>Victorian Deputy Premier and Member for Monbulk James Merlino said the bespoke facility would be used by the entire community.</p> <p>“The pavilion will connect the community through sport and promote a volunteer culture that can lead toward pathways for employment,” Mr Merlino said.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the new facility, which includes co-gendered change rooms and amenities, would boost membership numbers, particularly for female players.</p> <p>“The pavilion is equipped with a gym and offers spectator viewing areas. Improved facilities such as these will help attract more netballers, more cricketers, more footballers, more crowds and importantly more volunteers to the clubs,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>Yarra Ranges Mayor Tony Stevenson said the new pavilion would bring the community together to celebrate and support local sport in an environment that was inclusive for all.</p> <p>“Having this new community sports pavilion will give people the opportunity to get involved in sport, supporting healthy and active lifestyles for years to come,” Cr Stevenson said.</p> <p>The project was jointly funded with the Australian Government providing $600,000, the Victorian Government $1.6 million, Yarra Ranges Shire Council $1.4 million and the Monbulk Recreation Reserve $190,000.</p> McCormack Massive gains for Monbulk NorthLink WA central section completed, slashing Ellenbrook travel times https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/tudge/media-release/northlink-wa-central-section-completed-slashing-ellenbrook-travel-times <p>NorthLink WA's central section is officially complete with drivers now able to travel from Kewdale to Ellenbrook.</p> <p>The interchange allows free-flow access for southbound and east-west traffic as part of the joint Federal and State $1.02 billion NorthLink WA initiative ($820.84 million from the Australian Government and $204.06 million from the State Government).</p> <p>The new flyovers at Beechboro Road North and Marshall Road are also now fully operational.</p> <p>Overall NorthLink WA is supporting around 7,000 direct and indirect jobs for Western Australians.</p> <p>The remaining section of NorthLink WA, between Ellenbrook and Muchea, will open by the end of 2019.</p> <p>Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said NorthLink WA will deliver congestion busting time-savings between Kewdale and Muchea.</p> <p>"This is a vital, state-of-the-art transport link between Morley and Muchea, diverting 80 per cent of heavy vehicles away from local roads," Mr Tudge said.</p> <p>It'll also be a game changer for residents in the Swan Valley improving access for them and the 600,000 tourists visiting the area each year."</p> <p>WA Minister for Transport and Planning Rita Saffioti said the WA Government would maintain its commitment to improving roads in the north-eastern suburbs of Perth.</p> <p>"NorthLink WA has been a major achievement of collaboration across successive governments, having initially been funded in the 2013-14 Federal Budget as the Swan Valley Bypass, and continued under the current State and Federal Governments," Ms Saffioti said.</p> <p>"This central section milestone is pivotal for Ellenbrook residents allowing quick access to Tonkin Highway and halving the previous 25-minute journey time to Morley.</p> <p>"The north-eastern suburbs of Perth are among the fastest growing in the country, which is why we are continuing our focus on this area through other road upgrades and the METRONET Morley-Ellenbrook Line."</p> <p>Federal Member for Pearce Christian Porter said the central section upgrade would improve safety.</p> <p>"NorthLink WA will make our roads safer and our travel times shorter - meaning more time to do the things you want to do," Mr Porter said.</p> <p>"Completion of all sections will also contribute to potential future employment opportunities by connecting to current and future industrial areas.</p> <p>"Importantly, the new road will take heavy traffic away from roads in the Swan Valley, which will boost safety for both locals and tourists alike."</p> <p>WA Member for Swan Hills Jessica Shaw said the NorthLink WA and Morley-Ellenbrook Line project benefits were wide ranging and significant.</p> <p>"NorthLink WA is going to deliver huge benefits for the Ellenbrook and Bullsbrook communities. The opening of the Gnangara Road section has already shaved 10-15 minutes off of our commutes," Ms Shaw said.</p> <p>"Opening of The Promenade project is going to ease local congestion and make it even easier for my constituents to access jobs, as well as paving the way for the North Ellenbrook Industrial Area.</p> <p>"We are now hard at work finalising plans for the Morley-Ellenbrook Line, which will deliver more transport choices and time savings to local families."</p> <p>In addition a new four-metre-wide Principal Shared Path (PSP) for cyclists and pedestrians is now open from Railway Parade in Bayswater to Mitre Bend in north Ellenbrook – a distance of around 30 kilometres.</p> <p>The PSP links to the shared path that runs along the Perth-Midland rail line, providing an uninterrupted cycling link from Ellenbrook to the Perth CBD (a further 8 kilometres) for the first time.</p> <p>Unless in a work zone, traffic speeds are predominantly 100 km/h on the highway, reducing travel times significantly and improving both safety and the driving experience for motorists.</p> <p>Finishing works are still underway so motorists are asked to pay careful attention to the new configuration and obey road signage.</p> <p>Until Tonkin Highway is open to Muchea, heavy vehicles will continue to use Reid Highway and Great Northern Highway.</p> Tudge NorthLink WA central section completed, slashing Ellenbrook travel times Transcript - Press Conference in the Electorate of Mallee https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/interview/transcript-press-conference-electorate-mallee <p><strong>Journalist:</strong> ... has announced a $1.6 billion in water saving projects for the Murray Darling Basin. At the very southern end of the Murray Darling Basin is obviously us and our river system here. Now, he’s wondering if any of the- if the feds or anyone, authorities are actually investigating alternative ways of desalination. But all that sort of stuff has been going on at the CSIRO. Is there actually being any investigations into that because of the future lack of water that’s going to be in the future from ...</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack:</strong> [Interrupts] Well look, that’s part of it. And we need to obviously look at all those sorts of things , whether it’s you know lowering water tables and doing all those sorts of things, making sure that every precious drop of water is used to its maximum potential, whether it's agriculture, whether it's for the environment, and we do that in the scheme of things. And obviously the government takes heed of what the CSIRO tells us. But what we do need to do, most importantly, is make sure that we've we helped the farmers through this drought.</p> <p>We are with the $7 billion on the table for drought assistance. We've got a $3.9 billion Future Drought Fund in place which will build up to $5 billion, and $100 million of that will be drawn down each and every year as a minimum to whatever area is affected by drought. And it's a big country, there's always some part of the nation affected by drought. But what I want to do and what I am doing is putting in place in coming weeks – I'll be making more announcements – the National Water Grid. Now I announced it during the election campaign. I want to build dams. I want to heighten, lengthen and strengthen weirs. I want to put down more pipelines like [indistinct]. We announced that during the election campaign. We'll build it, and I want to make sure that wherever we can, working with states. We have to work with states. We have to take them on the journey with us. But if the petty politics gets in the way, I want the National Water Grid to make sure that we build using the best available science – and using local stakeholder engagement – more water storage infrastructure because when I first got into Parliament I, you know, I made a real issue of this in my maiden speech. And when I first became a minister and I would go and talk to capital city forums and the like and talk about water storage infrastructure, I have to say I didn't get- I didn't- I wasn't feeling as though- encouraging sign some times from the audience.</p> <p>But I'll tell you what, this drought has really brought home the fact that we need more dams. And when I say it now, whether it's in Melbourne, Sydney , Brisbane, wherever capital cities that I address - and admittedly I've got a bigger megaphone these days as Deputy Prime Minister – you do get acknowledged, you do get applause. People understand that we need to build more water infrastructure. And two Saturdays ago, the Queensland Government finally signed up to a dam, Emu Swamp Dam at Stanthorpe in the Granite Belt, that will grow irrigated agriculture there. It will provide the first dam that we've built in this nation for decades and that is a- I mean, I think the catalyst for something that the- dare I say, pardon the pun, the flow-on effects will only be huge. I think the media will get excited when we put those first shovels in the ground and the excavators roll in, when the concrete gets poured and when that water begins to fill up. And it will, because it will rain again. There’s nothing surer. And so when it does rain again, we need to make sure that we use that water when it’s dry and we've got to do it in the catchments where the rain falls. So whether it's Queensland, New South Wales, of course I’m in Victoria now, in the Wimmera. You know, where there’s pipelines that we can lay down, where there's dams and weirs that we can build we will.</p> <p><strong>Journalist:</strong> Alternative technology, is that on the radar as well? I mean one of the things is if it doesn't rain, it doesn't rain.</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack:</strong> Well, it will rain. I mean, and we know and ...</p> <p><strong>Journalist:</strong> We’ve got rain here, of course.</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack:</strong> You know, in the millennium drought everybody said oh, it will never rain again and we had that- we had Flannery going round saying oh, it will never rain again. You know, the oceans are rising and you know we're all doomed. But it did rain again, and when it rained – and people forget 2016 was a very, very wet year, particularly around my area and I appreciate others besides – I mean it was a very wet year. And I mean down in Gippsland last week they had an inch of rain, so it will rain again and honestly we'll be cursing the amount of rain that falls when it does because it- usually droughts are followed by flooding rains, and- as Dorothea Mackellar said.</p> <p><strong>Journalist:</strong> Yes, I suppose one of the reasons I raise that is because the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline which was a-it’s been a fantastic success story.</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack:</strong> Huge.</p> <p><strong>Journalist:</strong> One of the reasons for it getting federal money in the first place was a justification to get water up into the terminal lakes of the southern Mallee because ...</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack:</strong> [Interrupts] Because it stacked up. The science stacked up, the locals were behind it.</p> <p><strong>Journalist:</strong> ... we haven't- it’s been- ever since it’s been in place, no water’s got there. Or it’s got to Hindmarsh but not to [indistinct] and of course that’s where this [indistinct] come from, where these small communities are relying on their lakes. Or don’t anymore because they don't have the water there. So that's the- that's the question about the water, that’s why I asked that.</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack:</strong> Yeah.</p> <p><strong>Journalist:</strong> I suppose- I’ll move on to another subject, can I?</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack:</strong> Please. You’ve got the floor.</p> <p><strong>Journalist:</strong> The recycling, from a national perspective. Now Emma Kenley’s(*) come out and basically jumped the gun and said there's no way we want Melbourne's waste in our backyard. If they’re going to- if they can't deal with it from a state government perspective, recycling, the regions shouldn't have to actually cope with their rubbish, which based on a belief that- they believe that the government is city-centric. They keep saying it, constantly, okay? Now she's come out- from a federal perspective ...</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack:</strong> [Interrupts] I don't disagree with what she's saying. Melbourne's lagged behind other capital cities as far as actually dealing with its waste problem and you know Melbourne, the actual Melbourne electorate, is represented by Greens Adam Bandt. I've never heard him get up in Question Time, I've never heard him get up in Parliament and say what are we doing about recycling? But I'll tell you what Scott Morrison is, I'll tell you what the Nationals are. We want to make sure that if you put your plastic container, if you put your cardboard box in the recycle bin, then it actually gets recycled. At the moment I read a statistic the other day and in fact, the Prime Minister quoted it, it’s only 12 per cent of recyclable material that’s actually being recycled that gets sent to the recycling centre. I mean, that’s shameful. But it starts with local governments, it’s also then state governments, but we’ve taken national leadership on this.<br /> There are also- and I know Tim Rose, who has started up a place in Gladstone. He's actually a Wagga Wagga boy, so I’ll give my own local bloke a plug. He's actually converting rubbish waste into bio-oils and indeed oils to be able to be used in mining equipment and cars and ships. He's hoping to, you know, expanded it so that even Defence looks at it as a viable option for fuel. Now, those sorts of things need to be explored and they're the sorts of things I’m pushing, but we need to make sure that if somebody puts a recyclable piece of a product in a recycle bin that it actually gets recycled.</p> <p><strong>Journalist:</strong> So that's the sort of thing- that's from your perspective, that's what you're pushing is to ...</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack:</strong> [Talks over] Absolutely.</p> <p><strong>Journalist:</strong> ... is to find alternatives- for fuel alternatives, for example. What about the idea of like some of the South American countries are creating bio-plastics with small boutiques set up by manufacturing industries with yucca ...</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack:</strong> [Interrupts] Well there's all those sorts things ...</p> <p><strong>Journalist:</strong> [Talks over] Is the government ...</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack:</strong> ... but mind you, there's a lot of things going on in South America too that I wouldn’t want to see replicated in Australia, but be that as it may.</p> <p><strong>Journalist:</strong> [Talks over] Oh of course, but is that an area of exploration that you guys are actually looking at or thinking about pondering, or are you just simply talking about let's just recycle?</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack:</strong> No. I think the Prime Minister’s pretty serious about it. When Scott Morrison gets his mind set on something, when he says we're going to do something at a national level on recycling, I'll take him on his merit, I’ll take him on his word.</p> <p><strong>Journalist:</strong> Okay.</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack:</strong> He's not the sort of bloke I would- having said something, I think he'll follow through on it.</p> <p><strong>Journalist:</strong> Deputy Prime Minister, we've heard from the owners of Wimmera Container Line out at Dooen this week. They're concerned that their business model might not continue to be viable, essentially, if more farmers here are putting their freight on road trains. As the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, what is your policy around the future of rail freight in Victoria?</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack:</strong> Look, there'll always be a future for rail, there'll always be a future for trucks. Yes, we've got- we want to see more rail put down. I know the Victorian Government has not done well with the Murray Basin Rail Project, and despite the fact that we've put tens of millions of dollars of Commonwealth money, we've yet to see where that money is being spent. But look, I'm having a meeting with Jacinta Allan on Monday and in good faith I will work here with her to see what we can do for the future. Yes, we want to see more products on rail. There's no question, but there'll always be a future for trucks, there'll always be a future for rail. The two can work in tandem with one another and that's essentially what we’re doing.<br /> We're investing $9.3 billion in inland rail. That's not going to be at the expense of road freight because there'll always be the opportunity for road freight and we've got some of the best trucking companies in the world. And without trucks, the nation stops, it truly does. But at the same time we</p> <p>do want to invest in more rail, we do want to invest in more opportunities there but we have to work with state governments and we will. I'm actually pleased that the Victorian Government is the first government to sign up to the intergovernmental agreement on inland rail. New South Wales followed, and I’ve still yet to get Queensland over the line but I'm sure they will given the fact that about $6 billion of that project’s actually going to be invested in Queensland. But it's an opportunity for all of- all those three states, indeed the nation, to see the benefits of rail and to benefit from it.</p> <p><strong>Journalist:</strong> So based on- based on I suppose what comes out of your meeting with the Transport Minister next week, do you think the Federal Government will be prepared to commit more money to the Murray Basin Rail Project?</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack:</strong> I'll- I'll be weighing up my options after the meeting and I'll be seeing exactly how determined and committed- it is, at the end of the day, the Victorian Government's responsibility. But look, I'm happy to work in good faith, I know, with Jacinta and I know the Prime Minister and the Victorian Premier had a very productive meeting the other night.</p> <p>And you know, we want to work with governments of any persuasion to get infrastructure built. Whether it's road, rail, sea ports, airports, facilities such as this, we want to make sure that governments who want to work with us will. We’ll invest in their states and we are doing that. We're spending $100 billion on infrastructure. No Federal Government has ever done that in the past. And as Nationals, Anne and I want to make sure that the regional areas get our fair share and we will be doing that.</p> <p><strong>Journalist:</strong> How do you think we're going on decentralisation, your whole concept? We've been talking about it for a while now.</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack:</strong> Good. Oh we're actually delivering and you know, only this week, last week in fact, last week- make that last week, I opened the Australian Maritime Safety Authority in Coffs Harbour. So already, there's around a dozen jobs. That'll grow to 20, 27 eventually 50 in- within 12 months. That's going to be fully operational, that's getting jobs out of Canberra and into the places they should be. And if you look at- there are many places, we'd look at the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, we've moved that into regional Victoria. It's also going to have a presence in regional New South Wales and South Australia as well. So you know, and there's many opportunities like that. The Grains Research Development Council,-Research Development Corporation, Agrifutures, that's moved into regional New South Wales, saving rent. I don't see them growing much wheat in Barton. They do grow a lot in regional areas and that's why we are hell-bent on making sure that we promote decentralisation where and where possible.</p> <p>It's also up to business as well. Business should see the opportunities that are available in regional areas. I mean you look at a place like this, you know, where there's power, where there's water, where there's a committed local government with good local leadership. I can’t understand why businesses would expand in a congested city. And you know if you read the ABS data and you see all the activity going on in - indeed in Melbourne - it's going to be Australia's largest city in the not too distant future. Why wouldn't some of those businesses that are looking to set up, looking to establish in Western Melbourne, why wouldn't they look at a place like Horsham? Why wouldn’t they look at Mildura, Swan Hill, elsewhere and think to themselves, for our future, for our employee’s sake we'll go there. And certainly the National Party encourages that and I'm sure the local government and councils would look to see what they can do to entice them as well.</p> <p><strong>Journalist:</strong> Just on infrastructure. On Tuesday, Infrastructure Australia released a report essentially calling on the Government to ramp up its spending on key transport roads and other services now. You've mentioned some of the projects in that sense, but do you recognise that more is probably needed than what is being done, particularly in the Wimmera?</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack:</strong> I really welcome that report and I know how much Anne has delivered already. She's only been in her- you’d almost measure it by weeks not months and certainly not years. And you know, we just had a meeting with the Swan Hill- people around Swan Hill about their new bridge. I know that Roads to Recovery funding has been increased in the last budget by 25 per cent for all of the 537 councils around Australia, so that they get the opportunity to invest that money. And sure they might argue and I'm sure if the Mayor were here, she'd probably say - well we'd like more and of course they would, and as the economy grows we'll be able to provide more money, to make local decisions at a local level about local roads to help local people. The fact is we're spending $100 billion on infrastructure. No government has ever done that before and the Reserve Bank Governor, Dr Philip Lowe, has sort of said- has said we need to bring some of that forward. Scott Morrison has said it; I've said it. And we want to do that but we have to work with states and we also have to work within our means and our capacity to be able to have the equipment, have the concrete, to have the labour, to have the skills, both unskilled and indeed, the high geo-tech engineers and the like. We have to make sure that we don't rush things such that we're not doing the job properly, it has to be done in a in a staged process, in a phased process and that's what we're doing. But where states can bring projects forward, we're encouraging them to do just that.<br /> That's why in recent weeks I've been having ministerial meetings. I've spoken to each and every one of my infrastructure and transport ministers right around the nation. I've spoken to Premier Palaszczuk, I've spoken to Premier Berejiklian in New South Wales. I know the Prime Minister's had a very productive discussion with Daniel Andrews here in Victoria. We- and I've also spoken to Premier Marshall in South Australia. So we want to get on with the job of building the infrastructure that Australia needs and whether it's regionally, whether it's here in the Wimmera, indeed, whether it's the $4 billion we're spending on busting through congestion in urban areas, through car parks and the like, we'll do it.</p> <p><strong>Journalist:</strong> Okay. Well as part of the reporting around this Infrastructure Australia audit, it's also been noted that the Government is cutting migration by 30,000 as a way of also driving down congestion-</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack:</strong> [Talks over] No, it's not just driving down congestion, it's because the cap has not really exceeded 160,000 significantly in recent years – the cut-off point was about 190,000. But we need to make sure that, yes, certainly our population strategy is one part of it, but also there’s jobs. We want to make sure that if there are jobs there, that Australians are taking them. We've got a policy by which we encourage migrants, we’re a very generous country. But we need to also make sure that we've got the infrastructure in place and that also that regions are also being serviced by people who are coming into the country. We don't want them to be in enclaves in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. We want them to see the full benefits of what Australia has to offer. And when it comes to what Australia has to offer, people should also look to the regions.</p> <p><strong>Unidentified Speaker:</strong> We might have to wrap it up, guys. Sorry just so everyone can move onto their next appointments<strong>. </strong>Just from the [Indistinct] last question.</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack:</strong> Emma.</p> <p><strong>Journalist:</strong> Let's talk about why you're here today - delivering. You just mentioned delivering. You're delivering for the Wimmera and the Horsham community and I heard you earlier on, before any of us were recording, saying how much a revitalisation project can benefit the community and get people out and about. It's great that this is an election promise and sometimes people are pessimistic and think it's not going to happen.</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack:</strong> They shouldn't be pessimistic when I promise it or when Anne promises because I don't ever over promise and under deliver. If we say we're going to do something, we will do it. And Anne is a doer. I've heard her maiden speech the other day and I was filled with excitement and inspiration by the fact that here’s somebody who's going to get on with the job of doing such things as improving the river precinct, of putting this facility in here which will be world class, state of the art out here at the saleyards. She is somebody who when she says she's going to do something, will do it. Now councils are looking for local submissions and they'll get the tenders happening. Local contractors will benefit from that. The entire region will benefit from that. But rest assured it will be done.</p> <p><strong>Journalist:</strong> That’s it, that’s all I wanted.</p> <p><strong>Michael McCormack:</strong> Wonderful.</p> McCormack Transcript - Press Conference in the Electorate of Mallee Federal Funding to Fix 14 'Black Spots' in Queensland https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/buchholz/media-release/federal-funding-fix-14-black-spots-queensland <p>Fourteen additional dangerous crash sites on Queensland roads will be substantially improved over the next 12 months thanks to funding under the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government’s Black Spot Program.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said today’s announcement would see an additional $10.41 million delivered across the state under the program’s 2019–20 funding round.</p> <p>“This major investment is part of the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government’s commitment to building safer roads right across the nation and brings total Queensland Black Spot funding for 2019– 20 to nearly $23 million,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>“The Black Spot Program provides funding for safety measures such as traffic signals and roundabouts at road locations where a number of serious crashes are known to have occurred.”</p> <p>Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport and Federal Member for Wright Scott Buchholz said the 58 Black Spot projects being funded across Queensland would make an important contribution towards reducing serious injuries and deaths on our roads.</p> <p>“This investment in Black Spot projects will deliver safer roads in local government areas throughout the state,” Mr Buchholz said.</p> <p>“The Federal Liberal and Nationals Government’s Local and State Government Road Safety Package announced in the 2019–20 Budget is focused on improving local roads, especially on local country roads where there is a disproportionate number of deaths and serious accidents.”</p> <p>Chair of the Queensland Black Spot Consultative Panel and Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien said 57 per cent of this year’s Black Spot funding in Queensland would go to improving the safety of Black Spots on rural and regional roads.</p> <p>“This is part of the Government’s commitment to get Australians home sooner and safer no matter where they live,” Mr O’Brien said.</p> <p>“The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics has found that, on average, Black Spot projects reduce the number of crashes causing death and injury by 30 per cent.”</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 Australian Government’s Black Spot Program, or to nominate a black spot, visit<a href="http://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/funding/blackspots/"> http://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/funding/blackspots/</a>.</p> <p>A list of funded projects is available below.</p> <table class="tborder"> <tbody> <tr> <th> <p> </p> <p><strong>Project Name</strong></p> </th> <th> <p><strong>Treatment</strong></p> </th> <th> <p><strong>Australian Government Funding</strong></p> </th> <th> <p><strong>Local</strong></p> <p><strong>Government Area</strong></p> </th> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Munbilla Road Between 0.2km and 0.5km north of the intersection of Munbilla Road and Halls Boundary Road MILORA</p> </td> <td> <p>Increase the existing horizontal radius of the curve from 260 metres to 440 metres (sufficient for 100 km/h speed environment). Superelevate the curve and apply curve widening to allow heavy vehicle tracking</p> </td> <td> <p>$1,020,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Scenic Rim</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Graham Road</p> <p>Lomandra Drive</p> <p>MORAYFIELD</p> </td> <td> <p>Install traffic signals</p> </td> <td> <p>$703,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Moreton Bay</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Richardson Road at Redhill Homemakers Centre NORMAN GARDENS</p> </td> <td> <p>Install traffic signals, including right and left- turning lanes, signalised pedestrian crossing across Redhill Homemakers Centre entrance and Richardson Road East approach, and designated bicycle facilities through the intersection</p> </td> <td> <p>$830,500</p> </td> <td> <p>Rockhampton</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Tavistock Street Freshwater Street HERVEY BAY</p> </td> <td> <p>Upgrade intersection including splitter islands and relocation of the holding line, installation of priority signs on splitter island, removal of painted left-turn lane and upgrade to pedestrian facilities</p> </td> <td> <p>$519,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Fraser Coast</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Narangba Road Eucumbene Drive PETRIE</p> </td> <td> <p>Install traffic signals</p> </td> <td> <p>$830,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Moreton Bay</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Bingera Street George Street BUNDABERG WEST</p> </td> <td> <p>Install central medians and blister islands, upgrade existing signage and install new signage on central medians and improve lighting</p> </td> <td> <p>$390,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Bundaberg</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Johnson Road</p> <p>Cobalt Street</p> <p>CAROLE PARK</p> </td> <td> <p>Install new traffic signals, including a left- turning lane on Cobalt Street and a slip lane on Johnson Road</p> </td> <td> <p>$800,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Ipswich</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Branyan Street Woongarra Street BUNDABERG WEST</p> </td> <td> <p>Install central medians, upgrade existing signage and install new signage on central medians, install lighting, install pedestrian and cycle facilities</p> </td> <td> <p>$426,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Bundaberg</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Derby Street</p> <p>East Street</p> <p>ROCKHAMPTON CITY</p> </td> <td> <p>Install a single-lane roundabout</p> </td> <td> <p>$879,500</p> </td> <td> <p>Rockhampton</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Beenleigh Road</p> <p>Nursery Avenue</p> <p>RUNCORN</p> </td> <td> <p>Install traffic signals and provide a left turn to allow access to the Beenleigh Road service road</p> </td> <td> <p>$1,633,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Brisbane</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Glenmore Road</p> <p>Main Street</p> <p>PARK AVENUE</p> </td> <td> <p>Install traffic signals including right-turn lane with a designated right turn arrow, five signal phases including a signalised pedestrian crossing across the Main Street eastern approach and the Glenmore Road northern approach leg</p> </td> <td> <p>$1,285,500</p> </td> <td> <p>Rockhampton</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Perwillowen Road Coes Creek Road BURNSIDE</p> </td> <td> <p>Install an island to create a slip lane from Perwillowen Road into Coes Creek Road and install bicycle lane line markings</p> </td> <td> <p>$137,500</p> </td> <td> <p>Sunshine</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Spiegelhauer Road Between 2.9km and 3.3km west of the intersection of Spiegelhauer Road and Barrett Road CRYSTAL CREEK</p> </td> <td> <p>Seal unsealed road and correct alignment, remove hazards and install warning signs</p> </td> <td> <p>$410,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Townsville</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Woongarra Street Mulgrave Street BUNDABERG WEST</p> </td> <td> <p>Install central medians and blister islands, upgrade existing signage and install new signage on central medians and improve lighting</p> </td> <td> <p>$543,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Bundaberg</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> Buchholz Federal Funding to Fix 14 'Black Spots' in Queensland Federal Funding to Fix 10 'Black Spots' in Western Australia https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/media-release/federal-funding-fix-10-black-spots-western-australia <p>Ten additional dangerous sites on Western Australian roads will be substantially improved over the next 12 months thanks to funding under the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government’s Black Spot Program.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack today announced an additional $6.13 million for the state under the Black Spot Program’s 2019–20 funding round, bringing total funding for 2019–20 to $14.35 million.</p> <p>“This major investment is part of the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government’s commitment to building safer roads right across the nation,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>“The Black Spot Program provides funding for the provision of safety measures such as traffic signals and roundabouts at road locations where a number of serious crashes are known to have occurred.”</p> <p>Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said this investment in Black Spot projects would deliver safer roads in local government areas throughout the state.</p> <p>“The total 34 Black Spot projects being funded across Western Australia in 2019–20 will make an important contribution towards reducing the total annual number of serious injuries and deaths caused by road crashes,” Mr Buchholz said.</p> <p>“The Federal Liberal and Nationals Government’s Local and State Government Road Safety Package announced in the 2019–20 Budget is focused on improving local roads, especially on local country roads where there is a disproportionate number of deaths and serious accidents.”</p> <p>Chair of the Western Australia Black Spot Consultative Panel and Senator for Western Australia Dean Smith said the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics has found that, on average, Black Spot projects reduce the number of crashes causing death and injury by 30 per cent.</p> <p>“Seventy-eight per cent of this year’s Black Spot funding in Western Australia will go to improve the safety of Black Spots on rural and regional roads,” Senator Smith said.</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 Australian Government’s Black Spot Program, or to nominate a black spot, visit<a href="https://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/infrastructure_investment/black_spot/ "> https://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/infrastructure_investment/black_spot/ </a>.</p> <p>A list of funded projects is available below.</p> <p><strong>2019–20 Black Spot Program – Western Australia</strong></p> <table class="tborder"> <tbody> <tr> <th> <p>Project name</p> </th> <th> <p>Proposed treatment</p> </th> <th> <p>Funding Sought from Black Spot</p> </th> <th> <p>Council</p> </th> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Farrington Road</p> <p>Bibra Drive</p> <p>NORTH LAKE</p> </td> <td> <p>Modify signalised intersection, install second right turn lane on south leg, widen Farrington Road to allow double right turn and merge</p> </td> <td> <p>$397,300</p> </td> <td> <p>Cockburn</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Corrigin-Quairading Road</p> <p>Between 0.77km and 1.20km North West of Bilbarin-Quairading Road</p> <p>ADAMSVALE</p> </td> <td> <p>Widen floodway and approaches to increase the seal width to 7.0m, improve signage, line marking and delineation</p> </td> <td> <p>$186,090</p> </td> <td> <p>Corrigin</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Corrigin-Quairading Road</p> <p>Between 0.91km south east of Caporn Road and 1.06km north west of Forty Nine Gate West Road</p> <p>ADAMSVALE</p> </td> <td> <p>Widen seal to 7.0m, improve signage, line marking and delineation</p> </td> <td> <p>$429,224</p> </td> <td> <p>Corrigin</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Latham Road</p> <p>Longhurst Street</p> <p>NAREMBEEN</p> </td> <td> <p>Realign Longhurst Street approach to T-intersection, widen Latham Road through intersection, upgrade signs and pavement markings</p> </td> <td> <p>$312,896</p> </td> <td> <p>Narembeen</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>South Western Highway</p> <p>Between 0.70km and 1.24km south east of Dempster Street</p> <p>GWINDINUP</p> </td> <td> <p>Extend existing passing lane</p> </td> <td> <p>$1,803,798</p> </td> <td> <p>Capel</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Dawesville Bypass</p> <p>Dawesville Road</p> <p>DAWESVILLE</p> </td> <td> <p>Install new island between through lane and left turn lane to Dawesville Road to reduce vehicle masking to reduce right angle crashes</p> </td> <td> <p>$613,300</p> </td> <td> <p>Mandurah</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Latham Road</p> <p>Currall Street</p> <p>NAREMBEEN</p> </td> <td> <p>Improve intersection geometry, widen Latham Road through intersection, remove tree, rationalise adjacent intersection and driveways to reduce conflict points</p> </td> <td> <p>$312,896</p> </td> <td> <p>Narembeen</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>South Western Highway</p> <p>Lower Denmark Road</p> <p>YOUNGS SIDING</p> </td> <td> <p>Modification of the intersection to provide protected turning lanes</p> </td> <td> <p>$550,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Albany</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Villiers Street</p> <p>Swain Street and Panton Street</p> <p>DERBY</p> </td> <td> <p>Realign intersection to T junction, improve sight distance on approaches, install signs and delineation</p> </td> <td> <p>$253,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Derby/West</p> <p>Kimberley</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Cathedral Avenue</p> <p>Sanford Street</p> <p>GERALDTON</p> </td> <td> <p>Install a roundabout</p> </td> <td> <p>$1,270,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Greater Geraldton</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> McCormack Federal Funding to Fix 10 'Black Spots' in Western Australia Federal Funding to Fix 14 'Black Spots' in Queensland https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/media-release/federal-funding-fix-14-black-spots-queensland <p>Fourteen additional dangerous crash sites on Queensland roads will be substantially improved over the next 12 months thanks to funding under the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government’s Black Spot Program.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said today’s announcement would see an additional $10.41 million delivered across the state under the program’s 2019–20 funding round.</p> <p>“This major investment is part of the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government’s commitment to building safer roads right across the nation and brings total Queensland Black Spot funding for 2019– 20 to nearly $23 million,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>“The Black Spot Program provides funding for safety measures such as traffic signals and roundabouts at road locations where a number of serious crashes are known to have occurred.”</p> <p>Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport and Federal Member for Wright Scott Buchholz said the 58 Black Spot projects being funded across Queensland would make an important contribution towards reducing serious injuries and deaths on our roads.</p> <p>“This investment in Black Spot projects will deliver safer roads in local government areas throughout the state,” Mr Buchholz said.</p> <p>“The Federal Liberal and Nationals Government’s Local and State Government Road Safety Package announced in the 2019–20 Budget is focused on improving local roads, especially on local country roads where there is a disproportionate number of deaths and serious accidents.”</p> <p>Chair of the Queensland Black Spot Consultative Panel and Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien said 57 per cent of this year’s Black Spot funding in Queensland would go to improving the safety of Black Spots on rural and regional roads.</p> <p>“This is part of the Government’s commitment to get Australians home sooner and safer no matter where they live,” Mr O’Brien said.</p> <p>“The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics has found that, on average, Black Spot projects reduce the number of crashes causing death and injury by 30 per cent.”</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 Australian Government’s Black Spot Program, or to nominate a black spot, visit<a href="http://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/funding/blackspots/"> http://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/funding/blackspots/</a>.</p> <p>A list of funded projects is available below.</p> <table class="tborder"> <tbody> <tr> <th> <p> </p> <p><strong>Project Name</strong></p> </th> <th> <p><strong>Treatment</strong></p> </th> <th> <p><strong>Australian Government Funding</strong></p> </th> <th> <p><strong>Local</strong></p> <p><strong>Government Area</strong></p> </th> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Munbilla Road Between 0.2km and 0.5km north of the intersection of Munbilla Road and Halls Boundary Road MILORA</p> </td> <td> <p>Increase the existing horizontal radius of the curve from 260 metres to 440 metres (sufficient for 100 km/h speed environment). Superelevate the curve and apply curve widening to allow heavy vehicle tracking</p> </td> <td> <p>$1,020,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Scenic Rim</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Graham Road</p> <p>Lomandra Drive</p> <p>MORAYFIELD</p> </td> <td> <p>Install traffic signals</p> </td> <td> <p>$703,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Moreton Bay</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Richardson Road at Redhill Homemakers Centre NORMAN GARDENS</p> </td> <td> <p>Install traffic signals, including right and left- turning lanes, signalised pedestrian crossing across Redhill Homemakers Centre entrance and Richardson Road East approach, and designated bicycle facilities through the intersection</p> </td> <td> <p>$830,500</p> </td> <td> <p>Rockhampton</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Tavistock Street Freshwater Street HERVEY BAY</p> </td> <td> <p>Upgrade intersection including splitter islands and relocation of the holding line, installation of priority signs on splitter island, removal of painted left-turn lane and upgrade to pedestrian facilities</p> </td> <td> <p>$519,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Fraser Coast</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Narangba Road Eucumbene Drive PETRIE</p> </td> <td> <p>Install traffic signals</p> </td> <td> <p>$830,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Moreton Bay</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Bingera Street George Street BUNDABERG WEST</p> </td> <td> <p>Install central medians and blister islands, upgrade existing signage and install new signage on central medians and improve lighting</p> </td> <td> <p>$390,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Bundaberg</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Johnson Road</p> <p>Cobalt Street</p> <p>CAROLE PARK</p> </td> <td> <p>Install new traffic signals, including a left- turning lane on Cobalt Street and a slip lane on Johnson Road</p> </td> <td> <p>$800,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Ipswich</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Branyan Street Woongarra Street BUNDABERG WEST</p> </td> <td> <p>Install central medians, upgrade existing signage and install new signage on central medians, install lighting, install pedestrian and cycle facilities</p> </td> <td> <p>$426,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Bundaberg</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Derby Street</p> <p>East Street</p> <p>ROCKHAMPTON CITY</p> </td> <td> <p>Install a single-lane roundabout</p> </td> <td> <p>$879,500</p> </td> <td> <p>Rockhampton</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Beenleigh Road</p> <p>Nursery Avenue</p> <p>RUNCORN</p> </td> <td> <p>Install traffic signals and provide a left turn to allow access to the Beenleigh Road service road</p> </td> <td> <p>$1,633,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Brisbane</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Glenmore Road</p> <p>Main Street</p> <p>PARK AVENUE</p> </td> <td> <p>Install traffic signals including right-turn lane with a designated right turn arrow, five signal phases including a signalised pedestrian crossing across the Main Street eastern approach and the Glenmore Road northern approach leg</p> </td> <td> <p>$1,285,500</p> </td> <td> <p>Rockhampton</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Perwillowen Road Coes Creek Road BURNSIDE</p> </td> <td> <p>Install an island to create a slip lane from Perwillowen Road into Coes Creek Road and install bicycle lane line markings</p> </td> <td> <p>$137,500</p> </td> <td> <p>Sunshine</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Spiegelhauer Road Between 2.9km and 3.3km west of the intersection of Spiegelhauer Road and Barrett Road CRYSTAL CREEK</p> </td> <td> <p>Seal unsealed road and correct alignment, remove hazards and install warning signs</p> </td> <td> <p>$410,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Townsville</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Woongarra Street Mulgrave Street BUNDABERG WEST</p> </td> <td> <p>Install central medians and blister islands, upgrade existing signage and install new signage on central medians and improve lighting</p> </td> <td> <p>$543,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Bundaberg</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> McCormack Federal Funding to Fix 14 'Black Spots' in Queensland Federal Funding to Fix 10 'Black Spots' in Western Australia https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/buchholz/media-release/federal-funding-fix-10-black-spots-western-australia <p>Ten additional dangerous sites on Western Australian roads will be substantially improved over the next 12 months thanks to funding under the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government’s Black Spot Program.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack today announced an additional $6.13 million for the state under the Black Spot Program’s 2019–20 funding round, bringing total funding for 2019–20 to $14.35 million.</p> <p>“This major investment is part of the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government’s commitment to building safer roads right across the nation,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>“The Black Spot Program provides funding for the provision of safety measures such as traffic signals and roundabouts at road locations where a number of serious crashes are known to have occurred.”</p> <p>Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said this investment in Black Spot projects would deliver safer roads in local government areas throughout the state.</p> <p>“The total 34 Black Spot projects being funded across Western Australia in 2019–20 will make an important contribution towards reducing the total annual number of serious injuries and deaths caused by road crashes,” Mr Buchholz said.</p> <p>“The Federal Liberal and Nationals Government’s Local and State Government Road Safety Package announced in the 2019–20 Budget is focused on improving local roads, especially on local country roads where there is a disproportionate number of deaths and serious accidents.”</p> <p>Chair of the Western Australia Black Spot Consultative Panel and Senator for Western Australia Dean Smith said the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics has found that, on average, Black Spot projects reduce the number of crashes causing death and injury by 30 per cent.</p> <p>“Seventy-eight per cent of this year’s Black Spot funding in Western Australia will go to improve the safety of Black Spots on rural and regional roads,” Senator Smith said.</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 Australian Government’s Black Spot Program, or to nominate a black spot, visit<a href="https://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/infrastructure_investment/black_spot/ "> https://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/infrastructure_investment/black_spot/ </a>.</p> <p>A list of funded projects is available below.</p> <p><strong>2019–20 Black Spot Program – Western Australia</strong></p> <table class="tborder"> <tbody> <tr> <th> <p>Project name</p> </th> <th> <p>Proposed treatment</p> </th> <th> <p>Funding Sought from Black Spot</p> </th> <th> <p>Council</p> </th> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Farrington Road</p> <p>Bibra Drive</p> <p>NORTH LAKE</p> </td> <td> <p>Modify signalised intersection, install second right turn lane on south leg, widen Farrington Road to allow double right turn and merge</p> </td> <td> <p>$397,300</p> </td> <td> <p>Cockburn</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Corrigin-Quairading Road</p> <p>Between 0.77km and 1.20km North West of Bilbarin-Quairading Road</p> <p>ADAMSVALE</p> </td> <td> <p>Widen floodway and approaches to increase the seal width to 7.0m, improve signage, line marking and delineation</p> </td> <td> <p>$186,090</p> </td> <td> <p>Corrigin</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Corrigin-Quairading Road</p> <p>Between 0.91km south east of Caporn Road and 1.06km north west of Forty Nine Gate West Road</p> <p>ADAMSVALE</p> </td> <td> <p>Widen seal to 7.0m, improve signage, line marking and delineation</p> </td> <td> <p>$429,224</p> </td> <td> <p>Corrigin</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Latham Road</p> <p>Longhurst Street</p> <p>NAREMBEEN</p> </td> <td> <p>Realign Longhurst Street approach to T-intersection, widen Latham Road through intersection, upgrade signs and pavement markings</p> </td> <td> <p>$312,896</p> </td> <td> <p>Narembeen</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>South Western Highway</p> <p>Between 0.70km and 1.24km south east of Dempster Street</p> <p>GWINDINUP</p> </td> <td> <p>Extend existing passing lane</p> </td> <td> <p>$1,803,798</p> </td> <td> <p>Capel</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Dawesville Bypass</p> <p>Dawesville Road</p> <p>DAWESVILLE</p> </td> <td> <p>Install new island between through lane and left turn lane to Dawesville Road to reduce vehicle masking to reduce right angle crashes</p> </td> <td> <p>$613,300</p> </td> <td> <p>Mandurah</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Latham Road</p> <p>Currall Street</p> <p>NAREMBEEN</p> </td> <td> <p>Improve intersection geometry, widen Latham Road through intersection, remove tree, rationalise adjacent intersection and driveways to reduce conflict points</p> </td> <td> <p>$312,896</p> </td> <td> <p>Narembeen</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>South Western Highway</p> <p>Lower Denmark Road</p> <p>YOUNGS SIDING</p> </td> <td> <p>Modification of the intersection to provide protected turning lanes</p> </td> <td> <p>$550,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Albany</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Villiers Street</p> <p>Swain Street and Panton Street</p> <p>DERBY</p> </td> <td> <p>Realign intersection to T junction, improve sight distance on approaches, install signs and delineation</p> </td> <td> <p>$253,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Derby/West</p> <p>Kimberley</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Cathedral Avenue</p> <p>Sanford Street</p> <p>GERALDTON</p> </td> <td> <p>Install a roundabout</p> </td> <td> <p>$1,270,000</p> </td> <td> <p>Greater Geraldton</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> Buchholz Federal Funding to Fix 10 'Black Spots' in Western Australia ABC Radio Melbourne - Mornings https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/tudge/interview/abc-radio-melbourne-mornings <p><strong>Paul Kennedy:</strong> Okay. Let’s talk about infrastructure and the new report from Infrastructure Australia talking about the end of the urban fringe, many other things as well. Let’s get on line the Minister Alan Tudge, Minister of Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population. Alan Tudge, thanks for your time. So much to talk about today.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> G’day Paul.</p> <p><strong>Paul Kennedy:</strong> Quickly, the Reserve Bank Governor - I should remind people – Phillip Lowe has pleaded for increased spending on public works to stimulate the economy that's one part of this. This Infrastructure Australia report found energy prices have risen 50 per cent since the last audit, and I quote: there is an absence of decisive federal leadership. What are you going to do about it?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Well you've raised a couple of issues there. Firstly, in relation to the Reserve Bank Governor's points about needing more infrastructure - we are absolutely doing that in spades. In fact, we've doubled the infrastructure expenditure since we first came to government, and as we speak we've got 160 major projects being funded right around the country and Melburnians know this because they see the construction going on all the time.</p> <p>Often it's done in partnership with the Andrews Government, we have a good partnership there. And more needs to be done and we're continuing to work on that.</p> <p><strong>Paul Kennedy:</strong> Alan Tudge, you won't get any opposition from me this morning on the spending, it's been acknowledged that there is record spending going along. But it's also pointing out that this is not exceptional and it should be the new normal. And in fact, we need to maintain this level of infrastructure and spend more and more in the next 15 years, otherwise the situation is dire with our population booming.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Yeah. So a couple of things on that - I mean firstly, we are doing that. I mean if anything, we're accelerating our expenditure rather than dropping it. And we’ve outlined $100 billion pipeline of expenditure to the extent that we're now actually getting some pushback from some commentators saying that we're reaching construction capacity constrains.</p> <p><strong>Paul Kennedy:</strong> Who’s saying that?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong><br /> I mean there’s many economists who are saying that. I've had some discussions with the construction companies myself, and you can sort of see it in the price increase.</p> <p><strong>Paul Kennedy:</strong> Yeah Infrastructure Australia in this report is saying that there needs to be more and more.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Yeah I know. All I'm saying is that we've increased expenditure, we're accelerating that and we’ll continue to maintain this level of expenditure, certainly from the federal level, and I would expect the state governments to also be doing that. But the flipside of that as well which is important, is on the population side.</p> <p>And what we did and this is since this report was written, we've dropped the migration rate to ease the population pressure, particularly on Melbourne and Sydney which have just been growing like gangbusters. We've also put in place new settings to encourage new people into the country to go to some of the regional areas and the smaller cities which actually need people.</p> <p><strong>Paul Kennedy:</strong> Infrastructure’s not set up in regional areas either. In fact, even in the urban fringe, some 34 per cent of people are able to walk to public transport. The infrastructure is not there, that's been a failure on different tiers of government, isn't it? That you're encouraging people to move into those regional areas but it's not set up for good and productive and healthy living for those extra people.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Well it depends on where you are. So I mean there's places like Warrnambool today, down the coastline here in Victoria, who are just absolutely crying out for more people and we had the Mayor of Warrnambool just recently saying exactly that. They need an extra thousand workers today to fill the job vacancies which are there. We've got other regional areas across Victoria and Australia who are equally in the same position.</p> <p>And so that's why some of them are settings are geared towards encouraging more people, including new migrants to settle into some of those areas where the jobs are and just ease that pressure off Melbourne. Now, you’ve got to understand that Melbourne is growing at 2.7 per cent per annum, which is a phenomenally fast rate from a large city perspective. Most cities are growing at about 1 per cent per annum in wealthy cities.</p> <p><strong>Paul Kennedy:</strong> So what is the Federal Government going to do to increase infrastructure, for instance, I'll start with the inner urban communities?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> So I mean we've got the $100 billion pipeline of projects, much of which goes into our large cities.</p> <p><strong>Paul Kennedy:</strong> Let’s talk about Melbourne. You're a minister and you're based in Victoria.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Yeah. I’m a Melburnian as well and I live in…</p> <p><strong>Paul Kennedy:</strong> Yeah. So let’s talk about our place, let’s start in Melbourne.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> So if you talk about our place, I mean we've got very large scale projects which we are funding, working cooperatively with the Andrews Government. That’s $5 billion for example to get the Melbourne Airport rail link, getting fast rail to Geelong, which not only helps Geelong commuters but can ease some of the population pressure off Melbourne [Indistinct] satellite city. The Monash is -</p> <p><strong>Paul Kennedy:</strong> What about the rail loop? You’re not interested in putting money into the rail loop? The State Government wants to- wants it finalised.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> We had- yeah, we had offered money in the past to the State Government. In fact, we offered almost a billion dollars and the State Government said no, they didn't need it and so they’re getting on with the job.</p> <p><strong>Paul Kennedy:</strong> I think they want it for that rail loop.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Are you talking about the suburban rail loop or the metro loop?</p> <p><strong>Paul Kennedy:</strong> Yes.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> For the suburban rail loop, the business case is underway at the moment. They've got $300 million, which is investigating that. They haven't come to us in terms of requesting funding because it’s too early in the stage I think for that. In relation to the metro-</p> <p><strong>Paul Kennedy:</strong> Do you like it?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> I think conceptually it's not a bad idea. But-</p> <p><strong>Paul Kennedy:</strong> What's good about it?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> This a very, very- it's a very long term project, this’ll probably take three or more decades to build, it will probably end up costing a hundred billion dollars when it's completed. Given the population growth-</p> <p><strong>Paul Kennedy:</strong> Minister Tudge, sorry to jump in. That's what we're talking about, isn't it? Long term planning, that’s what we need.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> And that's what I said, conceptually I don’t have difficulty with this. It's like us putting the Melbourne Airport rail link on the agenda, which frankly should have been built 20 or 30 years ago.</p> <p>We also want to connect Monash University to the rail network and get that rail network all the way up to Rowville. Again, Australia's largest university campus should have been connected to the rail link decades ago, rather than waiting until now.</p> <p>We've been leading with that agenda as well. So we're up for it and in fact, more of our money I think in Victoria is going towards rail than it is to road because there's real capacity constraints there as well.</p> <p><strong>Paul Kennedy:</strong> Yeah. Can I ask you about your comments in the Herald Sun this morning, talking about the East West Link? That's not helpful is it, to continue banging on about the money for the East West Link? The State Government's not going ahead with it.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Well, you know, we've got a good relationship with the State Government and we're working cooperatively on so many projects, some of which I've outlined.</p> <p><strong>Paul Kennedy:</strong> That's going to more- annoy them, talking about that.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Well they know our position on the East West Link. At the election campaign, we made this a very important feature, in the election campaign where we said to the State Government - we understand that you don't want to put any money into this, fine.<br /> We'll therefore increase our contribution to enable you to be able to build it without having to put in a cent. And so now that we're in that position, we're still arguing the case. We went to the election, we won the election. And so therefore have a mandate to prosecute at case and we'll continue to do that.</p> <p><strong>Paul Kennedy:</strong> The Victorian Government won its election. The Liberal leadership at the time said it was a referendum on the East West Link. Labor won that election.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> And in some respects, we respect the fact that they don't want to put a cent of State Government money into it. We respect that. We're not asking them to put in a cent. We- all we are asking them to do is give the green light for it to go ahead because</p> <p><strong>Paul Kennedy:</strong> They don’t want it.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> The problems on the Eastern Freeway aren’t going away and this Infrastructure Australia report again emphasises that this is one of the major bottlenecks in Melbourne and will continue to get worse.</p> <p><strong>Paul Kennedy:</strong> The infrastructure - just to be clear - the Infrastructure Australia report does not list projects. You can you can see that; it talks about overall planning.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> And let me quote from this report: the CityLink Eastern Freeway connection across Melbourne's inner north is predicted to remain one of the city's worst performers.</p> <p><strong>Paul Kennedy:</strong> Yeah. But it states current position. It doesn’t list projects on-</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> That’s stated in this report now. Okay you can call it whatever you like, but the connection from the Eastern Freeway to the CityLink, most Melburnians would know as the East West Link.  </p> <p><strong>Paul Kennedy:</strong> I hear what you’re-</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Let’s call it whatever you like.</p> <p><strong>Paul Kennedy:</strong> No, I hear what you're saying but the Victorian Government would argue, I would suggest, that that they have decided to go another way to try and ease that.</p> <p>But our time is short, I know you have to jump on a plane.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> They’re doing Western Distributor side which is almost the second half of the East West Link. The remaining piece though is from the Eastern Freeway to connect up to the other side.</p> <p>And so, that's as I said, that's where we'll push, acknowledging that by and large, we’re actually working very well with the State Government, getting on with the job and so many other projects.</p> <p><strong>Paul Kennedy:</strong> That is good. I know you have to jump on a plane, I know your time is short. Can I just ask you again, about this - the comment about the urban sprawl across Australia's east coast, that it's now over after decades of creeping out and out, into those green paddocks and taking over with housing estates.</p> <p>Do you agree with that? Is it finished? Is enough, enough?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Ultimately it's up to state governments to determine what the footprint is in terms of urban sprawl. Our populations are growing. There's still plenty of land but most of the growth, as identified in this report, has actually been in infill areas making the cities more dense. Now that can have its issues as well of course, because sometimes people move into an area to get a bit more open space and then all of a sudden they find a big apartment block right next door to them and that rightly upsets them.</p> <p><strong>Paul Kennedy:</strong> And do you feel a weight of responsibility with this report landing right on your desk. Dare I say it, landing right on your shoulders.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> It's- listen it's a sobering report, but it's also, I would have to say a bit of a pessimistic report because the modelling which is done doesn't take into account the $23 billion worth of projects which we've announced over the last six months or so.<br /> And it assumes that no new projects will be announced over the next decade. Now both of those assumptions I don't think are right. It also doesn't take account of the fact we have dropped the migration rate and got these new incentives for people to go to some of the smaller cities and regional area. But it is sobering. We will be looking at it very, very closely; they're a good outfit Infrastructure Australia, and they constantly inform our decision making.</p> <p><strong>Paul Kennedy:</strong> It's good to hear from you this morning, we appreciate your time and I hope that you're right about the relationship between the feds and the state’s ministers and all of those people trying to work for, well, not so much congestion for one thing, and all the long list of things that they're after. Alan Tudge, thank you very much.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Thanks very much.</p> <p><strong>Paul Kennedy:</strong> Minister for Cities urban infrastructure and population, Alan Tudge there.</p> Tudge ABC Radio Melbourne - Mornings Transcript - Brisbane Doorstop https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/tudge/interview/transcript-brisbane-doorstop <p><strong>Alan Tudge: </strong>Well, g’day, it’s great to be here in Brisbane with the Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner. We’ve just had a terrific meeting discussing the 12 projects which we jointly have agreed to fund and construct in the years ahead.</p> <p>Now, from the Federal Government’s perspective those 12 projects equate to over $270 million worth of commitments, and on top that, of course, we have our $300 million commitments to the Brisbane Metro.</p> <p>We’ve been working through each of those 12 projects one by one, working out what the issues are, what the timelines can be, and we can certainly confirm that every single one of those projects will be getting underway within the years ahead, and we’ll be able to provide some precise details in the upcoming weeks.</p> <p>Every single one of these 12 projects is designed to bust congestion here in Brisbane. We jointly share this aspiration. And on top of the 12 projects that of course we’re jointly funding, the Lord Mayor through the Brisbane City Council is funding all sorts of other projects as well.</p> <p>I know the Lord Mayor will be keen to talk about the Coopers Plains level crossing; it’s one of the 12 projects, and we have $74 million- $73 million already committed from the federal perspective, and we certainly welcome the $40 million contribution, which the Brisbane City Council has announced today.</p> <p>And again, that will just be another great project which can be completed in the years ahead, and just make it safer and easier for people to get across that railway line and be able to get home sooner and safer.</p> <p>While I’m here, can I also just make some comments in relation to the infrastructure audit- Infrastructure Australia audit which has been released today. Now, Infrastructure Australia is a terrific independent body, and we always listen to the issues which they raise, and they inform our decision making. The issues which they raise in their report today particularly concern congestion in our major cities.</p> <p>Now this is something that I have been talking about, the Prime Minister has been talking about, almost nonstop for the past 12 months. So we hear them very clearly in terms of the challenges in places like Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne in particular.</p> <p>I would say though that the Infrastructure Australia audit was based on data from 12 months ago, so it doesn't incorporate the $23 billion worth of new projects that we have announced since that time.</p> <p>And it also doesn't incorporate the fact that we've introduced the new population policy, which has seen a reduction in the migration rates and seen new incentives for the people to be able to- new incentives for migrants to consider going to regional areas and smaller cities, as a way of taking pressure off our big capital cities of Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne. Overall though, it's a good report and we'll certainly be examining it very closely in the weeks ahead.</p> <p>Part of our congestion plan, of course, is $100 billion of infrastructure which we're rolling out right across this country, including here in Brisbane, but in our other capital cities and regions across Australia as well. I’ll hand it over to the Lord Mayor to make some comments as well, then we can handle any questions.</p> <p><strong>Adrian Schrinner:</strong> It is fantastic to have a federal government that is committed to building infrastructure. What we're seeing right now is the largest commitment by any federal government into Brisbane infrastructure. We've got more than $500 million of investment by this federal government into Brisbane, including Brisbane Metro, and including a dozen projects that were referred to before.</p> <p>That is the largest investment that any federal government has ever made into Brisbane, and that will benefit Brisbane residents massively. Congestion is a critical issue across our city, and it is great to have this cooperative working relationship with the Federal Government, where they’re not only working with us, but putting real dollars on the table to build projects across the city.</p> <p>Now we see Brisbane Metro rolling out with federal support, and we will see these dozen or more projects rolling out in the coming years that will benefit Brisbane residents right across the city and suburbs; projects like Indooroopilly roundabout that they've committed to, projects like Rochdale Priestdale road intersection. Right across the city there are projects that we are working on together to make sure residents can get home sooner and safer.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Any questions?</p> <p><strong>Question:</strong> What was that a criticism then, you know, election- government’s only think in election cycles rather than long term plan?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong>: Well, to the contrary, we’ve actually outlined a ten-year pipeline of projects, constituting $100 billion. And that works in conjunction with our population plan as well, which is taking real measures to reduce some of the population pressures on our big capital cities, whilst supporting the growth of some of the smaller cities in some of the regional areas which are desperate for more people.</p> <p><strong>Question:</strong> Are they the ones you announced during the election campaign?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Yeah, that’s right.</p> <p><strong>Question:</strong> So Fairfax and the ABC pointed out that most of those are in LNP-held seats. How do you broaden that out so it becomes more across the city?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Well, I mean, when you look right across the country, so much of our dollars is actually going towards city-shaping projects. I mean, even one of the biggest projects here which we’re announcing today out of the 12 – the Coopers Plains – is in a Labor seat and we’re putting $73 million towards that, and the Lord Mayor is contributing a further $40 million. The one that we’re waiting for, actually, is for the state government to contribute to that project and then we’ll be able to get on with it and get it done.</p> <p><strong>Question:</strong> Have you been briefed on the delays to the Metro project?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> We had a discussion in relation to that, and obviously we want to see the Brisbane Metro underway as quickly as possible. We’ve had a discussion today in relation to that project, and I’ll also be raising this with Minister Bailey this afternoon.</p> <p><strong>Question:</strong> The city deal would seem to cover a lot of this with getting everybody on board over a long period of time. What’s the latest on that and how critical is it for it to get ticked off soon?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Yeah, that’s right. So, we made a commitment to undertaking a South East Queensland city deal between myself and the previous lord mayor actually, and the state governments, and the three leaders will be getting together again next week to discuss our progress there. This will probably take 12 months or so to work through, to do the proper consultation and to map out what will be a ten to 20-year plan for South East Queensland; but which of course transport infrastructure will be a key component of it.</p> <p>But we’ll also be talking about liveability; we’ll be talking about employment hubs; we’ll be talking about property planning and the like. So, we’re taking our time in relation to doing this because we want to get it right. But ultimately it will be a great, long term plan for South East Queensland where the three levels of government will be joined together and committing to it.</p> <p><strong>Question:</strong> And would that be one of the key ways to sort of get on top of the infrastructure problems raised in this audit?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Yeah, a little bit of both. I mean, we’re constantly looking at funding good infrastructure here in Brisbane, whether or not that be city-shaping infrastructure such as the M1 or the Bruce Highway or whether it be some of the smaller scale projects that we’ve been talking about today with the Lord Mayor. But the city deal, no doubt, we’ll also talk about some of the long term infrastructure projects which are needed for Southeast Queensland.</p> <p><strong>Question:</strong> Can I ask about- in regards to the report for Victoria, does this report confirm the Victorian Government needs to build the East West Link?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Well, this report again emphasises the desperate need for the East West Link in Melbourne.</p> <p>Now, this is on top of previous Infrastructure Australia reports, the Victorian Infrastructure Report, it’s on top of the Labor Party who used to believe in the East West Link.</p> <p>And I certainly know that the tens of thousands of residents in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne are desperately wanting this road to be completed. Because at the moment it is the only major freeway in Melbourne which comes to a full stop, when the East West Link will take it from one side of the city across to the other.</p> <p>Now, we understand and we respect that Daniel Andrews doesn’t want to contribute financially to this project. Therefore, we have said to him: we will fund the entire government contribution of this project. All we need from Daniel Andrews is for him to give us the Greenlight in order to get this job done.</p> <p><strong>Question:</strong> And how much will it cost Victorians to build?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> So, we estimate the project will be about $7 billion, of which we’ve got $4 billion on the table ready to go towards it and we believe that we’ll be able to secure $3 billion worth of private contributions. That is, the Victorian Government won’t need to put in a cent in order to get the job done, but they do need to give the green light, and that’s what we’re simply seeking from them.</p> <p>I would point out though, that yes, we have a dispute with the Victorian Government in relation to the East West Link project, and we’ll constantly be prosecuting the case until this project is built. But by and large, we’re actually working very cooperatively together and we have much more in common than we do have differences. And we’ve got a lot of projects which we’ve jointly agreed to undertake, and this of course includes the Melbourne Airport Rail Link, the Geelong Fast Rail, the Monash upgrades, the M80 upgrades, and so many more other projects across Melbourne and indeed across Victoria. We want to work cooperatively with the state government and all state governments; just as we work so well together with the Brisbane City Council.</p> <p><strong>Question:</strong> What do you say to commuters in Sydney that that city is now- it will be the most congested, probably, for always?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> The good thing for Sydney residents is so many of the larger-scale projects are coming to a conclusion now or in the next 12 or 24 months. You think of the M4 as part of WestConnex, which has just opened a few weeks ago, and that will make a massive difference for those people who are coming in from the western suburbs into the CBD. Obviously, the new part of the Metro has been opened. NorthConnex is going to be opened next year as well, which would make a huge difference for those people in the northern parts- the northern suburbs of Sydney coming into the city as well.</p> <p>There is so much construction work going on in Sydney at the moment. In some respects, I think they’re five or ten years ahead of Melbourne now in terms of their construction works and Melbourne’s playing catch up, when it used to be the reverse. And I think we’ll start to see the traffic and the trains work- I think we’ll start to see the traffic flow so much more smoothly in the months and years ahead because of all these large scale projects coming to a conclusion soon.</p> <p><strong>Question:</strong> There’s all this talk about record spending, but Infrastructure Australia says it might not be enough.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Well, Infrastructure Australia is saying that we probably need to maintain these record levels of expenditure into the years ahead. I mean, their modelling was in essence quite pessimistic modelling because it assumed that no more money would ever be going to any more projects in the decade ahead. Now- and it also didn’t take into account the fact that we added a further $25 billion worth of funding at last year’s Budget.</p> <p>So, we lifted our pipeline of work from $75 billion to $100 billion at last year’s Budget, and no doubt in the budgets in the years ahead we’ll continue to invest money, just as the Brisbane City Council will and just as other state governments will.</p> <p><strong>Question:</strong> Yeah, can I just ask value or net worth of the project - local, state, federal project - has there been any analysis of whether they?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Yeah. We took the City Deal concept actually from the United Kingdom, so they've been using that methodology for some time. The single biggest City Deal that we've got, which is perhaps the best analogy for South East Queensland, is the Western Sydney City Deal. And that it’s universally recognised as a terrific model combining eight local councils, state government, and the federal government towards a 20 year plan which will cater for 500,000 more people in Western Sydney, 200,000 houses to be built, 200,000 jobs to be created, and with road and rail infrastructure across Western Sydney as well.</p> <p>All of that, of course, is being stimulated by the huge investment which we have in the Western Sydney Airport, $5.3 billion.</p> <p>So that's perhaps the best model which we have which shows- which I think is universally recognised as working and I think it's probably the model which we’ll look towards as we’re developing the South East Queensland City Deal to show what is actually possible.</p> <p>We're ambitious with this City Deal. I think the Lord Mayor is ambitious for the three levels of government to outline this long term plan so then that we can be- have something that all levels of government can work towards over the long term which goes beyond the electoral cycles.</p> <p><strong>Question:</strong> We're talking a lot about roads, cars on our roads. Should we not be trying to do something to get people out of cars and perhaps onto public transport? I mean, when are we getting a fast rail to connect Sunshine Coast to Brisbane?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> As you probably know, before the election we announced our Fast Rail plan. And that outlined our ambition for many of the satellite cities or satellite regions of the big capital cities to be connected to fast rail in the next decade or two. We've put together a fast rail agency to help navigate this and we're also funding the business cases for the Sunshine Coast, for the Gold Coast, and also out to Toowoomba as well.</p> <p>Now, the first one, the first cab off the rank is the Geelong fast rail in Melbourne, and then we'll be considering the other business cases as they come through to us in the months and years ahead. But I think it can be a very powerful mechanism to not only connect some of the regional cities with the major capitals, but can also be a powerful mechanism to decentralise some of your population as well, because if people can live in a Geelong or in a Bendigo or a Ballarat or up on the Sunshine Coast and have some of the more affordable housing there, be able to commute within, say, 30 minutes into the CBD, that way they can enjoy the lifestyle and more affordable housing while still being able to access the major jobs markets of the CBDs.</p> <p><strong>Question:</strong> Do you foresee any money for the Cross River Rail from the federal government?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Well, the State Government has said that that's fully funded, so we're not going to be putting money towards something which the State Government has said is fully funded. We're putting our money towards other projects which are our priorities.</p> Tudge Transcript - Brisbane Doorstop Transcript - Interview with Ross Stevenson and John Burns, 3AW https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/tudge/interview/transcript-interview-ross-stevenson-and-john-burns-3aw <p><strong>Ross Stevenson:</strong> We’re very grateful for the Minister giving us the time to speak to the Assistant Commissioner and then hanging on the line. We’re very grateful. Federal Population and Urban Infrastructure Minister Alan Tudge.<br /> Minister, good morning to you.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Good morning Ross.</p> <p><strong>Ross Stevenson:</strong> Front page of The Age this morning, the huge pipeline of road and rail projects across Melbourne and Sydney will not prevent the cities becoming paralysed with congestion by 2031. Does this make a further case for the East West Link here in Melbourne?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> A couple of points on that. Firstly, it was quite a pessimistic view that they take, because they haven’t taken into account all of the new projects which have been announced even over the last six months and inevitably will be announced over the next decade. But second, it does reinforce the case for the East West Link. The report itself identifies that it will remain one of the most congested corridors, that corridor from the east and across to the city link on the other side. And we’ve - at the federal level, we’ve got the public funding ready to get it built and we just want the state government to give us the green light.</p> <p><strong>Ross Stevenson:</strong> Aren’t you playing a bit of catch-up football though on the basis that - the more infrastructure you put in, you’re still behind as far as population growth’s concerned, from immigration and natural births?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Well in part you’re right, I mean, in some respects I think in Melbourne we’re 10 years behind where the infrastructure should be. And this is in part due to successive governments over time, but we have actually taken some steps in relation to the population issue which you probably know has slowed down the population rate. We’ve encouraged more new people who are coming into the country to settle in the smaller cities and in to the regional areas, so we’re very cognisant of that population pressure point coming into Melbourne, which is the fastest growing city in Australia.</p> <p><strong>Ross Stevenson:</strong> Let’s try to get this thing built. Can you expect the two fans of the possible East-West Link here, Minister? Let’s try to get this thing built. Daniel Andrews has said nah, I’m not building it. You’ve said you’d give him four billion. What if you gave him eight billion, would he build it?</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong><br /> Well, our estimate is that it only requires four billion of public funding, and then he’ll require about three billion of private funding in order to get the road built. So we’re actually not asking the state government to contribute a single cent in order to construct the road but of course they’re the only ones that can authorise and undertake the construction. It’s one of the frustrations, actually, at the federal level. We can provide the money but we can’t actually do the build. And so we’re simply asking the state government give us the green light so that we can go ahead and get a company to come in, build that road so that traffic can finally be connected from the busy Eastern Freeway across to the other side of- in the west- western side of Melbourne.</p> <p><strong>Ross Stevenson:</strong> Minister, one last question. I don’t know whether you read the same article over the weekend, but I’m surprised that there hasn’t been some sort of meeting of the minds here, because I read over the weekend that Scott Morrison and Daniel Andrews love each other.</p> <p><strong>Alan Tudge:</strong> Well listen, actually we work together very well and the Victorian public expects the two levels of government to work together well, and we’ve got more in common than we have differences. We’re working together well on the Melbourne Airport rail link, on Geelong fast rail, the Monash upgrade, on the M80 upgrades and so many other projects. The one sticking point though, Ross, is the East-West Link and that’s where we’re still going to make a case there, we’ve put the extra funding aside, and we just want the state government to give us the green light.</p> <p><strong>Ross Stevenson:</strong> Minister again, thank you, and thank you for your patience. Callers - that’s the Alan Tudge, Federal Population and Urban Infrastructure Minister.</p> Tudge Transcript - Interview with Ross Stevenson and John Burns, 3AW