ABC Radio Brisbane interview with Loretta Ryan

Loretta Ryan: Hey, do you remember the southeast Queensland City Deal? You might remember quite a bit of talk about it last year. I haven't heard much since though. Well today, the Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure is meeting with councils and community leaders in southeast Queensland.

Minister Alan Tudge, good morning.

Alan Tudge: Good morning Loretta.

Loretta Ryan: Can you give us a quick pitch for the southeast Queensland City Deal again?

Alan Tudge: Yes so basically this is what we're trying to get at is a long-term plan across the three levels of government for southeast Queensland. And it will cover infrastructure, employment, housing and liveability. And we're trying to do this in a bipartisan way, long-term agenda so that people can have certainty and know exactly where we're going together.

Loretta Ryan: We've been talking a lot about traffic. We've got the Second Range Crossing in Toowoomba opening this weekend. We're talking just this morning about, you know, people on the roads not sharing the roads properly. When it comes to traffic gridlock, what are your predictions for the southeast corner?

Alan Tudge: Oh, this is absolutely the top issue which people have been raising with me and they have been doing so persistently over the last 12 months since I've been in the portfolio. Now, we've put in billions of dollars more funding to address that, both for major projects like the M1 or the Bruce Highway and the Gympie, but we've also put in a lot of smaller infrastructure dollars into real localised pinch points which can be done more rapidly. It might be the Kenmore roundabout or the Boundary Road level crossing or Youngs crossing road, so they're the types of things which we're getting on with, working pretty cooperatively with the state Government or the local councils, whichever is the appropriate body.

Loretta Ryan: Yeah, what else are the councils telling you they want?

Alan Tudge: Oh, the councils are in essence in partnership with us. So often in these consultations, it might be one of the mayors, myself and even a state representative listening to the community leaders as to what they think should happen over the next five, 10 and 20 years. Nearly always infrastructure comes up as the top issue, be it localised ones or things like fast rail between, you know here and the Sunshine Coast or from Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast or down to the Gold Coast light rail. The other thing is of course employment, and the two things are often linked. So they're probably the two hottest issues which arise, and they'll be two of the big things which come out of the City Deal which we'll announce about in about June next year.

Loretta Ryan: Alright. A bit of future planning for our city. Federal Minister Alan Tudge, thank you so much for that.

Alan Tudge: Thanks very much for that.

Loretta Ryan: Alan Tudge, Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure.