Ministers for the Department of Infrastructure https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/ Latest releases from the Ministers en Prime Minister's Literary Awards shortlists announced for 2021 https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/fletcher/media-release/prime-ministers-literary-awards-shortlists-announced-2021 <p>The 2021 Prime Minister's Literary Awards shortlists capture the full diversity and range of Australia’s vibrant literary sector.</p> <p>The shortlists have been announced today by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts Paul Fletcher.</p> <p>The Awards acknowledge the significant contribution literature, history and poetry have in connecting us to Australian voices and our story as a nation.</p> <p>Prime Minister Scott Morrison said this year’s shortlists celebrated Australia’s talented literary sector in a year when so many Australians turned to reading.</p> <p>“Australia’s storytellers and historians have provided a place for reflection as we have faced the ongoing challenges of the pandemic,” the Prime Minister said.</p> <p>“That’s the power of our literature and the stories being told. Congratulations to everyone shortlisted, and thank you to the judges.”</p> <p>Minister Fletcher said the 2021 shortlists highlight the exceptional talent of Australian writers.</p> <p>“This year’s shortlists have captured diverse voices that make up Australia’s talented literary community,” Minister Fletcher said.</p> <p>“Our writers, poets, historians and illustrators have continued to produce works of literary excellence, making the judging for this year’s shortlist incredibly difficult. We received more than 470 entries, and our judges had the difficult task of selecting 30 books.</p> <p>“Congratulations to the shortlisted authors and thank you to the judges for their expertise and commitment.”</p> <p>Winners of the 2021 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards will be announced in December.</p> <p>For more information on the shortlists, including judging panel comments, visit: <a href="http://www.arts.gov.au/pm-literary-awards/current-awards">www.arts.gov.au/pm-literary-awards/current-awards</a></p> <p><strong>The 2021 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards shortlists are:</strong></p> <p><strong>Fiction</strong></p> <ul> <li>A Treacherous Country, K.M. Kruimink, Allen &amp; Unwin</li> <li>In the Time of Foxes, Jo Lennan, Simon &amp; Schuster: Scribner Australia</li> <li>Lucky’s, Andrew Pippos, Pan Macmillan: Picador Australia</li> <li>The Bass Rock, Evie Wyld, Penguin Random House: Vintage</li> <li>The Labyrinth, Amanda Lohrey, Text Publishing</li> </ul> <p><strong>Non-fiction</strong></p> <ul> <li>Flight Lines: Across the Globe on a Journey with the Astonishing Ultramarathon Birds, Andrew Darby, Allen &amp; Unwin</li> <li>The Altar Boys, Suzanne Smith, HarperCollins Publishing: ABC Books</li> <li>The Details: On Love, Death and Reading, Tegan Bennett Daylight, Simon &amp; Schuster: Scribner Australia</li> <li>The Stranger Artist: Life at the Edge of Kimberley Painting, Quentin Sprague, Hardie Grant Publishing</li> <li>Truganini: Journey Through the Apocalypse, Cassandra Pybus, Allen &amp; Unwin</li> </ul> <p><strong>Australian history</strong></p> <ul> <li>Ceremony Men: Making Ethnography and the Return of the Strehlow Collection, Jason M. Gibson, State University of New York Press</li> <li>Pathfinders: A History of Aboriginal Trackers in NSW,  Michael Bennett, NewSouth Publishing</li> <li>People of the River: Lost Worlds of Early Australia, Grace Karskens, Allen &amp; Unwin</li> <li>Representing Australian Aboriginal Music and Dance 1930-1970, Amanda Harris, Bloomsbury Publishing</li> <li>The Convict Valley: The Bloody Struggle on Australia's Early Frontier, Mark Dunn, Allen &amp; Unwin</li> </ul> <p><strong>Poetry</strong></p> <ul> <li>Change Machine, Jaya Savige, University of Queensland Press</li> <li>Homer Street, Laurie Duggan, Giramondo Publishing</li> <li>Nothing to Declare, Mags Webster, Puncher &amp; Wattmann</li> <li>Shorter Lives, John A. Scott, Puncher &amp; Wattmann</li> <li>The Strangest Place, New and Selected Poems, Stephen Edgar, Black Pepper</li> </ul> <p><strong>Children’s literature</strong></p> <ul> <li>Fly on the Wall, Remy Lai, Walker Books Australia,</li> <li>How to Make a Bird, Meg McKinlay, illustrated by Matt Ottley, Walker Books Australia</li> <li>The January Stars, Kate Constable, Allen &amp; Unwin</li> <li>The Stolen Prince of Cloudburst, Jaclyn Moriarty, illustrated by Kelly Canby, Allen &amp; Unwin</li> <li>The Year the Maps Changed, Danielle Binks, Hachette Australia: Lothian Children’s Books</li> </ul> <p><strong>Young adult literature</strong></p> <ul> <li>Loner, Georgina Young, Text Publishing</li> <li>Metal Fish, Falling Snow, Cath Moore, Text Publishing</li> <li>The End of the World is Bigger than Love, Davina Bell, Text Publishing</li> <li>The F Team, Rawah Arja , Giramondo Publishing</li> <li>When Rain Turns to Snow, Jane Godwin, Hachette Australia: Lothian Children’s Books</li> </ul> <p> </p> <p><strong>Media contacts:</strong></p> <p>Prime Minister’s office: Press Office, (02) 6277 7744</p> <p>Minister Fletcher’s office: Christine Byllaardt | 0409 433 357 | <a href="mailto:Christine.VandenByllaardt@communications.gov.au">Christine.VandenByllaardt@communications.gov.au</a></p> Fletcher Prime Minister's Literary Awards shortlists announced for 2021 Contract awarded for construction of CDU city campus https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/fletcher/media-release/contract-awarded-construction-cdu-city-campus <p>Local Territory construction company Halikos has been awarded the contract to build the new Charles Darwin University (CDU) Education and Community Precinct in Darwin’s central business district.</p> <p>The $190.1 million agreement Design and Construct contract is for the construction of the main building, its complete fit-out as operating education and office spaces, and the landscaping of the public areas.</p> <p>The $250 million project and centrepiece of the Darwin City Deal is a partnership between the Federal Government, the Northern Territory Government and Charles Darwin University (CDU).</p> <p>Federal Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP said the Commonwealth was focused on funding critical infrastructure projects that will help drive economic growth across the city.</p> <p>“The new Charles Darwin University precinct is the centrepiece of the $320 million Darwin City Deal and will help shape the culture and vibrancy of the city for future generations,” Minister Fletchers said.</p> <p>“Once complete, this project will have created more than 700 jobs, helped to diversify the local economy and elevated Darwin’s competitiveness in the international education sector.”</p> <p>Northern Territory Minister for Jobs and Training, the Hon Paul Kirby MLA, said the new precinct will benefit local businesses and tradies while creating a more vibrant city centre.  </p> <p>“This is the centrepiece of the Darwin City Deal and forecast to inject $600 million into our economy, with the construction phase delivering 730 jobs,” Minister Kirby said.</p> <p>“The project is already delivering a significant number of local jobs and at the peak of construction it’s expected up to 260 workers will be on site each day.”</p> <p>Federal Senator for the Northern Territory, Dr Sam McMahon, said the project was an ongoing investment in the local economy.</p> <p>“The new precinct will boost foot traffic through our CBD and activate the area by supporting pop-up community activities such as food trucks and events,” Dr McMahon said.</p> <p>CDU Vice-Chancellor ,Professor Scott Bowman AO, said once complete the new precinct will establish Darwin as a true city of education.</p> <p>“This precinct will be a gateway into the city and make the statement that Darwin is the leading location for education studies and scientific research in Northern Australia,” Professor Bowman said.</p> <p>“This new campus will deliver state-of-the-art facilities to support our students and will provide Territory businesses with the skilled workforce they need now and into the future.”</p> <p>Halikos Managing Director, Shane Dignan, said the company was proud to be awarded the contract for the construction of CDU’s new city campus. </p> <p>“The Education and Community Precinct will elevate our Darwin CBD and Halikos, as a local Territory company is honoured to have the opportunity to be involved in such a transformative project,” Mr Dignan said.  </p> <p>“Halikos is heavily invested in the Darwin community and we will work with local consultants, subcontractors and suppliers to deliver this world-class university campus and community precinct.”</p> <p>Halikos was appointed earlier in the project to work with the Precinct’s Principal Design Consultant to complete the detailed design work and then submit a price to CDU for the finalisation of the design and construction. </p> <p>In partnership with the Larrakia Development Corporation (LDC), who are the Traditional Owners of the land, Halikos will provide Indigenous employment opportunities throughout the project.</p> <p>Once complete in 2024, the precinct will house CDU’s Asia Pacific College of Business and Law; disciplines of the College of Indigenous Futures, Education and the Arts; Information Technology; and the university’s International College and Art Gallery. </p> <p>The new precinct will provide a modern city campus for CDU, a new purpose-built home for the Northern Territory Library, vibrant community spaces and more than 230 underground car parks.</p> <p>For further information about the Education and Community Precinct, visit <a href="https://educationcommunityprecinct.cdu.edu.au/">educationcommunityprecinct.cdu.edu.au</a>. The Darwin City Deal Implementation Plan can be viewed at <a href="https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/cities/city-deals/darwin">infrastructure.gov.au/cities/city-deals/darwin</a>. </p> Fletcher Contract awarded for construction of CDU city campus A plan to advance Australia’s Indigenous Visual Arts https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/fletcher/media-release/plan-advance-australias-indigenous-visual-arts <p>Indigenous arts centres in regional and remote Australia will have access to high-speed broadband, helping their artists to build new audiences and markets across the world, under the Morrison Government’s National Indigenous Visual Arts Action Plan (NIVAAP), released today.</p> <p>The Plan outlines the Government’s priorities in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander visual arts sector over the next five years.</p> <p>Along with connecting up to 80 arts centres to the NBN, measures in the Plan include:</p> <ul> <li>Ongoing funding of $5 million per year to implement the Action Plan, increasing the overall support to the Indigenous Visual Art sector to more than $27 million annually</li> <li>A national rollout of digital labelling for artworks and products, to protect the authenticity of artists’ work</li> <li>Working with international counterparts, to seek reciprocal arrangements for resale royalties overseas</li> </ul> <p>Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said the action plan will reinforce a sector which offers strong participation and economic opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, organisations and businesses.</p> <p>“The Morrison Government’s Action Plan will help safeguard the cultural knowledge which underpins the work of Australia’s world-renowned Indigenous visual artists, while investing in sustainable economic opportunities for a modern digital environment,” Minister Fletcher said.</p> <p>“This plan contains actions on many fronts – we’re funding the national rollout of digital labelling, investing in ethical production of authentic art and working with Indigenous communities to explore certification trademarks and new stand-alone legislation.”</p> <p>Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP, said the initiative encourages sustainable growth while protecting the cultural interests of artists and organisations.</p> <p>“We’ve undertaken extensive consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, together with commercial galleries, auction houses, wholesalers and the state and territory governments – because successful outcomes requires Indigenous Australians to be at the table.</p> <p>“Visual art is an important vehicle for us to document and tell our stories, maintain and share culture and promote an understanding of history and Country.”</p> <p>The Government will conduct a mid-point assessment of the Action Plan in December 2023 and adjust, as needed, to continue addressing the most urgent priorities in this sector.</p> <p>To see the full National Indigenous Visual Arts Action Plan, visit: <a href="http://www.arts.gov.au/actionplan">www.arts.gov.au/actionplan</a> </p> <h2>Media contacts: </h2> <p>Minister Fletcher:  </p> <p>Imre Salusinszky | 0432 535 737 | <a href="mailto:Imre.Salusinszky@communications.gov.au">Imre.Salusinszky@communications.gov.au</a></p> <p>Christine Byllaardt | 0409 433 357 | <a href="mailto:Christine.VandenByllaardt@communications.gov.au">Christine.VandenByllaardt@communications.gov.au</a></p> <p>Minister Wyatt: </p> <p>Marie Hogg | 0473 862 693 | <a href="mailto:marie.hogg@ia.pm.gov.au">marie.hogg@ia.pm.gov.au</a>   </p> Fletcher A plan to advance Australia’s Indigenous Visual Arts Parking boost at Emu Plains station https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/fletcher/media-release/parking-boost-emu-plains-station <p>Work is underway to deliver around 750 additional car spaces near the Emu Plains railway station, to support commuters using public transport.</p> <p>The Morrison Government is contributing $15 million under the Urban Congestion Fund towards the project.</p> <p>Federal Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said this important project would help ease congestion on local roads by providing commuters with greater access to rail services.</p> <p>“The Morrison Government is getting on with delivering infrastructure projects that improve congestion and safety for commuters across Australia, making it easier for them to move around our capital cities and ensuring they get home quickly and safely,” Minister Fletcher said.</p> <p>“Under the Urban Congestion Fund, we are delivering 182 packages of work nationwide. The total number of projects that are now completed or underway nationwide is 73. A further 30 are expected to start construction this year.</p> <p>“This is just the latest example of us delivering on our commitment to progress critical infrastructure projects across the country under our record $110 billion, 10-year infrastructure investment pipeline, which is helping to drive Australia’s economic recovery.”</p> <p>New South Wales Minister for Transport and Roads, the Hon Rob Stokes MP, said the project is part of the NSW Government’s Commuter Car Park Program, which aims to provide greater public transport options for commuters and help ease congestion on our roads.</p> <p>“This investment is excellent news for the residents of Emu Plains and surrounding suburbs, not only for the additional car parking off Old Bathurst Road, but also the dozens of jobs that will be generated by this project,” Minister Stokes said.</p> <p>“A new roundabout will be installed at the intersection of Old Bathurst Road and Smith Street to allow vehicle entry and exit into the car park, with landscaping carried out including a vegetated drainage channel through the car park.”</p> <p>Federal Member for Lindsay, Melissa McIntosh MP, said increasing car parking at the station would take hundreds of cars off the road by increasing access to public transport. </p> <p>“This project will ease congestion and improve safety on our roads by enabling more people to access our local public transport network,” Ms McIntosh said.</p> <p>“Prior to COVID, the existing parking at the station was usually full as early as 7am on weekdays. The increased capacity will be a much-needed boost for our community.</p> <p>“This will help make the daily commute quicker and safer, helping local people spend more time building their business or at home with their family rather than stuck in traffic.”</p> <p>New South Wales Member for Penrith, the Hon Stuart Ayres MP, said a new footbridge over Old Bathurst Road is being installed as part of the project, and it will provide safe and direct pedestrian access between the car park and the station.</p> <p>“There will also be Transport Park&amp;Ride infrastructure including Opal-operated boom gates, provision for future electric vehicles charging spaces, and CCTV, lighting and wayfinding signage for improved safety and security,” Mr Ayres said.</p> <p>Earlier this year, additional Aboriginal heritage items were discovered during field surveys as part of the now completed Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Assessment.</p> <p>Transport for NSW worked with Registered Aboriginal Parties, a heritage consultant and Heritage NSW to manage these items allowing construction to start.</p> <p>The Emu Plains Commuter Car Park is expected to be completed in late 2022.</p> <p>For more information, please visit: <a href="http://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/emuplains">www.transport.nsw.gov.au/emuplains</a>.</p> Fletcher Parking boost at Emu Plains station Improving safety on the Goulburn Valley Highway https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/joyce/media-release/improving-safety-goulburn-valley-highway <p class="MsoNormal">The Goulburn Valley Highway will soon be safer thanks to the installation of flexible safety barriers between Seymour and Shepparton.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The $35 million project will see more than 175 kilometres of flexible safety barriers installed on both sides of the northbound and southbound carriageways of the Goulburn Valley Highway, from the Hume Freeway interchange at Seymour to Ross Road, south of Kialla.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said the safety improvements are vital to this major transport route.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">“The Goulburn Valley Freeway forms a national freight link between Melbourne and Brisbane, connecting with the Newell Highway in New South Wales and the Leichhardt and Gore Highways in Queensland,” Minister Joyce said.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">“This project will provide a continuous safe corridor for the thousands of road users travelling on the Goulburn Valley Highway each day.”</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Victorian Minister for Roads and Road Safety Ben Carroll said installing the flexible safety barriers will reduce the likelihood and severity of crashes on the highway.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">“We know that between 2014 and 2018 10 serious and 12 other injury crashes along the Goulburn Valley Freeway between Seymour and Shepparton, and tragically one person lost their life,” Minister Carroll said.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">“These safety barriers will reduce the risk of head-on and run-off-road crashes, preventing serious injuries and saving lives.”</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Federal Member for Nicholls Damian Drum said the works are part of the Australian and Victorian governments’ joint investment to improve road safety on critical freight connections.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">“We recognise the importance of the Goulburn Valley Highway to the communities and industries that rely on it, which is why these works are essential,” Mr Drum said.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">State Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes said infrastructure plays a vital role in preventing serious crashes.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">“When a vehicle hits a flexible safety barrier, the posts bend at the base, and the ropes catch the vehicle like a net,” Ms Symes said.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">“This helps to absorb the impact and shield the vehicle from hitting oncoming traffic or running into roadside hazards such as trees.”</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The project will include the barrier installation and associated works, including earthworks, shoulder grading, mowing, vegetation clearing, signage relocation and minor drainage works.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The Goulburn Valley Highway is the main road connecting Seymour to Shepparton and onwards.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The project’s total estimated cost is $35 million, encompassing $28 million from the Australian Government’s Roads of Strategic Importance initiative and $7 million from the Victorian Government.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">For more information, visit the <a href="https://regionalroads.vic.gov.au/map/gippsland-improvements/gippsland-road-safety-program">Regional Roads Victoria website</a>.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">More information on the Roads of Strategic Importance initiative is available at: <a href="https://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/about/national-initiatives/roads-of-strategic-importance.aspx">https://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/about/national-initiatives/roads-of-strategic-importance.aspx</a>.</p> <h2 class="BoswellMediaHeader"><strong>Media contacts</strong>: </h2> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">Deputy Prime Minister – Antony Perry | 0477 971 654 | <a href="mailto:Antony.Perry@infrastructure.gov.au">Antony.Perry@infrastructure.gov.au</a></p> <p>Minister Carroll – Isobel Loschiavo | 0431 963 479</p> Joyce Improving safety on the Goulburn Valley Highway Newell-Mitchell Highway intersection upgrade hits finish line https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/joyce/media-release/newell-mitchell-highway-intersection-upgrade-hits-finish-line <p class="MsoNoSpacing">After 400 pairs of hands on the job, 20,000 tonnes of asphalt laid, and more than 21,000 tonnes of material excavated, the Newell and Mitchell highways intersection upgrade has hit a major milestone, with traffic lights being switched on later this week.</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">The Australian and New South Wales governments are jointly funding the $40 million upgrade to the four-lane intersection to improve road safety and improve efficiencies.</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said this is just one of 13 projects the Australian Government is funding along the Toowoomba to Seymour corridor, under the Roads of Strategic Importance (ROSI) initiative – with a total of $300 million committed to upgrade the critical Newell Highway Corridor under this program.</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">“The Roads of Strategic Importance initiative is delivering real outcomes for regional communities,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">“Adding lanes and significantly improving safety at such a busy intersection while motorists are still using it is a big job.</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">“We are grateful to the people of Dubbo, particularly the businesses surrounding the intersection for being so patient with construction crews during all stages of this work.”</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">New South Wales Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said on top of delivering safer, smoother journeys for road users, the project has also provided work for more than 400 people since worked kicked off in April 2020.</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">“This is just one of five projects the NSW Government is delivering as part of the $301.2 million Building a Better Dubbo program to cut down travel time, make roads safer and ease congestion in and around Dubbo,” Mr Toole said.</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">“The Newell-Mitchell highways intersection upgrade to replace the roundabout with traffic lights to better regulate traffic flow has seen an impressive 20,000 tonnes of asphalt laid on the job and more than 21,000 tonnes of material excavated, with more than 90 per cent of that recycled or reused within our road corridors.</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">“These projects will be absolute game changers for locals.”</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton said while there is still some work to complete this project, switching on the lights is a major milestone.</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">“The temporary roundabout will be removed overnight before the traffic lights are switched on,” Mr Coulton said.</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">“Crews will continue installing some signs as well as completing landscaping, pedestrian fencing and line marking. Work to further improve traffic flow through this area by installing traffic lights at the Baird Street intersection with Newell Highway is also under way.”</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">State Member for Dubbo Dugald Saunders said the project had been funded jointly by the NSW and Australian governments for a total commitment of $40 million.</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">“This work will ensure better traffic flow for the local community and other motorists moving through this major intersection in the Central West,” Mr Saunders said.</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">“Road users now have additional merge and turning lanes – and safer turning paths for road trains up to 36.5 metres long – as well as a range of features including new footpaths, improved drainage, a shared bike path, traffic islands, medians and pedestrian fencing to clearly separate pedestrians from traffic lanes and keep them safe.”</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">Final work on this major project is expected to be completed in November.</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">More information on the Roads of Strategic Importance initiative is available at <a href="https://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/about/national-initiatives/roads-of-strategic-importance.aspx">investment.infrastructure.gov.au/about/national-initiatives/roads-of-strategic-importance.aspx</a>.</p> <h2 class="BoswellMediaHeader"><strong>Media contact:</strong></h2> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">Deputy Prime Minister – Antony Perry 0477 971 654</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">Deputy Premier – Ella Smith 0428 745 348</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">Mr Coulton – Sophie Harris 0491 135 852</p> Joyce Newell-Mitchell Highway intersection upgrade hits finish line Diving into water research to make a splash for the Top End https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/littleproud/media-release/diving-water-research-make-splash-top-end <p>A new project to bolster water sustainability in northern Australia is about to start, gathering the insights Northern Territory producers need for greater crop yields while reducing water usage. </p> <p>The three-year Water Productivity Trial will be led by the NT Farmers Association, with a $250,000 contribution from the Australian Government-funded Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA).</p> <p>It will use state-of-the-art technology to improve water efficiency and reduce the pressure on the region’s aquifers.</p> <p>High-tech probes will also be installed at a number of trial sites from Darwin to Katherine, gaining valuable data that will help take the guess work out of irrigation practices across the Territory.</p> <p>Minister for Northern Australia David Littleproud said the water productivity trial will set the scene for future water planning and decision-making.</p> <p>“I’m thrilled that the CRCNA is tipping in $250,000 for this project, which will give Northern Territory producers a clear understanding of when and how much to water their crops in order to produce the best possible yields. It will to take the guess work out of irrigating,” Minister Littleproud said.</p> <p>“Water is like gold to our grower and farming communities, which is why these projects are so important for a flourishing northern agriculture sector.</p> <p>“Domestically and internationally, we enjoy and rely on the top-notch food and fibre from the north.</p> <p>“The Federal Government is proudly investing $75 million in the CRCNA over 10 years, making new industry-led research collaborations like this – to support the north’s prosperity – possible.”</p> <p>Senator for the Northern Territory, Sam McMahon said the trial will support the hard-earned quality reputation of NT producers.</p> <p>“Our growers and farmers continue to work tirelessly through drought, cyclones and now COVID-19 to continue production, keeping fresh goods in supermarkets, exports flowing, and our economy strong.</p> <p>“That’s why we’re investing in projects that support their hard work and elevate the Territory to new social and economic strengths.</p> <p>“This project is a great example of government, industry and grower communities working together to deliver results for the Top End and the nation.</p> <p>For more information on the work of the CRCNA, visit <a href="http://www.crcna.com.au">www.crcna.com.au</a></p> <h2>Media contact:</h2> <p>0455 448 985</p> Littleproud Diving into water research to make a splash for the Top End Connecting Central Australia: Maryvale Road sealing extended by 20 kilometres https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/joyce/media-release/connecting-central-australia-maryvale-road-sealing-extended-20-kilometres <p>The sealing of an additional 10 kilometres of Maryvale Road to Titjikala is now complete.</p> <p>The works were funded on an 80:20 basis by the Australian and Northern Territory governments as part of the broader $205.9 million Roads of Strategic Importance Alice Springs to Darwin Corridor investment.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said a further 10 kilometres of this vital remote road link in Central Australia had now been sealed to a two-lane sealed standard.</p> <p>“This project is another example of the Australian Government’s investment in vital infrastructure, helping to connect communities and improve safety, while creating jobs and supporting our economic recovery,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.</p> <p>Northern Territory Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics Ewa Lawler said connecting the Territory is one way we are letting the rest of Australia and the world know that the NT is open for business and quality private investment.</p> <p>“These completed upgrades to Maryvale road will mean reduced costs for our freight operators and improve reliability of the network, making sure business can keep on moving, in a safe and productive way,” Ms Lawler said.</p> <p>Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said other elements of the completed section included the installation of seven culverts to improve drainage and flood immunity.</p> <p>“This project demonstrates how the Australian Government’s $4.9 billion investment in the Roads of Strategic Importance initiative is delivering crucial infrastructure projects all over the nation,” Mr Buchholz said.</p> <p>Northern Territory Minister for Central Australia Reconstruction Chanston Paech said the Territory Labor Government is making sure the Territory, and importantly Central Australia, is open for business.</p> <p>“We have listened to the community and upgraded and extended the seal of the Maryvale Road by a further 10 kilometres, which is important for pastoralists and people in remote communities who rely on this vital link for supplies and exports,” Mr Paech said.</p> <p>Senator for the Northern Territory Dr Sam McMahon said the work was done by Northern Territory business Aldebaran Contracting Pty Ltd.</p> <p>“The packages of works supported 59 jobs during construction, boosting employment in the region,” Senator McMahon said.</p> <p>“This is a clear demonstration at how committed to the Northern Territory the Morrison-Joyce Government is.”</p> <p>Other elements of the completed section included the installation of seven culverts to improve drainage and flood immunity.</p> <p>Maryvale Road services Aboriginal communities and pastoral leases and is the main access route for a number of tourist destinations.</p> <p>The benefits of the project include:</p> <ul> <li>Reduced travel time.</li> <li>Reduced costs to freight operators and improved route reliability through a decrease in road closures and reduced vehicle operating costs.</li> <li>Improved opportunities for all industries through improved access across the region.</li> <li>Reduced accidents by improving overall road safety of the route.</li> </ul> <p>The link forms part of the Northern Territory Government’s Rural Secondary Road Network, traversing through pastoral and Aboriginal Land.</p> <p>More information on the Roads of Strategic Importance initiative is available at: <a href="https://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/about/national-initiatives/roads-of-strategic-importance.aspx">https://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/about/national-initiatives/roads-of-strategic-importance.aspx</a>.</p> <h2 class="BoswellMediaHeader"><strong>Media contacts:</strong></h2> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">Deputy Prime Minister – Antony Perry | 0477 971 654 | <a href="mailto:Antony.Perry@infrastructure.gov.au">Antony.Perry@infrastructure.gov.au</a></p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">Minister Lawler – Jasmine Roussos | 0439 003 248 | <a href="mailto:Jasmine.Roussos@nt.gov.au">Jasmine.Roussos@nt.gov.au</a></p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">Assistant Minister Buchholz – Scott O’Connell | 0413 424 384 | <a href="mailto:Scott.O'Connell@aph.gov.au">Scott.O'Connell@aph.gov.au</a></p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">Senator McMahon – Lance Northey | 0411 876 162 | <a href="mailto:Lance.Northey@aph.gov.au">Lance.Northey@aph.gov.au</a></p> Joyce Connecting Central Australia: Maryvale Road sealing extended by 20 kilometres Improving safety on Mallacoota Road https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/joyce/media-release/improving-safety-mallacoota-road <p class="MsoNormal">Work is progressing on Mallacoota Road in East Gippsland to boost safety for locals, freight and tourists as the region continues recovering from the devastating 2019 bushfires.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The upgrades will include sealing road shoulders, resurfacing, curve warning signs, targeted safety barriers and new line marking.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The works follow significant safety upgrades delivered on the road earlier this year, bringing the total investment for Mallacoota Road by the Australian and Victorian governments to $4.9 million under the Road Safety Program.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development said one life lost on Australian roads is one too many, which is why the Australian Government has committed $3 billion nationwide for the Road Safety Program.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">“We recognise the importance of regional roads to the communities and industries that rely on them, which is why this work on Mallacoota Road is essential,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">“Road Safety Program funding supports the fast roll-out of life-saving safety works on rural and regional roads and is another example of how we’re working to reduce serious injuries and the number of Australian lives lost on our roads.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">“The Australian Government is committed to keeping our communities safe, while securing our economic recovery.”</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Victorian Minister for Roads and Road Safety Ben Carroll said the Victorian Government is investing in significant safety upgrades across the state, with hundreds of new projects rolling out.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">“Through this statewide program, we’re taking action to make regional roads safer with improvements such as shoulder sealing, rumble strips and targeted safety barriers,” Minister Carroll said.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">“We know that these works on Mallacoota Road will help to prevent run-off-road crashes and save lives.”</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester said the Federal Government was committed to improving roads in East Gippsland to help boost the local economy and tourism.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">“Mallacoota was one of the most adversely impacted communities by the Black Summer bushfires,” Mr Chester said.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">“We are pleased to be delivering upgrades that will not only improve access in emergencies but also make it easier for tourists to travel through the region.”</p> <p class="MsoNormal">State Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett said that locals and visitors would benefit from the safety improvements.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">“These upgrades will ensure a safer and more resilient connection between the highway and coast for the hundreds of people travelling on Mallacoota Road every day,” Ms Garrett said.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">For more information on the project, visit the <a href="https://regionalroads.vic.gov.au/map/gippsland-improvements/gippsland-road-safety-program">Regional Roads Victoria website</a>.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">More information on the Australian Government’s road safety investments and initiatives is available at <a href="http://www.officeofroadsafety.gov.au">www.officeofroadsafety.gov.au</a>.</p> <h2 class="BoswellMediaHeader"><strong>Media contacts</strong>: </h2> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">Deputy Prime Minister – Antony Perry | 0477 971 654</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">Minister Carroll – Isobel Loschiavo | 0431 963 479</p> Joyce Improving safety on Mallacoota Road Doorstop Press Conference – Parliament House, Canberra https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/joyce/interview/doorstop-press-conference-parliament-house-canberra <p class="Default"><strong>BARNABY JOYCE: </strong>This is a major decision, a decision that affects our nation for the next three decades, and I think a decision that affects our nation for the next three decades at the very minimum deserves a week of sort of prudent deliberation and investigation and also giving people in regional Australia the capacity – and they are – to contact their local members an senators and also to have those members and senators relay those concerns to the party room and then give them the capacity to go back to the people who really are their boss – we are merely the servants down here – so that we can explain the position, whichever we come to, back to them. I juxtapose that to the Labor Party position who said they’re going to buy this and, of course, the question you can ask of them is: “What exactly are you buying?, and they would say, “I don’t know.” “So what’s the price?” And they’d say, “I don’t know.” That worries me a bit. We’re going to make sure that we know what we’re buying and we know what the price is, because that is a price that’s really not for us, but that is a price or a benefit to the people of regional Australia. I’ve said clearly on behalf of our party – and this is the party that makes this decision – I think as Minister Littleproud has said, there is a committee and it’s basically at arm’s length from me, and that is Minister Littleproud, Minister McKenzie, Minister Pitt and Kevin Hogan, who are being used by the party to collate the concerns, to bring them into some sort of cogent document which we can then discuss and I can have oversight over, and that’s where the discussions with the Prime Minister will be. I think that’s just being as open and transparent with the Australian people as I can. This is not a pantomime. We’re not grandstanding. We’re not trying to prevaricate. We are going to be diligent. A decision that affects our nation for three decades deserves from the National Party proper oversight, and that’s what we’re doing.</p> <p class="Default"><strong>JOURNALIST:</strong> When will that go to the party room? Will that be, like, next Monday, next Tuesday?</p> <p class="Default"><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> I don’t want to lock in that, but as quickly as possible. But it turns into a bit of a circus of course, when you say exactly when it is, but I imagine [inaudible].</p> <p class="Default"><strong>JOURNALIST:</strong> So you’re thinking about calling a special party room meeting?</p> <p class="Default"><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> Of course, we definitely would.</p> <p class="Default"><strong>JOURNALIST:</strong> Could you get it done this week?</p> <p class="Default"><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> I’m not going to start going through. I’ve said we’ll do it within the week. I’ve said I’ll be discussing it with the Prime Minister by the end of this week. I think that’s being as honest and straightforward with the Australian people in the most public form which is the chamber.</p> <p class="Default"><strong>JOURNALIST:</strong> So have you asked your party room colleagues to stay back over the weekend?</p> <p class="Default"><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> It makes sense that generally between sitting weeks and with quarantine measures that you don’t have to ask people to stay back – they’re sort of ordered to.</p> <p class="Default"><strong>JOURNALIST:</strong> In terms of the [indistinct] you said on Sunday that it was your job as an impartial chair to look at the mood of the room. You’ve had four days now. What would be your top line assessment? Is it still everyone had a hard no? Are we at half-half, maybes? What’s the view of the room?</p> <p class="Default"><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> At this point in time I’d say that people can’t say it’s a yes or a no. That would be me prompting the party room away from their right – as the most democratic party in the nation – their right to make their call because it’s their seats and it’s their people that have to live with the decision whichever way it goes. It’s their members and senators who have to be responsible for that decision as well, so their members and senators have to be part of that process. That’s what the Nationals are going through. We’re doing it on behalf of regional Australia. Other people have had other forums I’d imagine, but that’s how we’re doing ours because this is the place to do it. This is the Parliament of Australia and if I go down the other path I’m just repeating myself ad nauseam.</p> <p class="Default"><strong>JOURNALIST:</strong> Would you say – would it be your view that we’re closer now four days in to reaching –</p> <p class="Default"><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> We’re closer than we were at the start of the week, obviously.</p> <p class="Default"><strong>JOURNALIST:</strong> Has there been any movement on the initial plan that was put forward by the Energy Minister on Sunday? Has there been any movement on that front?</p> <p class="Default"><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> Obviously if there was a straight-up acceptance of what was presented then we wouldn’t need these discussions. We’d just say yes and move on. Obviously there are concerns and I think some of them have been ventilated and those discussions go on with the Nationals party room.</p> <p class="Default"><strong>JOURNALIST:</strong> George Christensen’s time is about to come to an end. Do you think before he goes do you think he should explain to the taxpayers why he spent almost 300 days in the Philippines over four years?</p> <p class="Default"><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> Look, in parliament there are bookends of philosophies and there are bookends of personalities. I think the Australian people expect that. George has been obviously on the conservative side of politics. He’s now married and he’s got a partner and she came from the Philippines. I mean, I don’t think…</p> <p class="Default"><strong>JOURNALIST:</strong> Are you surprised at him being married [indistinct] more than annual leave allows?</p> <p class="Default"><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> I don’t think he put his trips to the Philippines on the taxpayers’ account. Okay. Thanks, guys.</p> Joyce Doorstop Press Conference – Parliament House, Canberra Funding streaming into Big Rocks Weir https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/joyce/media-release/funding-streaming-big-rocks-weir <p class="MsoNormal">The Australian and Queensland governments have unlocked $6 million towards the construction of the Big Rocks Weir in North Queensland, paving the way for critical pre-construction activities to start.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">This funding, provided on a 50:50 split, will flow to Charters Towers Regional Council to fast-track pre-construction activities needed to ensure the rapid development of the long-awaited Big Rocks Weir.</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said the project would boost the economy and confidence of communities in the Charters Towers region.</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">“Supporting over 200 construction and ongoing jobs, this project will provide significant growth and employment opportunities for the region,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">“Agriculture is the beating heart of Australia. Our regions have been doing it tough with recent bushfires, droughts and now a pandemic, and this project will provide a reliable and sustainable source of water to help our northern Queensland farmers to recover and grow their businesses into the future.”</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">Queensland Minister for Water Glenn Butcher said the construction of this weir is a unique opportunity to deliver an infrastructure project that will bring growth to the broader Charters Towers community.</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">“Local farmers can have confidence in planning for the future knowing that all levels of government are investing in new projects to deliver additional long-term water security,” Minister Butcher said.</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">“This project will develop a 188-metre-long, 10,000-megalitres-capacity weir at Big Rocks, supporting regional communities through an improved water supply network and creating more local jobs.”</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">Special Envoy for Northern Australia Senator Susan McDonald said this is welcome news for the communities of regional North Queensland.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">“Some of the water captured by the weir will be available to support up to 5,000 hectares of higher-value agriculture, including avocados, macadamias and citrus, with the rest going toward boosting water security in the Charters Towers region,” Senator McDonald said.</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">“This is an exciting time for our regions, as the construction of the Big Rocks Weir will also bring with it an improved lifestyle, as well as recreation and tourism opportunities.”</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The pre-construction phase will deliver on-site geotechnical work, facilitate environmental analysis and approvals, maximise water yields for local irrigation, finalise engineering for the project, support the development of market-ready infrastructure design, and sure-up the water demand and pricing.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Pre-construction is expected to finish in late 2022, which subject to all approvals will allow construction to start in early 2023 following the wet season.</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">The Australian Government has committed $54 million to the Hells Gates Dam Scheme, with $24 million to fully fund the detailed business case completed in August 2020 and $30 million towards the construction of the Big Rocks Weir.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The Australian Government’s funding for the weir is being provided through the National Water Grid Fund, which is paving the way to national water security, while promoting economic activity and job creation.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The Queensland Government has committed $30 million towards the Big Rocks Weir project, with $3 million funding pre-construction work and $27 million committed for full construction activities subject to the detailed business case and approvals.</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">For further information on the Big Rock Weir project, visit <a href="http://www.nqwia.gov.au/projects">www.nqwia.gov.au/projects</a>.</p> <h2 class="BoswellMediaHeader"><strong>Media contact:</strong></h2> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">Deputy Prime Minister – Antony Perry | 0477 971 654 | <a href="mailto:Antony.Perry@infrastructure.gov.au">Antony.Perry@infrastructure.gov.au</a></p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">Minister Butcher – Daniel Lato | 0438 891 158 | <a href="mailto:Daniel.Lato@ministerial.qld.gov.au">Daniel.Lato@ministerial.qld.gov.au</a></p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">Senator McDonald – Julian Tomlinson | 0421 059 187 | <a href="mailto:Julian.Tomlinson@aph.gov.au">Julian.Tomlinson@aph.gov.au</a></p> Joyce Funding streaming into Big Rocks Weir Connecting Central Australia: Maryvale Road sealing extended by 20 kilometres https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/buchholz/media-release/connecting-central-australia-maryvale-road-sealing-extended-20-kilometres <p>The sealing of an additional 10 kilometres of Maryvale Road to Titjikala is now complete.</p> <p>The works were funded on an 80:20 basis by the Australian and Northern Territory governments as part of the broader $205.9 million Roads of Strategic Importance Alice Springs to Darwin Corridor investment.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said a further 10 kilometres of this vital remote road link in Central Australia had now been sealed to a two-lane sealed standard.</p> <p>“This project is another example of the Australian Government’s investment in vital infrastructure, helping to connect communities and improve safety, while creating jobs and supporting our economic recovery,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.</p> <p>Northern Territory Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics Ewa Lawler said connecting the Territory is one way we are letting the rest of Australia and the world know that the NT is open for business and quality private investment.</p> <p>“These completed upgrades to Maryvale road will mean reduced costs for our freight operators and improve reliability of the network, making sure business can keep on moving, in a safe and productive way,” Ms Lawler said.</p> <p>Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said other elements of the completed section included the installation of seven culverts to improve drainage and flood immunity.</p> <p>“This project demonstrates how the Australian Government’s $4.9 billion investment in the Roads of Strategic Importance initiative is delivering crucial infrastructure projects all over the nation,” Mr Buchholz said.</p> <p>Northern Territory Minister for Central Australia Reconstruction Chanston Paech said the Territory Labor Government is making sure the Territory, and importantly Central Australia, is open for business.</p> <p>“We have listened to the community and upgraded and extended the seal of the Maryvale Road by a further 10 kilometres, which is important for pastoralists and people in remote communities who rely on this vital link for supplies and exports,” Mr Paech said.</p> <p>Senator for the Northern Territory Dr Sam McMahon said the work was done by Northern Territory business Aldebaran Contracting Pty Ltd.</p> <p>“The packages of works supported 59 jobs during construction, boosting employment in the region,” Senator McMahon said.</p> <p>“This is a clear demonstration at how committed to the Northern Territory the Morrison-Joyce Government is.”</p> <p>Other elements of the completed section included the installation of seven culverts to improve drainage and flood immunity.</p> <p>Maryvale Road services Aboriginal communities and pastoral leases and is the main access route for a number of tourist destinations.</p> <p>The benefits of the project include:</p> <ul> <li>Reduced travel time.</li> <li>Reduced costs to freight operators and improved route reliability through a decrease in road closures and reduced vehicle operating costs.</li> <li>Improved opportunities for all industries through improved access across the region.</li> <li>Reduced accidents by improving overall road safety of the route.</li> </ul> <p>The link forms part of the Northern Territory Government’s Rural Secondary Road Network, traversing through pastoral and Aboriginal Land.</p> <p>More information on the Roads of Strategic Importance initiative is available at: <a href="https://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/about/national-initiatives/roads-of-strategic-importance.aspx">https://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/about/national-initiatives/roads-of-strategic-importance.aspx</a>.</p> <h2><strong>Media contacts:</strong></h2> <p>Deputy Prime Minister – Antony Perry | 0477 971 654 | <a href="mailto:Antony.Perry@infrastructure.gov.au">Antony.Perry@infrastructure.gov.au</a></p> <p>Minister Lawler – Jasmine Roussos | 0439 003 248 | <a href="mailto:Jasmine.Roussos@nt.gov.au">Jasmine.Roussos@nt.gov.au</a></p> <p>Assistant Minister Buchholz – Scott O’Connell | 0413 424 384 | <a href="mailto:Scott.O'Connell@aph.gov.au">Scott.O'Connell@aph.gov.au</a></p> <p>Senator McMahon – Lance Northey | 0411 876 162 | <a href="mailto:Lance.Northey@aph.gov.au">Lance.Northey@aph.gov.au</a></p> Buchholz Connecting Central Australia: Maryvale Road sealing extended by 20 kilometres Interview with Karl Stefanovic, Channel 9, The Today Show https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/joyce/interview/interview-karl-stefanovic-channel-9-today-show-0 <p><strong>KARL STEFANOVIC: </strong>Climate policy has once again driven a wedge between the Coalition with the Liberals and Nationals at loggerheads over Australia’s 2050 net zero emissions target. Nationals Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce is live with us in Canberra now. Barnaby, good morning, good to see you again.</p> <p><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> Good to see you too, Karl, and your listeners.</p> <p><strong>KARL STEFANOVIC:</strong> Do you feel like the PM is just not that into the Nationals?</p> <p><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> We are working our way methodically through. Our job in the Nationals is to represent regional people. That means you take the views of your constituency in regional areas across Australia, take them to the parliament, make sure that those views are well considered because then you have to explain them back to your constituency. I think that is the role of the Nationals and most certainly the roles of Nationals parliamentarians and all the regional towns across Australia where we come from. We are getting a range of concerns being conveyed to us. They’re ringing up the office, they’re walking in. They're people we know, they’re not the randoms who have a campaign from outside your electorate to ring you up and pester you, and we've got to make sure we respect that and got to make sure we look after their jobs and look after the money they bring in to maintain their house, to maintain their standard of living, to bring about the continued growth of their regional cities. That is our job and we won't be swayed by that. That’s all we’re going to do.</p> <p><strong>KARL STEFANOVIC:</strong> Bill Shorten reckons you and the Liberals at the moment are like the Squid Game, you're just trying to kill each other.</p> <p><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> Well Bill, god bless his cotton socks, has a lot of time on his hands if he can watch the Squid Game. I must admit I haven’t seen it, I will go to the nearest aquarium to see what they get up to.</p> <p><strong>KARL STEFANOVIC:</strong> I knew you'd be no good with a pop culture reference. Hey Barnaby, on a serious note, the PM now says he doesn't need you anyway for a deal. That’s not very neighbourly, is it?</p> <p><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> I suppose what he says there is I suppose correct, but we want to make sure we maintain a tight coalition. I think the nation expects that of us. We will make sure that we give our best endeavours to do that. We’re not going to be haphazard. It’s not about ransom and it’s not about grandstanding, it is certainly about looking after regional people. This is something that we've looked at for years and we've got to continue that. We can't just decide that we are going to go in a different direction without proper consideration of the people who sent us to Canberra. We will do that.</p> <p><strong>KARL STEFANOVIC:</strong> Will you have a deal by time he goes to Glasgow?</p> <p><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> My party room is diligently going through it. It is not a unilateral decision. It is not the decision of Barnaby – it sounds weird talking about yourself in the third person so I won’t do that again.</p> <p><strong>KARL STEFANOVIC: Yeah it does.</strong></p> <p><strong>[LAUGHTER]</strong></p> <p><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> What I'm trying to emphasise is it's the role of the party room. I'm genuinely taking on board their views, making sure we have the proper respectful forum where those views can be conveyed. They are many and varied and right across the dynamic of this very vexed issue but ultimately we have to land on a spot and say that's where we are and if we want to go forward, that's what we need to bring about a proper protection of all those jobs so we look after Singleton and Muswellbrook, look after Rockhampton and Gladstone and Emerald and Tamworth and Wagga and also the other towns, your Bussletons, and Tasmania, everywhere. We have to make sure that we do the right job for the Tennant Creeks, this is really important, and the Townsvilles. We're going to do it, and we’re sitting down in a diligent process that continues on and we're trying to make sure that we come forward with a proposition that deals with that. I hear amounts of money. It’s not about a grab bag of money. It is about making sure there is a policy structure that protects us because we’ve seen this problem before. We got done over with the EPBC Act and vegetation laws. We have an EPBC Act now that creeps into every corner of our lives, most pertinently in regional Australia. The divestment of an asset which was private property which was vegetation rights was never handed back and never paid for. When we talk about modelling, my gosh, didn’t they do all the modelling in England and Europe about an energy crisis. Look at it, it is chaos. Modelling is not a message from god. It is an opinion of a person.</p> <p><strong>KARL STEFANOVIC:</strong> Barnaby, it's either yes, no, or you're not sure yet whether or not there'll be a deal by the time he goes to Glasgow, right?</p> <p><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> Of course. That’s a fair question for you to ask on behalf of your listeners. If it was a straight yes, you would have had it by now because we have had very, very long and detailed, tenuous meetings at times. We’ve had them, we haven't heard the word "Yes", so we're still working through it. People have a right to know that.</p> <p><strong>KARL STEFANOVIC:</strong> Can I say this: You've got a hit list out there you want and I reckon it is quite reasonable. You’re spending on regional Australia. You're willing to explore things like nuclear power but he is basically saying, no matter what that deal is, not matter what he’s taken to you, and the speculation about 20 billion for regional Australia, no matter what it is, he doesn't care, he is going to cut his own deal regardless?</p> <p><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> I'm not the voice of the Prime Minister and I'm not going to try and pretend or start negotiating on camera as to the combinations and permutations of this process. I've been through them before. The ETS, the single desk, the carbon tax debates, we don't come to this as newbies, we know what the process is and we know how this works.</p> <p><strong>KARL STEFANOVIC:</strong> Basically, it really irritates you but you're not going to get into the irritation at this point?</p> <p><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong>  Well, Karl, you might say that. I cannot possible comment.</p> <p><strong>KARL STEFANOVIC:</strong> I can tell it's winding you up. It is winding you up like a spring coil this morning.</p> <p><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> No, you're winding me up, Karl, and you're an expert at it.</p> <p>[LAUGHTER]</p> <p><strong>KARL STEFANOVIC:</strong> I am trying to wind you up a bit. I'll let you go to it. Good on you, Barnaby, good to talk to you today.</p> <p><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong>  Good to talk to you today.</p> Joyce Interview with Karl Stefanovic, Channel 9, The Today Show Doorstop – Parliament House, Canberra https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/joyce/interview/doorstop-parliament-house-canberra <p class="Default"><strong>BARNABY JOYCE: </strong>...to make sure that we can go back to our electorates and say, “These are the concerns you conveyed to us and this was the valid attempt we put towards trying to make sure that those concerns were dealt with and this was the path we followed and this was the outcome that we arrived at.” Now, basically go to the end of that equation, and that is the outcome we arrive at. We haven’t arrived at an end point of this and I’m only too happy to comment after that process concludes.</p> <p class="Default"><strong>JOURNALIST:</strong> [Inaudible]</p> <p class="Default"><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> What has precedence? The precedence is making sure you respect those who sent you to this place. There’s nothing that annoys people more than saying, “You go down there and you become a different person. We conveyed to you as branch members, as people on the street, as people when you walk into the local pub, we conveyed to you concerns that we had. And, you know, we didn’t see you even entertaining how you deliberate on them. Now, that’s not good. That’s not what politics is about. When you go down there you’re not a squire. When you go down there you’re a servant – a servant of us. And we expect to see – we respect a servant but a servant of us nonetheless—and we expect to see you do your duty.” And that’s what the Nationals are doing.</p> <p class="Default"><strong>JOURNALIST:</strong> I know you said you don’t want the Nationals to be pushed into a corner, but is Sunday really the last possible stand for the Nats to make a call on this [inaudible] this week inaudible [Inaudible] given Glasgow’s next week? Can the Prime Minister go without an agreement?</p> <p class="Default"><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> He can, actually. That’s the prerogative of the Prime Minister. And once more, we’re not going to start trying to even mimic bullying the Prime Minister or coercing the Prime Minister. He has his own mandate and he has his own capacity and that is absolutely and utterly his own right, quite evidently. What we have to do is do our job. We have a Coalition, and it’s the best thing for our nation that we do. It is not chained with a padlock, it is the agreed position of views, one overwhelmingly a capital city urban view, with regional seats as well, no doubt about that. Our view is exclusively regional. We have no capital city seats that we have to politically contend with. And there is most definitely within – the closer you get to the centre of the capital cities a different political view. We respect that. Their view is premised on predominantly white-collar jobs and low energy requirements, whilst ours in regional areas is predominantly blue-collar jobs that are energy-intensive. So you would expect to be a different set of eyes that would go over these deals and I hope people respect that. And, you know, even in the sort of fourth estate narrative, it’s one of, “How dare you disagree?” And that doesn’t help. That just once more says, “Well, how arrogant could you be?”</p> <p class="Default"><strong>JOURNALIST:</strong> Mr Joyce, you haven’t signalled any plans to legislate this plan. Wouldn’t you want to legislate so that you can ensure the regions are protected even if you don’t win the next election. Because Labor could come in and change it if they wanted to.</p> <p class="Default"><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> This is another thing. The Labor Party has to say what they’re going to do for regions. The only way the Labor Party could have any chance of success at the next election is to win regional seats. And what we have now conveyed to regional people is they’ve said they’re going to get there, they’ve said they’re going to legislate it, but they haven’t told any of the people about what happens to their jobs. What happens to their costs?</p> <p class="Default"><strong>JOURNALIST:</strong> You can control that if you legislate.</p> <p><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> Let’s finish it. The Labor Party have clearly got to tell regional people about what their plan is and how it works out and what it costs for them, otherwise I really don’t give them much chance in the next election because regional people will say, “Well, the Grayndler plan doesn’t work for Gladstone. The Grayndler plan doesn’t work for the Hunter Valley or Townsville. And you just take – the Labor Party, you just take our vote for granted. You’ve never had meetings trying to deal with this. You just took our position for granted and expect us to sort of mute like to go out and vote for you.” Well, the people in regional areas won’t and, therefore, the Labor Party have no chance. They’re almost signing the epitaph for the next election which they’ll lose because they’ll go so well in the inner suburbs – they will go brilliantly – and they’ll lose regional seats. I’ve been around long enough to see that’s what’s going to happen. Now, to the substance of your question, which was about would we legislate. Let’s get to the end of this process. Let’s not jump ahead and start second-guessing what might be the case. Let’s get to the end of the process. I’m trying my very best to be respectful in that process and to not start litigating it in front of the camera.</p> <p class="Default"><strong>JOURNALIST:</strong> But you’re not ruling it out?</p> <p class="Default"><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> As I said, that’s also partial ligation because you start going into the cut and dice of ruling out and ruling in and I’ve been around for a little while.</p> <p class="Default"><strong>JOURNALIST: </strong>[Inaudible] this morning, do you essentially believe this is a fait accompli? That one way or another Morrison’s going to Glasgow whether you agree to it or not and he’s going to say it. Is that a fair assessment of where you believe this is at?</p> <p class="Default"><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> I’m not here to read the Prime Minister’s mind. My job is to represent the people that I was sent here to represent, as is all my colleagues. You know, the Member for Flynn, Ken O’Dowd, is there to represent his people, as the Member for Gippsland, Darren Chester, is there to represent his people, as the Member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry, is there to represent her people and as is Pat Conaghan, the Member for Cowper. That’s what we are sent to do. And that –</p> <p class="Default"><strong>JOURNALIST:</strong> [Inaudible]</p> <p class="Default"><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> I am here to make sure that I give absolute respect and impartiality to the views of the Nationals room and, as such, having the incredible honour to lead them to collate those views into a pertinent policy. And what other people do with it is really up to them. But I know my job, and I’m going to stick to my job.</p> <p class="Default"><strong>JOURNALIST:</strong> [Inaudible]</p> <p class="Default"><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> We are trying to be as proactive as possible and not just stymie a process. We understand the necessity of this, but we didn’t determine the timeframe. We didn’t determine the time of deliberation. We have to, with the time we have – which is rather truncated – to come to a conclusion on what is probably one of the most totemic decisions this nation will make. And no matter which way it goes, you would expect there to be a proper oversight and deliberation on behalf of the members of parliament. That is more important than the deliberations of myself.</p> Joyce Doorstop – Parliament House, Canberra Interview with Kieran Gilbert Sky News – Afternoon Agenda https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/joyce/interview/interview-kieran-gilbert-sky-news-afternoon-agenda <p class="Default"><strong>KIERAN GILBERT:</strong> Let’s ask the Deputy Prime Minister now, he’s with me, Barnaby Joyce, here in the studio. Andrew there reporting his understanding is that your party is seeking safeguards for jobs in your areas, as opposed to truckloads of cash. Is that right?</p> <p class="Default"><strong>BARNABY JOYCE: </strong>We are certainly making sure that we look after the people of regional Australia. And Kieran, it's fair enough to say that we're going to look to people's jobs. We are going through a process, a diligent process that collects the views of the Nationals in the party room because we believe that is how we best understand the views of regional Australia. The Nationals are exclusively a regional based party, and I know that they would want from us the proper oversight. We are giving them that because we have to explain back to people in regional seats that we represent, why we've come to any position that we decide to come to. Now, I can assure you…</p> <p class="Default"><strong>KIERAN GILBERT:</strong> Is that cash…</p> <p class="Default"><strong>BARNABY JOYCE: </strong>I just think it's a lack of respect for the party room to start saying what is in or what is not in a deal that, to be quite frank, they have to have the right to finalise themselves. The ultimate [inaudible] resides with them. Some people are saying, I heard in some reports, “Why doesn't Barnaby lead and just go out and tell them what it is?”, because that is being totalitarian. That's not something that we expect in a democratic party.</p> <p class="Default"><strong>KIERAN GILBERT: </strong>Horatio Joyce.</p> <p class="Default"><strong>BARNABY JOYCE: </strong>Yeah, Horatio Joyce.<strong> </strong>I've never seen a person with a redder head than what I just saw that clip of me. The pressure must be getting to me.</p> <p class="Default"><strong>KIERAN GILBERT:</strong> When you say the PM has his own mandate on climate, what do you mean by that? Are you saying that the Nats really aren't going to have much say?</p> <p class="Default"><strong>BARNABY JOYCE: </strong>What I'm saying there is that the Prime Minister is the Prime Minister, no doubt about that, Leader of the Coalition, but his mandate comes from the Liberal party room. There is no mandate from the Nationals party room. There is supposed to be a Coalition mandate if they choose to agree. The mandate from the Nationals party room is still being discussed. I want to get that through really clearly because sometimes things get twisted and turned into a form of words, to be quite frank, that are unhelpful and more importantly, don't reflect exactly where the Nationals are.</p> <p class="Default"><strong>KIERAN GILBERT:</strong> The Nats will get there eventually, won't they? How does the PM head to Scotland…</p> <p class="Default"><strong>BARNABY JOYCE: T</strong>he process will go through, we'll continue on and I'm not going to try and predetermine the outcome because that won't help, amongst other things, and also it's not my right. My right is to collect the views and to be to discern as to what those views are and if required to negotiate. We're doing this in a truncated, high colour form because it's happening in the Parliament. Maybe…</p> <p class="Default"><strong>KIERAN GILBERT:</strong> Your heart is not in it, really… you argued against this sort of action before.</p> <p class="Default"><strong>BARNABY JOYCE: </strong>I would clearly say that I'm always cautious. That would be a fair call and to say anything else would be to not be straight with you. And yeah, of course, I have a real sense of caution and I carry that, but my views do not have primacy in this. My views are views amongst a room and being an accountant, then being a farmer, bush accountant, you're always trying to make sure that people are cautious because that's how you keep them in business.</p> <p class="Default"><strong>KIERAN GILBERT:</strong> Matt Canavan says the Prime Minister is gaslighting the Coalition party room. He said it's ironic given he wants to get rid of fossil fuels, but he's gaslighting him because he's consulting, he's already got his end result.</p> <p class="Default"><strong>BARNABY JOYCE: </strong>He has definitely got a mandate from the Liberal party room – most definitely. As the Prime Minister, it's his right to basically as the Prime Minister to determine a whole raft of things. The Nationals is a separate party room and the Nationals are going through their process now. These are two different processes. I have no mandate from the Nationals party room at this stage, so I can't offer to the Coalition a Coalition mandate because I don't have one myself.</p> <p class="Default"><strong>KIERAN GILBERT:</strong> You are very close to him. He's your former chief of staff. I know that you are close. Is he going out there pushing hard with your approval?</p> <p class="Default"><strong>BARNABY JOYCE: </strong>No. What he's doing is, as you know, he's an incredibly erudite person and he is a great asset to this Parliament because he can really dive into the details. As a former economist, he knows how to flesh out an issue. That's of a great assistance to my colleagues in the party room. Everybody's got certain trait of skills. With Keith there’s an engineer and electrician. He’s also formidable in this space. Other people…</p> <p class="Default"><strong>KIERAN GILBERT:</strong> They were both opposed to that.</p> <p class="Default"><strong>BARNABY JOYCE: </strong>I'm not going to say what their position is. That's for them to say what their position is.</p> <p class="Default"><strong>KIERAN GILBERT: </strong>They’ve both said that.</p> <p class="Default"><strong>BARNABY JOYCE: </strong>My position, of course, is an accountant. So as an accountant, I come to it and say, what is this? What's the effect of this? What is the effect on jobs? What's the effect on our economy? And these are the issues we flesh out in the Nationals party room. If Parliament wasn't sitting, then we wouldn't be doing this in front of the cameras every day, but Parliament is sitting so that's why this is more high-colour than possibly a lot of other nation's…</p> <p class="Default"><strong>KIERAN GILBERT:</strong> Our allies have committed to that 2030 emissions reduction target. Why won’t we?</p> <p class="Default"><strong>BARNABY JOYCE: </strong>Because we have different economies to them. Our biggest export is iron ore, and then comes fossil fuels, gas and coal. If we were to start a premise that we're an economy like Denmark or like France with massive nuclear power, or England, where a vast section of their economy is based on the financial markets around the city of London, or…</p> <p class="Default"><strong>KIERAN GILBERT:</strong> We are already beating this target. What's the target worth if we're already well passed it? You won’t even budge on that.</p> <p class="Default"><strong>BARNABY JOYCE: </strong>Once you do that, then policy structure has to really fit in a very close orbit to that target because that is not that far away. And therefore, I think we ramp up in that policy target and possibly cause ourselves the same problems as what they've caused in England. England is in an energy crisis. Europe is in an energy crisis. China is in an energy crisis. You don't have to worry about modelling, just Google it and you'll find it.</p> <p class="Default"><strong>KIERAN GILBERT:</strong> But these are countries that have committed to those targets…</p> <p class="Default"><strong>BARNABY JOYCE: </strong>Well it hasn't worked out very well for them.</p> <p class="Default"><strong>KIERAN GILBERT:</strong> But you're making this case on the energy crisis. Sounds to me like you're still not convinced yourself.</p> <p class="Default"><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> I'm certainly not convinced about 2030. I'll go further than that, I just don't support it, categorically. One we're assessing and one I can just tell you right now we don't support, just don't.</p> <p class="Default"><strong>KIERAN GILBERT: </strong>One you’re<strong> </strong>assessing. But again, it doesn’t sound like you’re on board with it. I've reported on you for many years and I know that you've argued against these policies for years and years. And now you're the arbiter, you’re the diplomat trying to bring it together.</p> <p class="Default"><strong>BARNABY JOYCE: </strong>I’m trying to be straight with you. If you think I have a sense of caution, well yes, I do. But that's not my role. My role in this is to listen to my party room and to bring for their views and that's what I intend to do. My view is merely one. My view is merely one for myriad of views in the Nationals Party room. I will do the right thing by the Nationals party room and making sure that my discussions with the Prime Minister reflects not my views, but their views.</p> <p class="Default"><strong>KIERAN GILBERT:</strong> Is this not a pantomime to say that your supporters, we get you, we're listening to you, but we're going to do a deal anyway.</p> <p class="Default"><strong>BARNABY JOYCE: </strong>No, certainly not. Dispel that one from your mind straight away. There's no pantomime. That would be patently absurd and basically being disingenuous to regional people and to the Australian people. There is no pantomime here. This is fair dinkum serious business. We're going through it and we're going through it in a very diligent way. One of the reasons in the short term, to go back to your question about 2030, they have chaos in England now, they have a six-fold increase in power prices, they have the manufacturing industry with serious problems. It's rippling through China and it's causing people immense hurt. We are not going to do that to our people here in Australia, so we will be diligent in this process.</p> <p class="Default"><strong>KIERAN GILBERT:</strong> Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, I appreciate your time.</p> <p class="Default"><strong>BARNABY JOYCE: </strong>Always a pleasure, Kieran.</p> <p class="Default"><strong>KIERAN GILBERT:</strong> Thanks to talk to you soon.</p> Joyce Interview with Kieran Gilbert Sky News – Afternoon Agenda Registrations of interest called for M1 to Raymond Terrace https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/joyce/media-release/registrations-interest-called-m1-raymond-terrace <p>One of the Hunter’s biggest ever infrastructure projects is taking another step forward with registrations of interest being called from prequalified contractors to deliver the M1 Pacific Motorway extension to Raymond Terrace project.</p> <p>The Australian Government has committed $1.6 billion and the New South Wales Government $400 million to deliver both the M1 to Raymond Terrace and Hexham Straight projects, continuing the transformation of journeys between Sydney and the Queensland border.</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said the project would deliver improved highway connections and more reliable travel times, as well as support 2,700 jobs over its life cycle.</p> <p>“This game-changing project will help ease congestion for the 25,000 vehicles that use this stretch between Newcastle and Maitland every day, helping to keep freight, commuters and tourists moving,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.</p> <p>“The extension is a huge investment for the region and shows how we’re planning for the future of our national transport network and the significant growth we’re seeing between Sydney, Newcastle, the North Coast and Brisbane.”</p> <p>New South Wales Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said moving a step closer to delivering the M1 Pacific Motorway extension to Raymond Terrace project was the final ‘missing link’ in the chain between delivering smoother journeys between the Victorian and Queensland borders.</p> <p>“We have already crossed the finish line on the $15 billion Pacific Highway upgrade, duplicating the</p> <p>657‑kilometre stretch between Hexham and the Queensland border, and are powering ahead with the 14-</p> <p>kilometre Coffs Harbour bypass,” Mr Toole said.</p> <p>“Our focus is now turning to this final section - with demand on the road network in the Hunter only anticipated to increase as populations grow, the M1 extension to Raymond Terrace will provide improved traffic flow and increased connectivity, while ensuring better access to the road network for local traffic.”</p> <p>Liberal Patron Senator for the Hunter Region Hollie Hughes said after early consultation with industry, the project will be delivered using two collaborative design and construct contracts.</p> <p>“The project includes 15 kilometres of motorway with two lanes in each direction, and provides motorway access from the existing road network from four new interchanges at Black Hill, Tarro, Tomago and Raymond Terrace,” Senator Hughes said.</p> <p>“This will provide improved access for these key employment areas with the Port of Newcastle and Greater Newcastle, delivering substantial economic benefits for the region.”</p> <p>New South Wales Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Taylor Martin said the project will be a game-changer for local communities, for freight, and for tourists.</p> <p>“Discussions with the construction industry were held as part of the Market Interaction Process, which provided valuable insights into the views of the industry and helped to determine the best delivery approach for the project,” Mr Martin said.</p> <p>“Transport for NSW will work with short-listed tenderers, and then the successful contractors, to consider and incorporate innovations proposed by industry, ensuring value for money delivery of the project benefits.”</p> <p>More information including videos and maps is available at<a href="http://nswroads.work/m12rt"> nswroads.work/m12rt</a>.</p> <h2><strong>Media Contact:</strong></h2> <p>Deputy Prime Minister – Antony Perry 0477 971 654</p> <p>Deputy Premier – Ella Smith 0428 745 348</p> <p>Senator Hughes – Karen Howard 0413 123 258</p> Joyce Registrations of interest called for M1 to Raymond Terrace Interview with Nat Barr, Channel 7 Sunrise https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/joyce/interview/interview-nat-barr-channel-7-sunrise-0 <p class="Default"><strong>NAT BARR:</strong> The Nationals have stalled a decision on Australia's net zero target after a four-hour party room meeting. They believe the Prime Minister's plan for net zero emissions by 2050 will negatively impact the regions. Scott Morrison is reportedly working on an economic package worth more than $20 billion to get the party across the line. Nationals MPs will meet again today. For more, we're joined by Nationals leader and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and Labor MP Joel Fitzgibbon. Good morning to you.</p> <p class="Default">Barnaby, are the Nationals going to agree to Australia going net zero by 2050?</p> <p class="Default"><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> I don't know where you get the $20 million figure from, but we will do what is right for regional people. We will make sure that the people who represent regional people, National party members, have the capacity to have their say. This is not, I say it over and over again, this is not the unilateral position of myself, I am merely one member. I am convening the meeting. What we’ll do is gather the information and make sure we are looking at the regional people, making sure that whatever decision we make, we are focused on their jobs, on the cost of living in their towns, on their future, because that is the responsibility we have. We know about the impetus toward international obligations but the reality is, Australia's actions by itself have no effect, but if we get it wrong it could have a major effect on the regional economy, so our responsibility is to look after the people like the ones I saw when I walked into the [inaudible] hotel the other night. They were pretty firm in their views. We have got to make sure that we do not take them for fools because they will deal with us. And so they should.</p> <p class="Default"><strong>NAT BARR:</strong> Exactly. On that, internal research that the Coalition is doing, the Prime Minister took to Cabinet, shows that 80 per cent of voters support this plan. Are you holding out for more money and then you will decide? What’s going to happen?</p> <p class="Default"><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> I respect research, but in the UK, they did research as well that everything was going to be stable and work well and there will be no problems and they have an energy crisis and Europe’s got an energy crisis and China’s got an energy crisis. Research and modelling are not letters from the Almighty, they are the views of people and the views of people on a certain date with certain information before them. What we have to do is make sure that we make a decision not for just now, but for now and long into the future after this decision has been made. I am really interested in what Joel would do it seeing as though he’s now honest and if he was in the same position, what would his views be?</p> <p class="Default"><strong>NAT BARR: </strong>Do you think the demands are fair?</p> <p class="Default"><strong>JOEL FITZGIBBON:</strong> I don't know what the demands are other than we need to take care of our regions, and I absolutely agree with that, but I think it is a good thing that Barnaby has now joined Scott Morrison in a late conversion to undertake meaningful action on climate change. They now except that you can take meaningful action without causing the price of a lamb roast to go to $100, without hurting our coal mining industry or gas industry or indeed our manufacturing sector.</p> <p class="Default"><strong>BARNABY JOYCE: </strong>I wouldn't jump the gun there.</p> <p class="Default"><strong>JOEL FITZGIBBON: </strong>This highlights the fact that we have a Westminster system, and a minority government which relies on the support of the National Party to remain in government, and I think what Scott Morrison needs to do now, ahead of Glasgow, is consider putting a motion into the House of Representatives committing to net zero emissions, a motion which would of course pass easily with the support of the Labor Party and he could go to Glasgow with the imprimatur of the people's house.</p> <p class="Default"><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> Let me answer that.</p> <p class="Default"><strong>NAT BARR:</strong> Okay, Barnaby.</p> <p class="Default"><strong>BARNABY JOYCE: </strong>I could put a motion to the Parliament for a range of things which doesn’t take into account regional people because we are in a minority in the Parliament, people know that. We use our position to leverage a better deal. I could put a motion to the Parliament for a range of things which are completely focused on the capital cities and they would all pass if people had a vote, but they would do over Australia. You have to remember, if we get this wrong, the wealth comes from the hinterland, from your iron ore, your coal, your gas, your agricultural products. You don’t see that in your capital cities. If you lose those export dollars, we are [inaudible]. We are going to make sure that we don’t and we’re going to make sure that the people in the towns, whether it is Rockhampton, Tamworth, Wagga or Geraldton, are not done over.</p> <p class="Default"><strong>NAT BARR:</strong> A quick last word, Joel?</p> <p class="Default"><strong>JOEL FITZGIBBON: </strong>A motion is a statement of intent, Nat, that is what it is. It would allow Scott Morrison to go to Glasgow with the backing of the house that represents people here in Australia, but this is getting very serious. The only other option to him is to take the long drive to Government House and to inform the Governor-General that he no longer commands a majority in the House of Representatives because he himself has made this a centrepiece of his policy. This is becoming akin to blocking budget supply. It is getting really serious.</p> <p class="Default"><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> It is not a conversion, it’s an affirmant of faith in regional people who we are sent here to represent and we are going to continue to do that.</p> <p class="Default"><strong>NAT BARR: </strong>It will be interesting to see what happens. Thank you, gents.</p> Joyce Interview with Nat Barr, Channel 7 Sunrise Key intersection upgrades locked in for Rockhampton https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/joyce/media-release/key-intersection-upgrades-locked-rockhampton <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">Key intersections in the Rockhampton CBD will undergo major overhauls as part of $37.61 million package of safety upgrades.</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">The jointly funded project will see five intersections along the Bruce Highway between George and Bolsover Street made safer. Intersections at the following locations will be upgraded:</p> <ul> <li class="BoswellMediaHeader">George Street, Albert Street and the Bruce Highway</li> <li class="BoswellMediaHeader">Alma Street and the Bruce Highway</li> <li class="BoswellMediaHeader">Bolsover Street and the Bruce Highway</li> <li class="BoswellMediaHeader">Alma Street and North Street</li> <li class="BoswellMediaHeader">Denison Street and the Bruce Highway</li> </ul> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">Detailed design for the project is underway, with construction expected to commence in mid-2023 and be completed by mid-2024, weather permitting.</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said the Australian Government is now providing $808.39 million under the Bruce Highway Safety Package to deliver a safer, more efficient north-south road corridor for Queenslanders.</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">“Our investment is aimed at relieving pressure on the local urban network and increasing connectivity, accessibility, safety and efficiency,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">“This project is another example of Michelle Landry’s determination to deliver for the people of this region, to make sure the infrastructure they need and deserve is funded and delivered.”</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the upgrades would see locals get home sooner and safer.</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">“The Bruce Highway is Queensland’s busiest highway and is the backbone of both regional communities and industry,” Mr Bailey said.</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">“The intersection upgrades will include additional lanes of traffic, extended turn lanes and upgraded traffic signals – helping remove the risk of rear end collisions from queueing.</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">“Upgraded pedestrian and cycling facilities will also improve the connectivity of the area with the existing active transport infrastructure through Rockhampton.</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">“The upgrade builds on work already underway in the region, as part of the Queensland Government’s record $17.8 billion regional road and transport budget over the next four years.</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">“This includes the upcoming Rockhampton Ring Road – the biggest infrastructure project to be delivered in Central Queensland.</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">“We’re backing the regions, creating jobs and delivering for locals like never before.”</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry said the Australian Government is continuing to deliver on its over $10 billion in a safer, smoother and more reliable Bruce Highway.</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">“This will benefit the entire Rockhampton region first and foremost, as part of our commitment to get all Queenslanders, from Brisbane to Cairns, home sooner and safer on this key north-south route,” Ms Landry said.</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">“I look forward to seeing these benefits realised by the Rockhampton community and all road users.”</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">State Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke said the intersection upgrades would be welcomed by local drivers and local businesses alike.</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">“The massive projects we’re delivering in Central Queensland are providing the community with better roads, better transport and a significant boost to the local economy,” Mr O’Rourke said.</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">“Just recently we saw the Rockhampton Northern Access Upgrade wrap up, delivering safer access to and from the northern suburbs.</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">“The project also supported 255 local jobs - that’s 255 people eating, sleeping and spending their money in Rocky.</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">“And now, with the intersection upgrades in the pipeline, we’ll continue to bring jobs to the region and deliver even safer roads for locals.”</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">State Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga said Central Queensland would continue to reap the economic rewards.</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">“The best way the Queensland Government can deliver these major infrastructure projects is through collaborating with industry and proactively highlighting opportunities for local businesses to participate,” Ms Lauga said.</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">“We’re using local contractors and local suppliers, all working together to get the job done.”</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">The Australian Government’s $30.09 million contribution to the project will be provided under the $1.01 billion Bruce Highway Safety Package, with the Queensland Government contributing a further $7.52 million.</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">The Australian Government’s commitment forms part of our $31 billion transport infrastructure investment in Queensland since 2013, which is helping to connect communities and improve safety while creating jobs and supporting economic growth.</p> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">More information on the Australian Government’s Bruce Highway investments, including the Safety Package, is available at <a href="https://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/projects/key-projects/bruce-highway.aspx">https://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/projects/key-projects/bruce-highway.aspx</a></p> <h2 class="BoswellMediaHeader"><strong>Media contact:</strong></h2> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader">Deputy Prime Minister – Antony Perry | 0477 971 654 | <a href="mailto:Antony.Perry@infrastructure.gov.au">Antony.Perry@infrastructure.gov.au</a></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Minister Bailey – Joe Ogilvie | 0423 184 412 | <a href="mailto:Joe.Ogilvie@ministerial.qld.gov.au">Joe.Ogilvie@ministerial.qld.gov.au</a></p> Joyce Key intersection upgrades locked in for Rockhampton Interview with Fran Kelly, ABC Radio National Breakfast https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/joyce/interview/interview-fran-kelly-abc-radio-national-breakfast <p><strong>FRAN KELLY: </strong>We’re going to go now to the National Party Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, because he’s got a busy morning ahead and we can get him now or never. Barnaby Joyce, welcome.</p> <p><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> Thanks, Fran. Good morning. You can get me whenever you want generally. But anyway. Go ahead.</p> <p><strong>FRAN KELLY:</strong> Well, the clock is ticking on the climate deal after that meeting yesterday of your party room, it met for 4 hours. Is it any closer to endorsing – is the National party room any closer to endorsing net zero by 2050?</p> <p><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> Well, Fran, it’s self-evident that if we didn’t come out with a yes, an endorsement last night, that there’s further to go. Fran, it’s such a titanic change to where our nation is going over the longer term that it absolutely insists on due diligence in how we go forward with this. To be quite frank, four hours on a Sunday night to make a change that could be part of a process of redesigning the economy of Australia is not prudent. We will continue on trying to understand the issues that have been brought in by members and senators from around Australia and what they see as the concerns and how we address those concerns or whether we can address those concerns and from those variant views, try and work out what our position is and what our caveats are if that position is to go forward.</p> <p><strong>FRAN KELLY:</strong> But, Minister, to be frank, trying to deal with such a massively important environmental and economic issue for Australia two weeks before we’re meant to be taking a result to the UN climate summit when you’ve been in government for eight years, that’s not prudent either, is it?</p> <p><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> Okay, well, what protections, Fran, would you suggest we get for regional Australia?</p> <p><strong>FRAN KELLY:</strong> Well, I don’t think that’s the appropriate question here.</p> <p><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> Well, it is.</p> <p><strong>FRAN KELLY:</strong> You’re the ones in the Government.</p> <p><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> It’s the one, Fran, it’s the one we have to answer.</p> <p><strong>FRAN KELLY:</strong> One of your MPs is reported as saying there are even more concerns about the plan than before they had now that they’ve seen it. So is that true, and what is there of more concern since you’ve seen the plan as presented by the minister yesterday?</p> <p><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> I’ll leave that to the person who stated it. I can’t answer for others.</p> <p><strong>FRAN KELLY:</strong> Was that your sense? That there were more concerns after the meeting than before?</p> <p><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> I’m going to make sure that I’m not an inference or a direction of where the party can exercise their democratic right, and their democratic right is to represent their people in regional Australia. If I start making inferences, there are two things that will happen: first of all, it will annoy people and they’ll most likely go in the other direction, and secondly, it won’t actually have an effect on the outcome because people are very strong in their views and they like in the Nationals to have their democratic right respected.</p> <p>Now going back – and I’ll answer the question I posed to you – we have to make sure that the jobs and the livelihoods are protected in an area that overwhelmingly is associated with export dollars, export dollars from coal, from gas, from iron ore, from agricultural products. Because this wealth is not just that of the people who extract it or grow it, it’s also the wealth of the regional towns. The first point of contact for an economic mistake would be those areas. Now people talk about don’t worry, the modelling says this, the modelling says that. The modelling also in England said that everything would be fine. They’re in an energy crisis. In Europe, everything will be fine, they’re in an energy crisis. China’s in an energy crisis. That’s where it does go back to the urban towns and the Sydneys and to the Canberras and to the Melbournes if you get that equation wrong. And we can’t afford to do that on behalf of our nation, so we will do our job. Now the Labor Party has just said no questions asked, “We’ll sign up to it,” almost blind, which is really remarkable and shows that they really don’t care, or even if they have a certain view, are leaning a certain way, they’ve done no real discussion about their regional seats as to whether this is good for them.</p> <p><strong>FRAN KELLY:</strong> Well, I’ll let the Labor Party talk for themselves. Chris Bowen will join us after this interview.</p> <p><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> I use that line, Fran.</p> <p><strong>FRAN KELLY:</strong> But we know there’s an economic package for the regions on the table. There’s a real sense growing that the Nats are sitting around drawing this out trying to extract more money from the Prime Minister for the regions. Now you might say that’s to keep supporting the regional towns, but some are insinuating it’s also for the Nats to take sort of a cash splash to the next election. Is that’s what’s going on here?</p> <p><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> No, I think it’s to look after regional areas. Now, once more, you look at the alternate process. A diligent process where we’re not just jumping in there not just saying yes, I mean if we have to get concessions and changes to look after our people, we will. The Labor Party’s already said yes. Whatever Chris Bowen says now, he’s already said yes. He’s already married to this plan.</p> <p><strong>FRAN KELLY:</strong> I’m not talking about their –</p> <p><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> And if you went into the – if you went into the details with him –</p> <p><strong>FRAN KELLY:</strong> – plan because we haven’t seen it; we don’t know what’s on the table for regional Australia with their plan.</p> <p><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> If you went into the details with him he’d say, “Well, I don’t really know.” How can you say yes to something you don’t know? That’s foolish.</p> <p><strong>FRAN KELLY:</strong> Well, we don’t have the details of yours, but we do know there’s an economic package for regions on the table – support for a range of industries: infrastructure, communications, farming and the resources sector. One report today puts it at over $20 billion, which is a huge price tag –</p> <p><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> I don’t know where people get those numbers from. You know, I’m not here to confirm or otherwise those numbers. And, you know –</p> <p><strong>FRAN KELLY:</strong> Will it take tens of billions of dollars to protect the regional economies?</p> <p><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> We will do what is required to make sure that the people in Singleton have a job, the people in Muswellbrook have a job, the people in Gladstone, in Emerald, that people in Sale have a job, that people in Wagga have a job and that they can continue to bring in the income that supports the payments for their house, the payments for the cars, their kids in school and the standard of living that’s required. This will have really little effect in urban areas, in capital cities. You guys really don’t get affected by these decisions. We do. And, to be quite frank, your emissions keep going up and ours go down. That’s how you’re meeting your targets. But if there was a package that created massive changes in how people lived their lives in Sydney, this would never see daylight and so that’s why we have a job. We could reduce our emissions by shutting down motor cars in capital cities and shutting down bridges and making people walk instead of catching a lift et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Crazy stuff. And politically that would be devastating. So we’re not going to accept that, “Oh, well, we’re not going to do anything but you’ve just got to accept what comes your way.”</p> <p><strong>FRAN KELLY:</strong> Well, I mean, the complete burden of getting to net zero by 2050 does not just land on the regions. I’m not saying it doesn’t have a huge impact on the regions, but there will be a lot of elements to this plan, which you must know.</p> <p><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> Well, it has a much, much greater effect on the regions. Remember, in capital cities by their very nature is overwhelmingly white-collar jobs which are not energy intensive. In our areas they are energy intensive. Blue-collar jobs especially are energy intensive.</p> <p><strong>FRAN KELLY:</strong> Okay. The point is the world is changing and our economy is changing. And the International Energy Agency just last week has said again that if countries make good on their pledges to reach net zero by 2050, the global demand for coal will fall by as much as 55 per cent by 2030 and 90 per cent by 2050. So this transition is out of your hands, isn’t it?</p> <p><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> Fran, like, let’s ground truth things. Modelling is not a message from God. Modelling is an opinion of other people, right? They did modelling in and they’ve got an energy crisis, so don’t put all your eggs in the one basket on modelling. What you can is ground truth it. We are selling more coal at a higher price than we’ve ever done before. So if these –</p> <p><strong>FRAN KELLY:</strong> And you think that South Korea, for instance, and Japan signing up to net 20 – net zero that’s going to keep happening?</p> <p><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> Well, if they do, Fran, then you’ll note it by no ships on the water in Gladstone, in Newcastle, in Hay Point. Then you will have a true ground truthing of that statement and it won’t happen overnight; it will happen over a period of time.</p> <p><strong>FRAN KELLY:</strong> No, it won’t happen overnight.</p> <p><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> So we have got to ground truth this with the actual demand that’s happening now. In England, they are opening up closed coal-fired power stations because they got it wrong and it’s costing them a motza.</p> <p><strong>FRAN KELLY:</strong> And what we’re trying to work out here is a transition plan from fossil fuels to renewables. That’s what this plan is all about, so that that doesn’t happen. And that requires setting targets and setting a plan. And that’s what you’re talking about.</p> <p><strong>BARNABY JOYCE: </strong>Okay, so even you have a sense of caution, and that’s very good. Your next guest is going to say that not only have they signed up for it no questions asked, they’re signing up to quicker targets. How do they know that they’re just not going to put Australia in the same bind as the northern hemisphere? How reckless can that be?</p> <p><strong>FRAN KELLY:</strong> Why is it reckless to sign up to a higher target by 2030 if, as the Government is indicating, the already cuts that are in place are going to take us to 32 to 35 per cent anyway? Why wouldn’t you just sign up to that?</p> <p><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> Well – and I’m sorry for interrupting – because what you’re doing is you’re going to have to make decisions right now to get to that spot which inevitably are going to have consequences which could easily take us down the path of England, Europe and China. We can’t do that to the Australian people. There might be a desire on that part by so many people. We understand that. But they won’t reward anybody if what you do is cast the economy into the predicament that is so clearly seen. You want the best model? Just Google UK gas crisis, UK energy crisis, European energy crisis.</p> <p><strong>FRAN KELLY:</strong> It’s not the same. It’s by no means the same situation or the same energy mix as we have. Let’s talk about –</p> <p><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> Well, Fran – okay, well, let’s take that up. They’ve got nuclear. They take nuclear from Europe. We don’t have that. They put an overwhelming requirement on renewables to fill the void. They didn’t. They closed down their coal-fired power stations because they said they wouldn’t need them. They did, so there is a clear example of what happens if you get it wrong and we deny that reality at our peril.</p> <p><strong>FRAN KELLY:</strong> But Minister, there’s also a clear reality if we don’t move because the reality is about carbon imposts on our exports. We know that those costs are quantifiable too. Heading into the meeting you said it was highly unlikely that Nats would agree to deeper carbon cuts by 2050. That’s the mid-term target.</p> <p><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> And I stand by that. Because we’re not going to sign our nation up. I mean, other people can. But we’re not going to sign our nation up to something that is – we strongly believe is going to have dire effects because it forces you into an early trajectory to something that we cannot clearly deliver. Remember, this also takes you down the path of the reflection of bad decisions is in energy prices which ripples through to everything. You can see this in China, to almost inflationary aspects on what is happening. You start to inspire a whole range of other things in your economy and they do go back to capital cities. You get it wrong, you’ll see it in the price of so many goods and this is the stuff that the Nationals are standing up and saying, “No, slow down. We need a process for this.”</p> <p><strong>FRAN KELLY:</strong> But in simple political terms looking at the mid-term target is, as I said, Australia, according to the Government, is already on track we think to reach a cut between 32 and 35 per cent –</p> <p><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> Yes, and not only that – not only that, Fran – we’re ahead. We’re ahead –</p> <p><strong>FRAN KELLY:</strong> No, that’s what I’m saying. You’re ahead of the Paris agreement already. One of your Liberal colleagues Jason Falinski says you’re just being silly by opposing any increase because you’ve done the work to get there already. Why not take the credit? What’s your response to that?</p> <p><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> We’re ahead because regional people were divested of a private asset –that is their vegetation rights. They had an asset one day and without payment it was taken off them and then they said quod erat demonstrandum, “We’ve just reached our target.” Hooray for Australia. But it wasn’t the capital cities that reached the target, it was the divestment – basically the theft – of a private asset off regional Australia. That inspires absolute disregard, cynicism and we’re all eyes and ears because we believe that if that happened once it could happen again. When you listen to the rhetoric of the Labor Party and others, it seems they’re absolutely mindful of doing that again. Like, as I said, are you going to pay us for the asset that you stole?</p> <p><strong>FRAN KELLY:</strong> The Prime Minister needs a deal before he goes to the UN climate conference in a fortnight. If you can’t agree to terms, are you prepared to see Scott Morrison go to Glasgow without this net zero emissions target?</p> <p><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> We will always try to be an effective member of the Coalition. We will always try and do the best thing, but we don’t do it at the expense of our first and foremost job, which is look after the people of regional Australia who overwhelmingly want a Coalition government, and we understand that. We are not going to be belittled, beaten into a position because others say that that’s what they want. We are not representing the seats of Sydney, we are representing the seats of regional Australia. We don’t represent the seats of Melbourne, we represent regional Victoria. We don’t represent the seats in Brisbane, we represent regional Queensland. And, therefore, our voice in this parliament in the Commonwealth is on their behalf and to come out with the best outcome for them.</p> <p><strong>FRAN KELLY:</strong> So let me ask that again: are you prepared to see Scott Morrison go to Glasgow empty handed in a sense?</p> <p><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> To say yes or no is to also start telling the room what to think next. That would put more pressure on a no than it would on a yes. I can assure you of that.</p> <p><strong>FRAN KELLY:</strong> Was it premature of the Prime Minister then to announce he’d go to Glasgow without the Nats having signed off on this plan?</p> <p><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> Of course not, because the Prime Minister is master of his own ship and Leader of the Liberal Party. It’s not for us to tell the Prime Minister what to do. He doesn’t have to tick a box with the Nationals for what he does when he gets up in the morning. He is absolutely entitled to go there because he’s the Prime Minister of Australia.</p> <p><strong>FRAN KELLY:</strong> So how long are you prepared for this to drag on? How long do you think before we get an answer from the Nats? What’s your best guess?</p> <p><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> That’s for the party room. Once more, I’m not going to start telling the party room what to do, because the whole point of this – and the Nationals were so adamant about this – this will be the decision of the Nationals party room. It is not going to be a unilateral decision of anybody.</p> <p><strong>FRAN KELLY:</strong> When do the Nats meet again on this?</p> <p><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> Today.</p> <p><strong>FRAN KELLY:</strong> Today. Barnaby Joyce, thank you very much for joining us. Hopefully we can talk after that meeting, too. Thanks for your time.</p> <p><strong>BARNABY JOYCE:</strong> Always a pleasure, Fran.</p> <p> </p> <p>ENDS</p> Joyce Interview with Fran Kelly, ABC Radio National Breakfast Last section of upgraded Bruce Highway at Giru opened to traffic https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/joyce/media-release/last-section-upgraded-bruce-highway-giru-opened-traffic <p class="MsoNormal">The $500 million Haughton River Floodplain upgrade project has hit another milestone, with traffic on the Bruce Highway switched to a new bridge and road surface at Giru.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">This final section is in addition to the 10.5 kilometres of new highway alignment already being used by traffic.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said it was one of the last milestones of the project, which is due to be completed later this year.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">“North Queenslanders are all too familiar with flooding closing the Bruce Highway over the Reed Beds area, with this section of highway typically closing every couple of years during the wet season, forcing transport operators and the travelling public to wait for waters to recede,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">“Traffic across the national network is now using a safer, more flood resilient crossing of the Reed Beds area.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">“The Australian Government, in conjunction with the Queensland Government, has resolved this issue with the existing low-lying road replaced with a bridge, which is much more resilient to flooding.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">“The Bruce Highway alignment across the Reed Beds was also reconfigured to improve safety.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">“In addition to the previous traffic switches as part of this half-billion dollar upgrade, today’s switch means traffic is now using all 13.5 kilometres of new or upgraded highway.”</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey said the project built on other upgrades underway on the Bruce Highway.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">“The Queensland Government is investing a record $17.8 billion in regional roads and transport over the next four years, as well as more than 100 projects on the Bruce Highway in the pipeline,” Mr Bailey said.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">“As a key connector for locals in the regions, and the backbone of Queensland’s freight industry, delivering upgrades on the Bruce Highway is a priority.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">“Right now, a $481 million upgrade is underway on the Bruce Highway from Edmonton to Gordonvale in Cairns, which is supporting 466 jobs.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">“And, we have $50 million in safety upgrades being delivered between Mackay and Proserpine.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">“At Giru, the focus moving forward will be on completing local connection roads and demolishing existing bridges and road.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">“Over the coming weeks, we’ll also finalise the highway on and off ramps to Hodel Road and Shirbourne Road, so local access can be reinstated.”</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen said the project was an investment in the region’s future.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">“The project is estimated to support an average of 544 jobs over the project lifecycle,” Mr Christensen said.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">“The community and local industry will also benefit from the project’s safety improvements for years to come.”</p> <p class="MsoNormal">State Member for Mundingburra Les Walker said the final stage of the project would see the intersection of Woodstock-Giru Road and the Bruce completed.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">“With traffic switched over to the new bridge, locals can see the major project coming to a close and are already experiencing the benefits,” Mr Walker said.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">“To complete the final works, the intersection at Woodstock-Giru Road will be closed to traffic and a detour will be in place.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">“Access to Giru will only be possible via Shirbourne Road and the road toward Woodstock will be accessible via Link Road.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">“Roadside messaging will be in place and motorists are reminded to slow down and drive to the conditions throughout the site.”</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The $514.34 million Haughton River Floodplain Upgrade project is jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments on an 80:20 basis, representing commitments of $411.47 million and $102.87 million, respectively.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The project is due to be completed later this year.</p> <h2 class="BoswellMediaHeader"><strong>Media contact:</strong></h2> <p class="BoswellMediaHeader"><strong>Deputy Prime Minister</strong> – Antony Perry | 0477 971 654 | <a href="mailto:Antony.Perry@infrastructure.gov.au">Antony.Perry@infrastructure.gov.au</a></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Mr Bailey </strong>– Joe Ogilvie | 0423 184 412 | <a href="mailto:joseph.ogilvie@ministerial.qld.gov.au">joseph.ogilvie@ministerial.qld.gov.au</a></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Mr Christensen</strong> | (07) 4944 0662</p> Joyce Last section of upgraded Bruce Highway at Giru opened to traffic