Ministers for the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/coulton Latest releases from the Ministers en New Chair for General Aviation Advisory Network https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/media-release/new-chair-general-aviation-advisory-network <p>The Federal Liberal and Nationals Government today welcomed Mr Andrew Andersen as the new Chair of the General Aviation Advisory Network – a forum where industry representatives from the general aviation sector work together to respond to challenges.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said Mr Andersen is a passionate advocate for general aviation reform and holds a wealth of experience.</p> <p>“The members of the Network are selected based on their skills and expertise in the aviation industry and come from a cross-section of the diverse general aviation sector. This includes training, manufacturing, maintenance, sport and recreation, rotorcraft and fixed wing aircraft, aerial applications, remotely piloted aircraft systems and medical operations,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>“Mr Andersen is the Vice President Pacific Council of the International Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA). He is an AOPA past-president and co-chair of the industry organisation Australian Strategic Air Traffic Management Group’s Satellite-based Augmentations Systems subgroup.</p> <p>“Mr Andersen has held a pilot’s licence for more than 30 years, owns a Cessna 182 and is a highly respected and very experienced general aviation representative.</p> <p>“I look forward to continuing to work closely with Mr Andersen and the General Aviation Advisory Network to ensure Australia’s general aviation sector remains viable and safe."</p> <p>Mr McCormack thanked Dr Martin Laverty for his work as the former Chair of the Network.</p> <p>“Dr Laverty led the Network for the first two years while he was Chief Executive of the Royal Flying Doctor Service, providing a solid foundation for the progression of a variety of topics and I wish him well in his future endeavours,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>Dr Laverty has since left the Royal Flying Doctor Service and is currently the Secretary General of the Australian Medical Association.</p> <p>More information about General Aviation Advisory Network is available at <a href="http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/aviation/general/">www.infrastructure.gov.au/aviation/general</a>. </p> McCormack New Chair for General Aviation Advisory Network Norfolk Island visit to focus on sustainability and increasing preparedness for drought and extreme weather https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/marino/media-release/norfolk-island-visit-focus-sustainability-and-increasing-preparedness-drought-and-extreme-weather <p>I am greatly looking forward to my first visit to Norfolk Island, from 7-10 December, where I will meet with a wide range of community leaders and explore our shared priorities for a strong and sustainable future for the Island.</p> <p>Ahead of this visit, I am pleased to announce projects and funding to build resilience to extreme weather on the Island.</p> <p>This new investment in desalination projects, emergency shelters, and bushfire and emergency management will ensure that Norfolk Island is well prepared for weather emergencies.</p> <p>The Government will work closely with the Norfolk Island Regional Council, stakeholders and the community as these important projects are progressed.</p> <p>In recognising that extreme weather and water scarcity are major issues for those living on the Island, the Government will better prepare Norfolk Island for weather emergencies by committing:</p> <ul> <li>Establishment of containerised desalination on Norfolk Island as a long term solution to recurring water scarcity; <ul> <li>Additionally, as an immediate solution for this summer, the Government will make portable desalination equipment available as a short term contingency to prevent a water emergency.</li> </ul> </li> <li>A $1.5 million investment in the site selection and design for an emergency shelter to protect the community during extreme weather events;</li> <li>$80,000 to the development of a bushfire management plan to provide the community fire service with expert assistance, improve preparedness to contain a bush fire, and reduce community vulnerability to the potentially catastrophic impacts of a fire emergency;</li> <li>$200,000 for an independent assessment of the local emergency management governance arrangements.</li> </ul> <p>These important projects will better position Norfolk Island to proactively manage a range of potential emergency situations. </p> <p>Speaking from my own regional and agricultural background, I see water supply and drought preparedness as a priority. During my visit, I will also have the opportunity to see and be briefed on the important work being done in partnership with CSIRO on ground water.</p> <p>Given the current and unprecedented levels of water stress that Norfolk Island is experiencing, containerised desalination is the most effective and efficient solution to supplement the water supply.</p> <p>We want to ensure the community is well prepared for weather emergencies, with a $1.5 million investment in the site selection and design for an emergency shelter to protect the community during extreme weather events.</p> <p>We also want this shelter to be suitable for use as a community facility. The Administrator will provide more information about how the community can contribute to the design and planning work in due course.</p> <p>Another key focus of my visit will be biosecurity matters and I look forward to meeting with biosecurity stakeholders including bee conservationists along with the opportunity to discuss the Australian Government-funded livestock artificial reproduction project.</p> <p>Following the first maiden voyage of the $3.9 million passenger transfer vessels and my announcement of an additional flight to Norfolk Island from Brisbane in peak season, I will engage with the tourism and business sectors on how the Government can continue to work with you to support sustainable growth in your tourism industry and broader economy.</p> <p>I will also view community services and infrastructure which have benefited from the Building Better Regions Fund, including Banyan Park Play Centre and telecommunications.</p> <p>I am very much looking forward to speaking with local residents directly, deepening my understanding of Norfolk Island’s current opportunities and challenges and providing information on key priorities and issues.</p> <p>I welcome this upcoming opportunity to continue to work with the Norfolk Island community to make further progress on a positive and sustainable future for Norfolk Island.</p> Marino Norfolk Island visit to focus on sustainability and increasing preparedness for drought and extreme weather Government responds to regional aviation report https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/media-release/government-responds-regional-aviation-report <p>The Australian Government has responded to the Senate Committee report on the operation, regulation and funding of regional air services – noting or accepting all nine committee recommendations.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Government was already taking significant steps to support affordable and accessible air services for regional Australia.</p> <p>“The Government’s $100 million Regional Airports Program is currently open for applications, which will provide funding assistance to owners of regional airports to undertake access and safety works and support for commercial airport developments through the Building Better Regions Fund,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>“Affordable and accessible air services are crucial to our regions’ economic development and delivery of critical services. The issues covered in this report are matters close to the hearts and minds of all Australians, particularly those living in remote, rural and regional Australia.</p> <p>“I recently announced the Government will be developing a Regional Aviation Policy statement, in consultation with airport and airline operators, other industry stakeholders, state, territory and local governments and local communities, businesses and individuals.</p> <p>“Together, we will develop a comprehensive plan to ensure regional aviation remains vibrant, competitive and viable into the future, taking into account the unique challenges and opportunities facing people and business in regional Australia.</p> <p>“I thank the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee for its report, as well as all those who participated in the public hearings, entered submissions or in some way participated in the inquiry.”</p> <p>The Australian Government expects to release a Regional Aviation Policy statement Issues Paper to canvass the views of stakeholders in the coming weeks. In the meantime, further details can be found at <a href="http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/aviation/regional/aviation-policy">www.infrastructure.gov.au/aviation/regional/aviation-policy</a>. </p> <p>Alternatively, you can register your interest and ensure you are provided with a copy of the Issues Paper when it is released by emailing <a href="mailto:regionalaviationpolicystatement@infrastructure.gov.au">regionalaviationpolicystatement@infrastructure.gov.au</a>.   </p> McCormack Government responds to regional aviation report Pedestrian safety focus of Mawson Drive investment https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/media-release/pedestrian-safety-focus-mawson-drive-investment <p>The safety of commuters and pedestrians at a road “black spot” in the Australian Capital Territory has been prioritised with funding from the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said today’s announcement of $768,400 delivered under the Black Spot Program’s 2019-20 funding round would improve the safety of Mason Drive.</p> <p>“The funding will substantially improve the safety of Mawson Drive near Mawson Shops, where residents face difficulties crossing the road safely,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>“This investment is part of the Federal Government’s commitment to building safer roads right across the nation and getting commuters home to their families sooner and safer no matter where they live.”</p> <p>Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said the safety upgrades to Mawson Drive were targeting a problem area.</p> <p>“The Black Spot Program targets road locations where crashes are occurring, improving safety by funding measures such as traffic signals and roundabouts at these dangerous locations,” Mr Buchholz said.</p> <p>“The two new Black Spot projects being funded in the ACT, including last week’s announcement on upgrades to Southern Cross Drive, are an important contribution towards reducing the national road toll."</p> <p>Senator for the ACT and Chair of the ACT Black Spot Consultative Panel, Zed Seselja said the panel that reviews priorities for the program includes representatives from the National Capital Authority, Pedal Power, ACT Motorcycle Riders Association, Australasian College of Road Safety and Transport Canberra.</p> <p>“As a south-side local, I have a particular understanding of just how important these safety upgrades to Mawson Drive are,” Senator Seselja said.</p> <p>“The particular stretch of road we’re focussing on can be difficult to navigate as both a motorist and a pedestrian after a quick run to the shops.</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>“I’m proud the Liberal and Nationals Government is able to deliver a record spend on Black Spots projects in the ACT this year.”</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><strong>2019-20 ACT Black Spot Program</strong></p> <table class="Table"> <thead> <tr> <td> <p><strong>Project Name</strong></p> </td> <td> <p><strong>Works</strong></p> </td> <td> <p><strong>Australian Government Funding</strong></p> </td> <td> <p><strong>Local Government Area</strong></p> </td> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p>Cross Drive<br /> Kingsford Smith Drive to Coulter Drive<br /> SCULLIN</p> </td> <td> <p>Signalise intersections with Ross Smith Crescent and Chewings Street</p> </td> <td> <p>$1,797,900</p> </td> <td> <p>Transport Canberra</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Mawson Drive<br /> from Athllon Drive to Ainsworth Street</p> <p>MAWSON</p> </td> <td> <p>Channelise to single lane each way and for left turns, convert Mountevans Street to left-in/left-out only, construct concrete blisters, improve angle of storage in medians, reduce speed limit to 40km/h, install traffic calming</p> </td> <td> <p>$768,400</p> </td> <td> <p>Transport Canberra</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> McCormack Pedestrian safety focus of Mawson Drive investment Pedestrian safety focus of Mawson Drive investment https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/buchholz/media-release/pedestrian-safety-focus-mawson-drive-investment <p>The safety of commuters and pedestrians at a road “black spot” in the Australian Capital Territory has been prioritised with funding from the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said today’s announcement of $768,400 delivered under the Black Spot Program’s 2019-20 funding round would improve the safety of Mason Drive.</p> <p>“The funding will substantially improve the safety of Mawson Drive near Mawson Shops, where residents face difficulties crossing the road safely,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>“This investment is part of the Federal Government’s commitment to building safer roads right across the nation and getting commuters home to their families sooner and safer no matter where they live.”</p> <p>Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said the safety upgrades to Mawson Drive were targeting a problem area.</p> <p>“The Black Spot Program targets road locations where crashes are occurring, improving safety by funding measures such as traffic signals and roundabouts at these dangerous locations,” Mr Buchholz said.</p> <p>“The two new Black Spot projects being funded in the ACT, including last week’s announcement on upgrades to Southern Cross Drive, are an important contribution towards reducing the national road toll."</p> <p>Senator for the ACT and Chair of the ACT Black Spot Consultative Panel, Zed Seselja said the panel that reviews priorities for the program includes representatives from the National Capital Authority, Pedal Power, ACT Motorcycle Riders Association, Australasian College of Road Safety and Transport Canberra.</p> <p>“As a south-side local, I have a particular understanding of just how important these safety upgrades to Mawson Drive are,” Senator Seselja said.</p> <p>“The particular stretch of road we’re focussing on can be difficult to navigate as both a motorist and a pedestrian after a quick run to the shops.</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>“I’m proud the Liberal and Nationals Government is able to deliver a record spend on Black Spots projects in the ACT this year.”</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><strong>2019-20 ACT Black Spot Program</strong></p> <table> <thead> <tr> <td> <p><strong>Project Name</strong></p> </td> <td> <p><strong>Works</strong></p> </td> <td> <p><strong>Australian Government Funding</strong></p> </td> <td> <p><strong>Local Government Area</strong></p> </td> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p>Cross Drive<br /> Kingsford Smith Drive to Coulter Drive<br /> SCULLIN</p> </td> <td> <p>Signalise intersections with Ross Smith Crescent and Chewings Street</p> </td> <td> <p>$1,797,900</p> </td> <td> <p>Transport Canberra</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Mawson Drive<br /> from Athllon Drive to Ainsworth Street</p> <p>MAWSON</p> </td> <td> <p>Channelise to single lane each way and for left turns, convert Mountevans Street to left-in/left-out only, construct concrete blisters, improve angle of storage in medians, reduce speed limit to 40km/h, install traffic calming</p> </td> <td> <p>$768,400</p> </td> <td> <p>Transport Canberra</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> Buchholz Pedestrian safety focus of Mawson Drive investment Infrastructure Australia board appointments named https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/media-release/infrastructure-australia-board-appointments-named <p>The Australian Government has welcomed four new members to the Infrastructure Australia Board, further strengthening skills and expertise at the helm of the Government’s independent infrastructure adviser.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said he was pleased to appoint Mark Balnaves, John Fitzgerald, Marion Fulker and Graham Quirk to the board.</p> <p>“These four appointees will bring a wealth of knowledge to the Board and continue to add to the important work of Infrastructure Australia,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>“Mark Balnaves is currently a Director of Evans + Ayers and has more than 20 years of director, strategic advisory and infrastructure experience. He brings with him significant infrastructure experience, having previously advised on a number of major projects across Australia including most recently the new Royal Adelaide Hospital.</p> <p>“John Fitzgerald, having previously been interim CEO for Infrastructure Australia, will also be a valuable addition as he brings extensive corporate knowledge.</p> <p>“John is currently a Director of the Victorian Funds Management Corporation, Non–Executive Chairman of Evolution Rail Pty Ltd, Suburban Land Agency (ACT), InfraNexus Management Pty Ltd and Canberra Light Rail.</p> <p>“Marion Fulker will be an asset to the board given her proven track record in infrastructure-related research. She brings to the Board her experience as the inaugural Chief Executive of the Committee for Perth Ltd and an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at The University of Western Australia.</p> <p>“Graham Quirk brings an in-depth understanding of local government to the board, having previously served as the 16<sup>th</sup> Lord Mayor of Brisbane. Graham’s knowledge will be crucial when providing an assessment of the impact of certain infrastructure projects on Australian communities.</p> <p>“I would also like to thank outgoing Board members for their contribution to Infrastructure Australia.”</p> <p>The Infrastructure Australia Board consists of 12 members, including a Chair.</p> <p>Infrastructure Australia is an independent statutory body providing advice on Australia’s infrastructure priorities and policy reforms. It also assists in public infrastructure investment decision-making.</p> <p>More information about Infrastructure Australia is available at <a href="http://www.infrastructureaustralia.gov.au.">www.infrastructureaustralia.gov.au.</a></p> McCormack Infrastructure Australia board appointments named More jobs for Western Sydney as airport construction ramps up https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/tudge/media-release/more-jobs-western-sydney-airport-construction-ramps <p>Recruitment is ramping up at Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport with scores of new job opportunities across the once-in-a-generation project.</p> <p>The $5.3 billion federally-funded airport will be looking for operators of earthmoving equipment such as scrapers and tipper trucks, as well as service crews for the large fleet of earthmoving equipment used to level the site.</p> <p>Job opportunities include people needed to service machines at the on-site workshop – plant mechanics, auto-electricians, light vehicle mechanics, boiler makers, servicemen, refuelers and apprentice mechanics.</p> <p>Western Sydney Airport Company will be holding an employment forum to provide potential candidates with an overview of the work and the available positions.</p> <p>Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said that Western Sydney Airport and its construction contractors were commencing recruitment for the major earthworks package, which will see a significant increase in on-site activity from early next year.</p> <p>“The major earthworks phase of the project will ramp-up early next year, as part of the task to move 25 million cubic metres within the 1,780 hectare airport site,” Senator Cormann said.</p> <p>“This will create hundreds more jobs on the airport site, meaning more jobs for Western Sydney locals.”</p> <p>Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said that Western Sydney Airport was commencing recruitment for the new phase of the airport’s construction.</p> <p>“Targets are in place for 30 per cent of airport construction jobs to go to Western Sydney locals and the major earthworks phase will see more earthmoving machinery on the site than ever before,” Mr Tudge said.</p> <p>“So far, Western Sydney Airport is exceeding these targets, with locals making up more than 50 per cent of the total airport workforce at 30 June this year.”</p> <p>Member for Lindsay Melissa McIntosh said an information session would be held on 10 December at the Western Sydney International Airport Experience Centre.</p> <p>“The information session will provide an opportunity for people interested in this work to meet the project team and get an understanding of the type of construction involved in the Western Sydney International Airport,” Ms McIntosh said.</p> <p>“This is an opportunity to work on the largest and most significant infrastructure project underway in Australia.</p> <p>“In addition the aerotropolis precinct will create a hub for emerging industries and technologies in defence, space, advanced manufacturing and more. I want to ensure we are educating and training local students so they are equipped to take on the jobs of the future in Western Sydney.”</p> <p>Western Sydney International Airport is being delivered through a $5.3 billion Australian Government investment and is on track to open in 2026.</p> Tudge More jobs for Western Sydney as airport construction ramps up Construction begins on Monaro Highway upgrades https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/media-release/construction-begins-monaro-highway-upgrades <p>Upgrades to the Monaro Highway are moving ahead, with construction on the first stage of improvements set to get underway this month.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the project was an investment in the safety and efficiency of the Australian Capital Territory and broader region’s road network.</p> <p>“The Monaro Highway upgrade will shorten travel times and improve road safety, which will particularly benefit drivers travelling to and from the snow during the busy ski season,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>“The upgrade forms part of the Federal Government’s record $100 billion infrastructure pipeline over the next decade, getting Australians to where they need to be sooner and safer.” </p> <p>ACT Minister for Roads and Active Travel Chris Steel said the lack of safe overtaking opportunities on the Monaro Highway had been a cause of accidents, including fatalities.</p> <p>“This is just the beginning of the work we’re doing on the Monaro Highway to make our roads safer for Canberrans travelling around our city,” Minister Steel said.</p> <p>“Canberra is a growing city and we are investing in infrastructure now to ensure we don’t have congested roads in the future.”</p> <p>Senator for the ACT Zed Seselja said the upgrade would include the construction of a new, two-kilometre northbound overtaking lane between Williamsdale Road and Royalla Drive.</p> <p>“A wider median strip will be built between the northbound and southbound lanes and safety barriers will be placed in sections along the left side of the road in both directions,” Senator Seselja said.</p> <p>“The project will also include a new left-turn lane for southbound traffic at the intersection of the Monaro Highway and Old Cooma Road to improve safety for vehicles exiting the highway.”</p> <p>“The Liberal-National Government is delivering for Canberrans, bringing $30 million of our $100 million investment in the Monaro forward to the 2020-21 financial year. This is part of our commitment to getting Canberrans home sooner and safer.”</p> <p>The $200 million Monaro Highway Upgrade Package has been jointly funded by the Australian and ACT governments on a 50:50 basis.</p> <p>Construction on the first stage of upgrades is expected to finish ahead of the 2020 snow season, weather permitting.</p> <p>Design work is also underway for safety improvements and intersection upgrades at key locations along the Monaro Highway including the Lanyon Drive intersection. </p> <p>For more information on the Monaro Highway improvements, visit <a href="http://www.cityservices.act.gov.au">www.cityservices.act.gov.au</a>.</p> McCormack Construction begins on Monaro Highway upgrades ARTC Board reappointments https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/media-release/artc-board-reappointments <p>The Australian Government has reappointed Mr David Saxelby and Ms Jennifer Seabrook to the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) Board for a further three years.</p> <p>Mr Saxelby and Ms Seabrook have served with distinction on the ARTC Board since 2016.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack welcomed the reappointments.</p> <p>“These reappointments ensure a strong and diverse leadership team will continue to oversee ARTC’s 8,500 kilometre rail network and guide the delivery of current and future projects,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>“Their experience and knowledge will help ARTC to deliver the 1,700-kilometre Inland Rail project, which will help meet Australia’s future freight challenges and connect inland communities with new opportunities to grow and prosper.</p> <p>“Mr Saxelby has substantial experience in construction, infrastructure contracting and major projects, while Ms Seabrook has extensive experience in finance and capital markets. Together, their skills and experience strengthen the ARTC Board’s capability.”</p> <p>Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said their reappointments will provide ARTC with organisational stability as it continues to deliver the Government’s significant rail investment and reform agenda.</p> <p>“Rail is a key component of our Government’s infrastructure plan underpinning our plan for a stronger economy,” Minister Cormann said.</p> <p>"David and Jennifer’s experience and continued contribution to the ARTC Board helps ensure the timely and efficient delivery of the Government’s Inland Rail project which will cater for the growing demand for domestic inter-capital freight, create new jobs, and provide regional businesses and farmers with new opportunities to grow their exports.”</p> McCormack ARTC Board reappointments IOT communities contribute to sustainable future for unique fisheries https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/marino/community-update/iot-communities-contribute-sustainable-future-unique-fisheries <p>Thank you to the communities of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands (CKI) and Christmas Island (CI) for your strong engagement during the recent community consultations on proposed new fishing rules for the islands.</p> <p>During my visit to CKI in late September, I heard the communities’ concerns about fisheries, and asked the Administrator of CI and CKI, Mrs Natasha Griggs, and Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development, Territories Division Executive Director, Alex Foulds, to undertake an additional round of community consultation across the Indian Ocean Territories (IOT).</p> <p>Under our arrangement with the Western Australian (WA) State Government to provide state-type services, and the application of relevant WA legislation, WA fishing rules are already in place in the IOT. However, these rules are not specifically designed for the unique community values, cultural needs and environments of the IOT.</p> <p>Supported by staff from the WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s Fisheries Management Division, the team was on CKI and CI in November, meeting with a range of interested stakeholders.</p> <p>Across the week, the team met with in excess of 150 people across a range of forums including individual meetings and open community sessions.</p> <p>A wide range of comments – positive and negative – were received on issues including the methodology behind proposed changes, the need for island-specific fishing rules, bag limits, export rules, and the status of protected species. The further feedback gathered from the community is now being considered.</p> <p>I also welcome the CKI community’s initiative to establish a fisheries Community Reference Group to represent the range of fishing types and interest groups. This Group will provide a practical and local avenue for engagement and advocacy going forward. To those who put your hand up – thank you.</p> <p>A summary report of the feedback received will soon be publicly available on the Department’s website, and there will be a further opportunity for community consultation on any proposed changes to the approach.</p> <p>New rules for CI and CKI seek to recognise the unique cultural needs of the island communities, while also ensuring sufficient protection for fish stocks to remain sustainable for current and future generations.</p> <p>Both communities have called for the maintenance of a sustainable fishing resource to achieve their strategic vision by 2030.</p> <p>Thank you for continuing to work with us to ensure the rules are practical and take into consideration the needs of your community as well as the local environment.</p> <p>I am committed to continuing to work with you and to keeping you well informed as this work progresses.</p> Marino IOT communities contribute to sustainable future for unique fisheries Drought funding set to flow for eligible councils https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/littleproud/media-release/drought-funding-set-flow-eligible-councils <p>128 drought-affected councils can now apply for up to $1 million each under the Drought<br /> Communities Programme.</p> <p> Minister for Drought David Littleproud said the program was to fund council projects that stimulate their local economy.</p> <p> “We wanted this ready to go before Christmas and now councils can get their applications in,” Minister Littleproud said.</p> <p> “This will get projects off the ground sooner so drought-hit communities get the boost they need.</p> <p> “The program delivers more business for suppliers like local hardware stores and more jobs for their communities.</p> <p> “In just over 18 months this program will have delivered $250 million to communities in drought.</p> <p> “The program has already funded more than 300 projects, such as potable water supplies, tourist attractions and community events, and employed drought support officers.</p> <p> “The extension of this program demonstrates that as the drought steps up, so does our response.</p> <p> “We will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with these communities through this drought and prepare them for the next one.</p> <p> “These projects will provide an immediate economic boost so I urge councils to apply for funding as soon as they can.”</p> <p> More information on the application process is available at <a href="http://www.business.gov.au/Grants-and-Programs/Drought-Communities-Programme-Extension">www.business.gov.au/Grants-and-<br /> Programs/Drought-Communities-Programme-Extension</a>.<br />  </p> Littleproud Drought funding set to flow for eligible councils Congestion relief for southern suburbs gathers pace with construction commencing on $237 million bridge https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/tudge/media-release/congestion-relief-southern-suburbs-gathers-pace-construction-commencing-237-million-bridge <p>A new bridge over the Kwinana Freeway that will improve traffic flow at one of Perth’s most congested areas is officially getting underway today.</p> <p>The $237 million Armadale Road to North Lake Road Bridge, jointly funded by the Australian ($189.6 million) and Western Australian ($47.4 million) governments, is being delivered by the Armadale Access Alliance (a consortium of Laing O’Rourke).</p> <p>Anticipated to be completed in late 2021 the project will involve construction of a new bridge over Kwinana Freeway connecting the recently upgraded Armadale Road with North Lake Road.</p> <p>Up to 55,000 vehicles per day use the existing Armadale Road to Beeliar Drive Bridge and the new North Lake Road bridge will significantly relieve pressure at this traffic hotspot while improving access to the freeway and train station car park.</p> <p>The City of Cockburn's population is forecast to grow to over 170,000 by 2031, up from 106,000 in 2015. The City of Armadale’s population is projected to grow to 128,000 from a current level of 82,000 within the same time frame.</p> <p>As a result, the Australian and WA governments are investing in infrastructure to match the growth of the area - including freeway upgrades, the Karel Avenue upgrade, METRONET Thornlie-Cockburn Link and the Armadale Road duplication.</p> <p>In addition to the new bridge, the project includes an upgrade to Armadale Road from Tapper Road to Kwinana Freeway, with a new bridge passing over the Tapper intersection, and under the intersection of Solomon Road via a trench structure. Local roads will be reconfigured with two new roundabouts to maintain connectivity.</p> <p>The configuration of the Armadale Road and Solomon Road intersection was informed by extensive community engagement and will minimise noise and amenity impacts on residents in the northern part of Atwell.</p> <p>For users of public transport, the project will improve access to and from Cockburn Central Train Station by alleviating heavy congestion around the station car park during peak times.</p> <p>Early works are now underway with major construction work to begin in early 2020.</p> <p>Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan outlined the projects underway in the southern suburbs.</p> <p>"We made a promise to build this infrastructure in the southern suburbs and we’re delivering on our word," Mr McGowan said.</p> <p>"My Government is committed to upgrading our road networks which is why we have an unprecedented program of projects underway in our southern suburbs to provide congestion relief and create local jobs.</p> <p>"Along with this new $237 million project, we are currently undertaking two freeway widening projects, the Murdoch Drive Connection to Kwinana Freeway and Roe Highway, the widening of Karel Avenue and the duplication of Armadale Road.</p> <p>"These projects are creating thousands of jobs and supporting economic development though improved access to key commercial and industrial precincts."</p> <p>Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said the new bridge would cater for the growing population south of Perth.</p> <p>"The Armadale Road to North Lake Road Bridge project is another crucial and major investment by the Morrison Government to bust congestion in Perth’s southern suburbs," Mr Tudge said.</p> <p>"These works also include additional lanes and turning capacity that will be added to the intersection of Armadale Road and Ghostgum Avenue to support ongoing residential growth in Treeby."</p> <p>Western Australian Minister for Transport Rita Saffioti said the Armadale Road to North Lake Road Bridge project complemented nearby road projects.</p> <p>"The Armadale Road to North Lake Road Bridge project will tackle long wait times at one of the State’s busiest intersections, rated the fifth most congested intersection in 2016," Ms Saffioti said.</p> <p>"The huge investment we’re making in southern suburbs infrastructure will transform the transport network and allow for sustainable growth.</p> <p>"The Armadale Road-North Lake Road Bridge will work hand in hand with our other southern suburb road projects, and will provide better access to Cockburn Station when it becomes a junction for the METRONET Thornlie-Cockburn Link."</p> <p>Senator for Western Australia Linda Reynolds said the project addresses congestion at the Kwinana Freeway’s, Armadale Road and Beeliar Drive interchange.</p> <p>"When the bridge is complete road users will spend less time in their cars, bypassing the Cockburn Gateway Shopping Centre," Senator Reynolds said.</p> <p>"Drivers will also be able to merge more efficiently and safely, using on and off ramps connecting to the new bridge over the Kwinana Freeway and other roads on both sides of the Freeway."</p> <p>Senator for Western Australia Matt O’Sullivan said the Federal Government was committed to creating local jobs and improving local infrastructure across Western Australia.</p> <p>"This jointly funded Armadale Road to North Lake Road Bridge is one such example of the Coalition’s promise in action," Senator O’Sullivan said.</p> <p>"This project is a crucial element of our Government’s strategy to bust congestion and improve travel times for local people. It will also improve safety by removing more than 20,000 vehicles a day from the already congested Beliar Drive and divert up to 50 per cent of traffic from local roads."</p> Tudge Congestion relief for southern suburbs gathers pace with construction commencing on $237 million bridge Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 3A underway https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/tudge/media-release/gold-coast-light-rail-stage-3a-underway <p>Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 3A is underway with the appointment of a company to lead the construction tender process.</p> <p>GoldlinQ will conduct an industry briefing and Expressions-of-Interest (EOI) process for construction of the 6.4-kilometre southern extension.</p> <p>The Morrison Government last week made an additional funding commitment of $157 million towards the project, bringing the total Commonwealth funding total to $269 million.</p> <p>Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said Stage 3A will be a game changer for the Gold Coast.</p> <p>“By extending the existing light rail system from Broadbeach South Station to Burleigh Heads it means car coming off the road along the southern Gold Coast,” Mr Tudge said.</p> <p>Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey has committed to holding a briefing for the construction industry before Christmas.</p> <p>Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said it was a huge win for the Gold Coast, with the project expected to create 760 jobs during construction.</p> <p>“light rail revolutionised public transport on the coast and it’s been a major job-creating project for Australia’s sixth largest city,” Mr Bailey said.</p> <p>“Gold Coasters and people from across the world have embraced the G, with more than 42 million trips taken since stage one opened five years ago.</p> <p>“It’s great to see all levels of government on board, working together to ramp up the next stage of the city’s light rail.”</p> <p>Federal Member for McPherson Karen Andrews said extending the Light Rail south to Burleigh would provide an additional public transport option to support the urban renewal of the Gold Coast.</p> <p>“Improving local public transport and making our city more connected will ensure the Gold Coast keeps pace with our projected population growth,” Ms Andrews said.</p> <p>Federal Member for Moncrieff Angie Bell said improving the city’s accessibility would improve access to jobs and services within the Gold Coast.</p> <p>“With the ability to travel between Broadbeach South Station and Burleigh Heads in 16-17 minutes, alongside improved pedestrian and cycling facilities, this will make getting around the Gold Coast easier for everybody, especially for those who don’t drive,” Ms Bell said.</p> <p>The Queensland Government and City of Gold Coast last year released a reference design for Stage 3A with the 6.4km extension to be built in the centre of the Gold Coast Highway with eight stations between Broadbeach South light rail station and Burleigh Heads.</p> <p>GoldlinQ Chairman John Witheriff said the competitive tender process for design and construction would start with interest being sought from leading national and international companies.</p> <p>“A shortlist of selected contractors will be determined early next year with a detailed tender process to follow, allowing a construction partner to be appointed and major works to start in the second half of 2020," Mr Witheriff said.</p> <p>“Lessons learnt from Stage 1 were implemented in the delivery of Stage 2 and our focus is on ensuring value for money, an innovative construction approach and minimising community impacts.</p> <p>“We are partnering with government to deliver this project and will work closely with industry throughout the process.”</p> <p>Construction is expected to take about three years and will deliver more than 760 jobs with light rail services to Burleigh expected to be operational in 2023.</p> <p>Construction contractors interested in participating in the Expressions of Interest process for Gold Coast light rail Stage 3A should visit <a href="http://www.goldlinq.com.au">www.goldlinq.com.au</a></p> Tudge Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 3A underway Australia continues to play a key role on the International Maritime Organisation Council https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/media-release/australia-continues-play-key-role-international-maritime-organisation-council <p>Australia will continue to play a key role in a specialised United Nations agency responsible for the safety, security and environmental performance of international shipping.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the nation was successfully re-elected to Category B of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Council in London last night.</p> <p>“Our country’s re-election to Category B of the Organisation reflects on our standing as a significant player in the global maritime industry,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>“Category B is made up of only 10 IMO Member States with the largest interest in global seaborne trade. </p> <p>“Australia is the world’s largest bulk commodities exporter, with 99 per cent of our international trade by volume carried by sea and a search and rescue area which covers one-tenth of the Earth’s surface.</p> <p>“Australia will continue its work with the IMO to build a more modern, innovative and responsive organisation able to address pressing maritime priorities and the rapid pace of technological change.”</p> <p>Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne said the re-election to Category B of the IMO Council would allow Australia to continue to build on decades of positive engagement with the international maritime community and to continue our hard work on reforming the Organisation’s Council.</p> <p>“Australia has developed a reputation for working across the IMO to develop shipping standards which are fair, effective and sustainable,” Senator Payne said.</p> <p>“Through our role on the IMO Council, the Federal Government will do our part to ensure international shipping is safe, reliable and efficient and protects the marine environment so all countries can share the benefits of a strong international shipping sector.”</p> <p>Australia is a founding member of the IMO and has been an elected member of the Council since 1985.</p> <p>The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) led Australia’s campaign for re-election to Category B of IMO Council, supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.</p> McCormack Australia continues to play a key role on the International Maritime Organisation Council Let the play begin in the new Warragamba Civic park https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/media-release/let-play-begin-new-warragamba-civic-park <p>A new play space for people of all ages and abilities has opened in Wollondilly, thanks to a $350,000 investment from the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the project delivered more accessible equipment for people with a disability.</p> <p>“The play space has sensory items to stimulate one of a person’s five senses, caters to people who are frail and has a fenced play space for children,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>Federal Member for Hume Angus Taylor, who attended today’s opening, said the Liberal and Nationals Government’s $350,000 funding had delivered an important community facility for Wollondilly.</p> <p>“This inclusive play space supported 35 full-time jobs during construction and creates two ongoing roles,” Mr Taylor said.</p> <p>Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional New South Wales John Barilaro said the new facility would encourage greater participation and revitalise the Warragamba town centre.</p> <p>“The new play space will attract more tourists, families, children, older Australians and people with a disability, boosting the local economy through extra spending in local businesses,” Mr Barilaro said.</p> <p>Mayor of Wollondilly Matthew Deeth said the new play space is an outcome of 10 years of Warragamba community lobbying, becoming reality through joint funding from the Australian Government, the New South Wales Government, Wollondilly Shire Council and Touched by Olivia Foundation.</p> <p>“The community has driven this project and they are pleased it is complete. It will promote social inclusion and encourage physical activities for improved local community wellbeing,” Cr Deeth said.</p> <p>The Federal Liberal and Nationals Government invested $350,000 in the $1.495 million project. The New South Wales Government provided $360,000, Wollondilly Shire Council $770,000 and Touched by Olivia Foundation $15,000.</p> McCormack Let the play begin in the new Warragamba Civic park Ground-breaking Inland Rail agreement lays the track for Queensland's future https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/media-release/ground-breaking-inland-rail-agreement-lays-track-queenslands-future <p>The most significant freight infrastructure project in the nation’s history has taken a major step forward with the Australian and Queensland Governments signing a ground-breaking Bilateral Agreement to deliver Inland Rail.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Bilateral Agreement would ensure Queensland’s future growth is supported by a robust freight rail network capable of servicing the long-term liveability and productivity of Queensland’s regions, towns and cities.</p> <p>“The Bilateral Agreement signed today is backed by the Federal Government’s $9.3 billion commitment to deliver Inland Rail and is part of the broader $25 billion commitment we’ve made to road and rail projects across Queensland since coming to Government in 2013,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>“Our government values the significance of this nation-building project for regional communities. More than 7,000 jobs and a $7 billion boost to Queensland’s economy will make a real difference to the people who live and work in this state. </p> <p>“We are transforming the way freight is moved in Australia. For every dollar we are investing in Inland Rail, $2.62 will be returned to the national economy. </p> <p>“Modelling by the CSIRO shows an average saving of $76 per tonne for horticulture and post-processed food when shifted onto the double-stacked trains. The data is clear – Inland Rail is a game-changer for regional Australia.</p> <p>“We’re already seeing the benefits in New South Wales with the section of track between Parkes and Narromine underway.  </p> <p>“For this 100 kilometre section, more than $46 million in contracts have been committed to 84 local businesses with 1,000 people having worked on the project – 400 of those are locals.  </p> <p>“Good paying jobs means more money flowing through small businesses in a particularly difficult time of drought and I look forward to this being replicated in Queensland.” </p> <p>Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said the signing of this Bilateral Agreement was a crucial step towards delivering a more efficient freight network for the future, underpinning our national economic growth and international competitiveness.</p> <p>“Long-haul rail is cheaper, safer and more reliable than moving freight by road over those distances. That is why the Australian Government has committed up to $9.3 billion to complete the national rail network through Inland Rail,” Minister Cormann said.</p> <p>“The shift from road to rail is crucial to ensuring our freight network meets the needs of our growing population.</p> <p>“It is great to have the Queensland Government on board now supporting our Inland Rail project. This project will improve the national freight rail network by connecting communities, creating jobs, reducing supply chain costs and making Australian business more competitive.”</p> <p>Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said that the agreement reached with the Australian Government cements protections for Queenslanders and would see close to $2 billion in joint-funding fast-tracked for road and rail projects across the state.</p> <p>“The delivery of Inland Rail in Queensland is a huge win for the state, providing jobs and opportunities to communities,” Mr Bailey said. </p> <p>“This deal will see us work with the Federal Government on business cases for passenger rail services from Salisbury to Beaudesert, Brisbane to Toowoomba and a dedicated rail freight line to the Port of Brisbane.</p> <p>“This includes better understanding the expected freight demand on the line into the future and identifying opportunities for intermodal terminals at Ebenezer and Bromelton to assist in managing the freight task. </p> <p>“The projects will support the Trade and Enterprise Spine initiative identified under the South East Queensland City Deal Statement of intent.</p> <p>“All parties have also agreed to establish an international panel to advise on the modelling of potential flood impacts and continuing community consultation along the project’s chosen route through Queensland.</p> <p>“In addition to the expert hydrologists already engaged by the Australian Rail Track Corporation, an expert panel of international specialists will be established to advise on best practice flood structural integrity and report back to the Queensland and Australian Governments.</p> <p>“Queenslanders can have confidence that a comprehensive and detailed approvals process for the project is being undertaken that includes rigorous environmental, planning and statutory approvals.”</p> <p>For more information on the benefits of Inland Rail for Queensland, visit: <a href="http://www.inlandrail.gov.au/">www.inlandrail.gov.au</a></p> McCormack Ground-breaking Inland Rail agreement lays the track for Queensland's future Interview with Lee Faulkner, Triple M Darling Downs https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/interview/interview-lee-faulkner-triple-m-darling-downs <div class="WordSection1"> <p><strong>LEE FAULKNER:</strong></p> <p>And just in time for Christmas, would you believe the three wise men have turned up in my studio this morning, which is great. So it is a very good morning to the Member for Groom, Dr John</p> <p>McVeigh, who we will start with. Good morning to you, John.</p> <p><strong>JOHN MCVEIGH:</strong></p> <p>G’day, Lee. Great to see you.</p> <p><strong>LEE FAULKNER:</strong></p> <p>You've got a big day today, and there's going to be something really special to be announced here in Toowoomba, something that we've been talking about for some time.</p> <p><strong>JOHN MCVEIGH:</strong></p> <p>Absolutely, Lee. Thrilled to be here with you in the studio with the Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack here with us, and of course the leader of our community, Paul Antonio, the Mayor of the Toowoomba region. Big day today, the signing of the intergovernmental agreement between the Federal Government and the State Government on Inland Rail. So this project is now well and truly underway with this signing today between the Deputy Prime Minister and the state minister who will be here in town with us later in the day. And the benefits for Toowoomba will certainly now flow.</p> </div> <div class="WordSection2"> <p><strong>LEE FAULKNER:</strong></p> <p>Yeah absolutely, and this we- I mean, we often throw around the word game changer, but Deputy Prime Minister, this certainly is for our region, as was the delivery of the Second Range Crossing, which has just been absolutely fantastic for us. You've only got to look up towards James Street up there and not see trucks rumbling through our city. So we thank the government for their action on that, and on this Inland Rail and it must be very satisfying about to come to the Garden City today to be able to make this announcement.</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK:</strong></p> <p>Well indeed. $1.2 billion went to the Second Range Crossing, and the Queensland component of the Inland Rail is going to be $7 billion. But perhaps more importantly for Toowoomba, 7200 jobs are going to be created for the Inland Rail, and many of those are going to be right here in Toowoomba. So this is going to be great for this area, for this region, and no one knows that better than John McVeigh. And he has made sure that Toowoomba is going to be part and parcel, very much centre of this huge transformational build. This is nation building infrastructure.</p> <p><strong>LEE FAULKNER:</strong></p> <p>Absolutely. When are we making the official announcement this morning?</p> <p><strong>JOHN MCVEIGH:</strong></p> <p>Well the signing will happen at City Hall. Will be watched very closely by the Mayor, Worship Paul Antonio. He's very keen on this project, obviously along with the rest of us. So very exciting morning for Toowoomba.</p> <p><strong>LEE FAULKNER:</strong></p> <p>Well it is, isn't it? I mean, we've been talking about this for how long? Ever since you and I have been talking on this program, and how great to see it coming to fruition.</p> <p><strong>PAUL ANTONIO:</strong></p> <p>Absolutely. And look, we're very thankful for the Range Crossing. But this will be- have a more profound effect than the Range Crossing. This is a thing that will provide a tremendous number of jobs long term - long term sustainable jobs - as we move towards becoming an inland port. But of course, the $5 billion that will be spent to get through the hill will certainly- we'll be using the same technique as we used with the bypass. Well we want the maximum amount of that money spent in this postcode, and we'll be working on that. And $5 billion, that's three times the size plus of the bypass. So we are expecting some good outcomes. This is a game-changing thing. This is nation building, and I'm very, very thankful that it's happening.</p> </div> <div class="WordSection3"> <p><strong>LEE FAULKNER:</strong></p> <p>Well, given the investment in the Second Range Crossing and now in the Inland Rail, I mean, it just shows a commitment to regional Australia by the government and that's something that you have been talking about. But you're actually delivering, which is, I think, a fantastic thing.</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK:</strong></p> <p>Well John and I not only live in regional Australia, we love regional Australia, and we want more people to enjoy the benefits of regional Australia. And when regional Australia is strong, so too is our nation. I mean, everything gets created in regional Australia, let's face it. It's all the agricultural, the mining wealth comes from regional Australia, and more people need to know that, and more people need to come out here and live in places like Toowoomba. You know it is a fantastic place to live. I understand, I live in a regional city in New South Wales – forgive me for that – but, you know, I love the regions and you know I'll always, always shout from the rooftops about the value of regional Australia.</p> <p><strong>LEE FAULKNER:</strong></p> <p>Well look I've been here over two decades, but I'm a blue at heart as well as these two well know [indistinct] ...</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK:</strong></p> <p>You just lost half your listeners.</p> <p><strong>LEE FAULKNER:</strong></p> <p>No, no, they know. They’ve been listening to me for a long time and they’ve been- and believe me, they’ve had a lot of fun with me during the eight in a row and then another three in a row at the State of Origin, so it’s all been good. But it has been a great investment in this region and for Groom. I mean, two of the biggest infrastructure programs, John, anywhere in the country.</p> <p><strong>JOHN MCVEIGH:</strong></p> <p>That's right Lee, we've got such a diversified economy here. Education, health of course, agribusiness. We are, as the mayor knows full well, feeling the effects of drought. Obviously, he plays a leadership role in our community in times of bushfire, for example, so we have our challenges but we are the biggest private sector inland city in the country. We have tremendous potential and I'm so pleased that Michael McCormack, the Deputy Prime Minister, obviously Scott Morrison, the Prime Minister, recognized Toowoomba and we continue to get the support that we deserve.</p> </div> <div class="WordSection4"> <p><strong>PAUL ANTONIO:</strong></p> <p>Oh well, we wouldn’t argue that there’s not a better city anywhere in the world.</p> <p><strong>PAUL ANTONIO:</strong></p> <p>No, well look, I've got to confess that last night when I was welcoming Santa Claus to town and he turned up on his sleigh directly from the North Pole, he told the crowd there that Toowoomba’s the best city that he travels to.</p> <p>And we all agreed and we clapped.</p> <p><strong>LEE FAULKNER:</strong></p> <p>We certainly did.</p> <p><strong>PAUL ANTONIO:</strong></p> <p>And I’m- Michael will take that away now as Deputy Prime Minister.</p> <p><strong>LEE FAULKNER:</strong></p> <p>You can't argue with Santa. It was a great night last night, too, I've got to say. You've got something else that's happening, coming up on Sunday 1 December because we just touched on the bushfires that have ravaged part of our region.</p> <p><strong>PAUL ANTONIO:</strong></p> <p>I saw something that I was terribly proud of during the crisis we had with bushfires where everybody came together. There were so many different groups. We even had international firemen here who were helping us and they've been working in recent days falling difficult trees that have been- could potentially cause trouble. They're from New Zealand. Now look, these people put in a tremendous effort. That fire covered 20,000 hectares. That’s significant. It has a hundred-k boundary on it that is being patrolled. I know of an instance where 100 cattle were killed in one- on one property. I know of the fact that the posts have been all burnt, all that sort of thing. We know with the fact that we went within an ace of running out of- of having a very difficult time with water in Toowoomba. Had those firemen not got in and preserved the line to Perseverance Dam- we lost the line to our main dam, Cresswell. But- and I just want to pay my tribute also to those who work for the- for Ergon Energy as it is- used to be known. They went in there in difficult circumstances and they repaired that line and we're back to normal because of their efforts. The Salvation Army, 5000 meals they produced. The army here, Cabarlah signals base, provided a lot of support. I have never experienced a community coming together in that way and I'm proud of that.</p> </div> <div class="WordSection5"> <p><strong>LEE FAULKNER:</strong></p> <p>Yeah, absolutely.</p> <p><strong>PAUL ANTONIO:</strong></p> <p>So on Sunday afternoon ...</p> <p><strong>LEE FAULKNER:</strong></p> <p>Yes.</p> <p><strong>PAUL ANTONIO:</strong></p> <p>... there will be entertainment, there will be everything at the Crows Nest Showgrounds and we'll thank those people who've done so much.</p> <p><strong>LEE FAULKNER:</strong></p> <p>Alright, that’s going to be a great day. Activities for the kids as well. You can go along there between 4 and 8 PM this Sunday, Crows Nest Showgrounds. Take the entire family and celebrate the great work of our firefighters and the services that surround them. Deputy Prime Minister, welcome to the Garden City and thank you for the announcement that’s going to be made today and the Government's commitment to Inland Rail. We certainly appreciate it.</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK:</strong></p> <p>Yeah, thank you for your interest and I'm sure your listeners will benefit in the long run and in the short term as well from this.</p> <p><strong>LEE FAULKNER:</strong></p> <p>No doubt about it. Member for Groom Dr John McVeigh thank you for your time as always.</p> <p><strong>JOHN MCVEIGH:</strong></p> <p>Thanks so much Lee, always great to be with you.</p> <p><strong>LEE FAULKNER:</strong></p> <p>And Councillor Paul Antonio, I’ll see you tonight.</p> </div> <p><strong>PAUL ANTONIO:</strong></p> <p>Thank you very much for calling us the Three Wise Men. I'm just- I was thankful you didn't require any order to be ...</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK:</strong></p> <p>[Indistinct] gold, frankincense or the myrrh but you are signing the agreement, that’s all that matters...</p> <p><strong>LEE FAULKNER:</strong></p> <p>Thank you both. Big announcement happening here in the Garden City and the signing there of the Inland Rail, which will be a game-changer for our region.</p> McCormack Interview with Lee Faulkner, Triple M Darling Downs Geelong's new nodes are a smart idea https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/tudge/media-release/geelongs-new-nodes-are-smart-idea <p>Geelong’s first Smart Nodes – high-tech replacements for streetlight poles – were officially switched on today at a launch event on the city’s waterfront.</p> <p>Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said the new Smart Nodes were an exciting example of how innovative technology can be integrated into public infrastructure.</p> <p>“The Smart Nodes feature energy-efficient LED lights, free public Wi-Fi, USB charging facilities and digital signage,” Minister Tudge said.</p> <p>“The Smart Nodes will also provide data on the use of public spaces and parking spots, which will feed into evidence-based policies and town planning.”</p> <p>Senator for Victoria Sarah Henderson said Geelong was the first city in Victoria to install Smart Nodes.</p> <p>“These Smart Nodes replace outdated and disconnected streetlight poles – the design, which houses the technology within the pole, ensures the nodes blend in rather than stand out,” Senator Henderson said.</p> <p>“The new Smart Nodes preserve the appeal of Geelong’s public spaces, while also providing the community with clever, creative technology and improved service delivery through data-driven decision-making.”</p> <p>City of Greater Geelong Mayor Stephanie Asher said the Smart Nodes helped to meet the city’s vision of becoming leaders in developing and adopting technology.</p> <p>“The new Smart Nodes’ clever design and game-changing technology support Geelong’s global recognition as a UNESCO City of Design,” Cr Asher said.</p> <p>“They are a great example of Geelong’s commitment to use creativity to build a more sustainable, resilient and inclusive community.”</p> <p>Geelong Councillor Trent Sullivan said the technology was fully adaptable and could be changed over time to meet the future needs of the community.</p> <p>“Geelong is on its way to becoming a leader in adopting smart technology, thanks to the installation of these new Smart Nodes,” Cr Sullivan said.</p> <p>“The new technology provides greater connectivity for the community, whilst also helping maintain our beautiful waterfront and keeping energy costs low.”</p> <p>The creator of the Smart Node technology, ENE.HUB, was awarded the Good Design Award in 2017 for outstanding design and functionality in the category of hardware and building.</p> <p>ENE.HUB is a winner of multiple design accolades, having also won a 2018 Smart City Award for its Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens ‘Connected Gardens’ project.</p> <p>Geelong’s Smart Nodes project received funding of $415,000 through the Australian Government’s Smart Cities and Suburbs Program.</p> Tudge Geelong's new nodes are a smart idea Gold Coast Highway intersection in sight https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/tudge/media-release/gold-coast-highway-intersection-sight <p>The Federal and Queensland governments have announced they will jointly fund a $10 million upgrade to one of the city’s busiest intersections.</p> <p>Following last week’s landmark $1.9 billion deal to fast-track Queensland road and rail projects, including the Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 3A and upgrades to M1 exits 41 and 49 on the northern Gold Coast, both governments will fund the multi-million dollar Oxley Drive and Brisbane Road, Arundel intersection upgrade on a 50/50 basis.</p> <p>The upgrade will include additional right-turn lanes on the highway, a new bike lane and pedestrian fences, and follows more than $160 million in Gold Coast road upgrades delivered prior to the Commonwealth Games, including the six-lane upgrade of Olsen Avenue.  Plans for the upgrade also include extending existing right lanes for vehicles.</p> <p>Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population Alan Tudge said the project would better support Gold Coast population growth and help to bust congestion.</p> <p>“The Gold Coast population is expected to increase by 62 per cent to over 928,000 by 2041, so this upgrade is vital to meeting the demands of population growth and ensuring that the Gold Coast remains a liveable city,” Mr Tudge said.</p> <p>“We’re committed to delivering key infrastructure across the Gold Coast in order to bust congestion, support key industries such as freight and tourism and better connect the region’s fast-growing communities.”</p> <p>Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said it was about cutting congestion and improving safety on one of the city’s fastest-growing commercial and residential hubs.</p> <p>“Not only that, the project will drive local business growth, with 34 construction and engineering jobs to be supported.</p> <p>“It’s part of the Queensland Government’s multi-billion roads and transport budget for the region, which will also see $2.3 billion in jointly-funded upgrades for the M1 over the next four years.</p> <p>Federal Member for Fadden, Stuart Robert said Gold Coasters are sick of sitting in traffic and upgrading this intersection will help people get home sooner and safer.</p> <p>“It’s one of the busiest intersections on the Gold Coast and one of our worst bottlenecks, I’m happy to see this project along with the Light Rail Stage 3A and upgrades to M1 exits on the northern Gold Coast fast-tracked through the acceleration of federal funding.”</p> <p>“To have the timeline accelerated on these vital projects is a big win for the Northern Gold Coast and another example of how the Morrison Government is getting on with the job of delivering.”</p> <p>The Australian Government is contributing $5 million to the $10 million Oxley Drive and Brisbane Road, Arundel intersection upgrade under the Urban Congestion Fund. The remainder is being funded by the Queensland Government.</p> <p>Major works will begin next year following the relocation of utilities.</p> <p>For more information contact TMR on (07) 5563 6600 or <a href="mailto:southcoast@tmr.qld.gov.au">southcoast@tmr.qld.gov.au</a></p> Tudge Gold Coast Highway intersection in sight News grabs - Triple M Darling Downs https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/interview/news-grabs-triple-m-darling-downs <div class="WordSection1"> <p><strong>JOURNALIST:</strong></p> <p>... for Toowoomba today. Can you run us through it?</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK:</strong></p> <p>We have an exciting announcement, and thanks to so many governments coming together, we've</p> <p>finally got the Inland Rail with all the intergovernmental agreements. So Queensland today is signing up to the dotted line for the Inland Rail. This is going to mean a $7 billion boost for Queensland. 7,200 jobs for this fine state, and one of the biggest advocates for, of course, jobs growth in Queensland and in this area in particular is John McVeigh, my friend and colleague, the Member for</p> <p>Groom. So delighted to be with him today as we sign this historic agreement.</p> <p><strong>JOURNALIST:</strong></p> <p>And what does it mean for Toowoomba specifically?</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK:</strong></p> <p>Well what it means is that the Inland Rail is going to be built, of course. What it means is that the</p> <p>goods going to the Port of Brisbane, indeed going to Melbourne and going elsewhere up and down that 1700 kilometre corridor of commerce, are going to get there faster, are going to get there at far less cost. So the Inland Rail - originally predicated, originally designed to have a $10 a tonne saving for all the goods on it - is now going to be potentially right up to $94 a tonne saving, and an average of $76 a tonne saving. So whether goods are coming from port inland or inland to port, it's going to mean that they're going to be done cheaper, more efficiently, faster, and that's going to be savings for the farmers for small business people. And of course, here a growing community on top of the second range crossing, it just means that there's going to be more jobs in the construction phase, more jobs going forward, three free trade agreements signed in the Federal Parliament just this week. And we all know that trade means jobs, we all know that more trade means more jobs. And so for Toowoomba, this is a really exciting day.</p> </div> <div class="WordSection2"> <p><strong>JOURNALIST:</strong></p> <p>Do we have specifics on just how many jobs for Toowoomba?</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK:</strong></p> <p>The actual build for the inland rail for the Queensland side won't start until about 2022. So at the moment, they're doing the builder construction Narromine to Parkes in New South Wales, so that's the first section. But as we get closer, it's going to mean hundreds of jobs. I mean, we know with the second range crossing that there were so many jobs that were created right here in Toowoomba, but this is going to mean hundreds of jobs, because they'll be staying here, they'll be accommodated here. And as with the second range crossing as I was told, many of those people who came here specifically for that project decided to stay. They saw what a beautiful area it was, they saw a great city it was. Very liveable. Why would you want live on the coast when you can live in a great regional inland city? And, I do. I live in Wagga Wagga in New South Wales, you can forgive me for that, but the fact is when people come to these sorts of places, when people see the liveability of Toowoomba and places like this, they just fall in love. And they just love it, they live here, they stay here, and they know that there's a real future here.</p> <p><strong>JOURNALIST:</strong></p> <p>I mean, I’m a New South Welshman, so I understand.</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK:</strong></p> <p>We won't ask you who your support in State of Origin.</p> <p><strong>JOURNALIST:</strong></p> <p>It’s very controversial around here. But earlier you mentioned finally that there's been agreement. There was some delay between Federal and State governments coming together. Why was that and how did we resolve that?</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK:</strong></p> <p>I was just going through the various processes, and I know Victoria signed up very early. New South Wales followed suit. But it was- we had a lot of discussions, and a lot of meetings, and a lot of teleconferences with Queensland. But we've come to an agreement. Mark Bailey will be here today representing the Queensland Government, and I know I've worked in very good faith with him on this project and a number of others. We want to make sure that people know that we're getting on with building roads, rail, whatever the case might be. And when you can do it in a bipartisan fashion, it makes it that much easier. When you can do it from federal to state level, and even local government level. I know Paul Antonio really wants to see Toowoomba go ahead, and I know he works every day in every way to make sure that happens. And when you have good state, federal, local relations, and when you can get on with doing the job, I think that's what community expects. I think that's what community likes to see. They don't want to see the politics of Brisbane and Canberra filtering out into the inland regions. They just want to see better roads. They just want to see rail being built, and they just want to see jobs being created. That's what John McVeigh stands for. That's what I represent, and I'm glad that this historic agreement is happening in Toowoomba today</p> </div> <div class="WordSection3"> <p><strong>JOURNALIST:</strong></p> <p>Great. Just one last question. There was some controversy with the route that was being taken in one of four options, and I know that the Millmerran Inland Rail Group and a few other community groups are pretty concerned about where that might go, and floodplains, and that sort of thing. Has that's been resolved? How have you worked with them?</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK:</strong></p> <p>We’re still working through and obviously we’ve got community consultative committee meetings happening, the ARTC is obviously still working with communities. I spoke to Wes Judd yesterday and I know there are still issues with the final alignment and I certainly know in New South Wales, when we had that corridor and it was about five to six kilometres how many farmers it affected, when we got it down to 50 or 60 there were only a handful. And look, when a particular line or a particular road is going to go through a greenfield site or be larger and go through a site that already exists people do get concerned, I understand that, I'm the son of the generational farming family so I get those issues. But we've got an international expert panel, where we're consulting them – that is at arm's length of government as it should be, very much independent of where we sit and where the ARTC sits – we will take advice from them.</p> <p>We've got Richard Wankmuller of course who's the CEO of this project and you wouldn't get a more informed more expert person to be running the inland rail in all of the world than Richard Wankmuller. So I've got every faith that the process will be right. We'll continue to consult with affected communities, we'll get this line built and everybody will look back and say this was the right thing to do for the nation, this was the right thing to do for Queensland and this was certainly the right thing to do for Toowoomba.</p> <p>[...]</p> </div> <div class="WordSection4"> <p><strong>JOURNALIST:</strong></p> <p>Great. Anything else? All good?</p> <p><strong>MICHAEL MCCORMACK:</strong></p> <p>No. All good, thanks.</p> <p>[Unrelated content]</p> <p><strong>JOURNALIST:</strong></p> <p>Maybe just one more thing about Toowoomba specifically.</p> <p><strong>JOHN MCVEIGH:</strong></p> <p>Sure.</p> </div> <p><strong>JOURNALIST:</strong></p> <p>So obviously a pretty huge announcement today.</p> <p><strong>JOHN MCVEIGH:</strong></p> <p>It is. It’s a great thrill to have the Deputy Prime Minister here, the State Minister to sign this Intergovernmental Agreement, it means inland rail is well and truly underway here in Queensland. Toowoomba will be centre of that activity, the tunnel that will be drilled in the coming years through the Toowoomba Range will be a massive project. About 60 per cent of the cost of the inland rail is being spent here in Queensland and, as I’ve said, Toowoomba is front and centre in that. So the Deputy Prime Minister explained the impact on the Queensland economy, we’ll see about 7200 jobs and many of those will centre around Toowoomba, obviously they'll be spread, the construction through Yulara and through to Brisbane, but the Toowoomba will be centre of this activity so it's a very exciting project off the back of the second range crossing, it means this is the next big thing for our region.</p> <p><strong>JOURNALSIT:</strong></p> <p>Great.</p> <p><strong>JOHN MCVEIGH: </strong><br /> Very good.</p> McCormack News grabs - Triple M Darling Downs