Transcript - Interview with David Koch

DAVID KOCH:

The government is committing a further one and half billion dollars to immediately start work on 15 priority infrastructure projects. The projects will be fast tracked to stimulate growth and support thousands of jobs as Australia comes out of the COVID crisis.

Works include the Inland Rail from Melbourne Brisbane, the Olympic Dam extension in South Australia, emergency water projects in New South Wales, and road rail and iron ore projects in WA. Minister for Urban Infrastructure, Alan Tudge joins me from Canberra.

Minister, welcome the programme, thanks for joining us.

ALAN TUDGE:

Good day Kochie.

DAVID KOCH:

And what are some of the major projects that are ready to go right around the country?

ALAN TUDGE:

We announcing today, two things. One being an additional $1.5 billion of new money to get smaller scale projects going around the country this year to create jobs. Then secondly as your introduction said, we are announcing 15 mega projects that we want to get going more quickly. Now, these mega projects constitute $72 billion worth of investment and will unlock 66,000 jobs and we want to absolutely accelerate the time frame to get those going so that we can realise those jobs more quickly.

DAVID KOCH:

Okay, so what's the criteria that you use to choose these projects?

ALAN TUDGE:

To choose the mega projects, one being that they’re huge job multipliers, and two being that they are ready to go in terms of that they've got state and federal commitments. The money is locked in and now it's just going through the approvals process. We want to accelerate that approvals process so that we can unlock those jobs dividends

DAVID KOCH:

It's a big shopping list. It reminds me that TV series Utopia - doesn't it? With all these projects coming together.

The Prime Minister-

ALAN TUDGE:

No that's unfair, Kochie. I mean, we have mega projects going the whole time across Australia, but these are ones, which are ready, and we want to get these going more quickly to unlock those jobs. In the meantime, we still have hundreds of other jobs and hundreds of other projects going on.

DAVID KOCH:

Yeah, now the Prime Minister will deliver the state of the nation conference in Canberra this morning. Also announcing the next steps on deregulation. How important is that?

ALAN TUDGE:

This becomes critical because so many of these larger scale projects can take three or four years before they actually get going. And we want to reduce that time frame in half. Now, we want to do this in a number of ways.

One, we want to put more resources up front into the assessment process.

Two, to reduce the duplicative effort between state and federal governments and three, to actually do some of the processes if you like in parallel rather than sequentially. And if we do that, we get the projects going more quickly and that means jobs more quickly.

DAVID KOCH:

And the states are on board with that?

ALAN TUDGE:

The states are 100 percent on board. Everybody is committed to getting these jobs going fast.

DAVID KOCH:

So, no fighting between the feds of the states - that will be good. All right, Minister. Sounds exciting, appreciate the time.

ALAN TUDGE:

Thanks very much.