ABC Adelaide Interview with Ali Clarke and David Bevan

David Bevan: Alan Tudge is the Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population, and he along with the Prime Minister – we all know that Scott Morrison does for a living – and the Premier are going to make a big announcement this morning. Good morning to you, sir.

Alan Tudge: Good morning David.

David Bevan: It's about a half a billion dollar Adelaide city deal. How much of this money is new and what are you going to do with all that money?

Alan Tudge: Listen, all $174 million of the federal contribution is new and the rest is the state contribution which goes into the Lot Fourteen site, and really it's in three areas that we're focusing on in this city deal. One being to create more jobs through innovation; two planning for population growth; and three boosting the visitor economy for a massive investment in cultural tourism.

David Bevan: Okay. So what was the bit that caught your attention? When it came across your desk, you thought wow, I want to sit down and read some of this?

Alan Tudge: [Laughs] Well I've been negotiating this deal with the Premier over the last six months or so, so I’ve very much been one of the architects here. I think together- it hangs together really nicely. It lays out a ten year plan across the three levels of government, and that's the real strength of the city deal concept is that it's all of us working together on the same agenda over a long period of time.

I think the cultural economy stuff is really exciting, a brand new world-class Indigenous art gallery right down near opposite the Botanical Gardens plus other investments in the art gallery and cultural spaces which is really going to drive further tourism to this state.

Ali Clarke: Minister Tudge, you mentioned as part of the City Deal an increase in work for people. With this amount of investment, how many jobs do you want to see or how many should we be expecting to see come out of this?

Alan Tudge: Oh, we haven't put a figure on that, but we fully expect this is going to really drive innovation and jobs growth here in Adelaide and across South Australia.

It’s centred around the Lot Fourteen site, the old hospital site and that's really going to be the premier destination for entrepreneurship, for technology, for commercialisation. Of course, the space agency is going to be based there, along with other high tech companies as well.

So it really is going to be driving new jobs growth here in Adelaide. We're putting in money there as well into what we call an innovation hub. We're putting further investments to support the other activities which are going on there in Lot Fourteen.

Ali Clarke: Okay. Then have you put a figure on the amount of increased revenue you will expect to see from tourism?

Alan Tudge: Oh, again, we haven't put that figure down yet. So what we are doing, though, is it's an $129 million dollars of extra money going into boosting tourism, if you like, through that investment in a world-class art gallery; through that investment in for example the construction of the [indistinct] gallery up at Hahndorf; the new visitor centre at Carrick Hill house in Springfield; in digital tools so that people can get around the place and understand; $30 million dollars for an international centre for tourism and hospitality and food studies.

All of those things combined make Adelaide an even more attractive destination than it already is. I mean, as everybody across Australia knows – and I’m from Melbourne – Adelaide is one of the cultural capitals of Australia. You get something like 3.2 million visitors here every year and I think this will just provide an additional step change, increasing that.

David Bevan: All right. Now, you're also promising money for a whole lot of road projects such as sorting out the Cross Road-Fulton Road intersection, Port Rush and McGill roads get some money.

There's some money for the Daws Road intersection. You know, we all hope that the party man is looked after. So that that's all happening and that adds up to close to $200 million dollars.

Alan Tudge: Yeah, that's right.

David Bevan: But Minister, the really big project- the really big project that Adelaide needs is a tunnel under South Road and that's a few billion dollars. How advanced are your talks over that project?

Alan Tudge: We’re constantly having discussions with the South Australian government in relation to this. So we've made massive investments already in the first stage of the North-South Corridor and obviously the next major stage – that part that you’re talking about – it is expensive and so we're having ongoing discussions.

Ali Clarke: So with those ongoing discussions, our state government has given us three different options: either a tunnel or a part tunnel or even an overpass. Or, you know, there are plenty. So what's your favourite if you've been having these ongoing discussions?

Alan Tudge: At the end of the day the design work will be done by the state government because they'll have [indistinct] the design and the build.

But we're in discussions with them constantly about what their future road priorities are, both now and in the years ahead. So- and obviously completing the North-South Corridor is the key one that we're, you know, willing to step up to the table to support the South Australian Government on.

David Bevan: And there’ll be an announcement, a commitment from your government before the election?

Alan Tudge: Sorry, in relation to the North-South Corridor?

David Bevan: Yeah, yeah. The big one. You're going to come out sometime in the next two months and say we've signed off on an agreement to invest a certain amount of money in that project. That’s fair to say?

Alan Tudge: Do you know something that I don't? We- listen, when we’ve got something to announce we will. We’ve obviously got a budget coming up, there's an election coming up.

We've already invested a huge amount into South Australia as far as infrastructure dollars goes. We want to continue to invest further. We obviously know that the North-South Corridor is a priority for the state government and for all residents across Adelaide. And so yeah, we'll continue the discussions with the South Australian Government.

Ali Clarke: In these discussions has GlobeLink come up recently? The reason why I ask is because it is the Marshall Government's plan to remove road freight from the South-East Freeway all the way through to Portrush road.

I mean, now it looks like you are spending money to upgrade the Portrush Road intersection but if GlobeLink is still alive, are you going to be spending money that will be usurped?

Alan Tudge: Yeah, so GlobeLink is another one of the very, very large scale projects. I'm aware of it. I know it's very early stages in terms the thinking of GlobeLink at the moment.

So we don't have any serious money invested into that, but I know it- it’s there in terms of the medium- and longer-term project to do.

David Bevan: What’s Stephan Knoll told you about GlobeLink?  

Alan Tudge: Oh, I've had some briefings in relation to it, but not for probably a couple of months and I haven't got my notes in front of me in terms of the details of that.

But I know it is one of those large, expensive projects that will make a big difference to take the freight off of the major corridor throughout Adelaide. So …

David Bevan: [Talks over] Minister, I reckon you and I will be driving flying cars by the time we get around to GlobeLink.

Alan Tudge: [Laughs] So all these things you want to do but it's all about also having the right priorities at the right time and the amount of money to be able to these things. And obviously we're driving a stronger economy generally. We're working hand in glove with the Marshall Government to support that. South Australia is now really going well economically. And when you've got a stronger economy, of course you're able to invest in these types of things. You don't have a strong economy, you can't do these types of investments.

Ali Clarke: All right. Well Minister Alan Tudge, thank you for your time. And only because you'll be dealing probably some other interviews in South Australia it's Hahndorf for us here not Hahndorf. Just so you know, ‘cause you’re from Melbourne, you weren’t supposed to know that.

Alan Tudge: [Laughs] My apologies. My apologies.

Ali Clarke: No, that’s alright.

Alan Tudge: Hahndorf, I’m never going to forget that now.

David Bevan: Hey look, we’re happy to have strangers around here. We’re not- so long as they bring money.

Ali Clarke: Thank you very much.

Alan Tudge: Well thank you very much for having me.

Ali Clarke: That’s Minister Alan Tudge there.