Browsing articles in "Ministerial Media Releases"
May 27, 2008

Asia Pacific nations target aviation emissions

Asia Pacific nations target aviation emissions

MEDIA RELEASE

The Hon Anthony Albanese

Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

27 May 2008

The nations of the Asia Pacific region have joined together to tackle aviation’s growing carbon footprint, agreeing to set up a new high-level taskforce to advance pragmatic ways of limiting the industry’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum’s new taskforce – the Aviation Emission Taskforce – brings together 21 member economies, including Australia, in a collective effort to find solutions to our greatest environment threat: climate change.

Having taken a lead on the issue within the region, Australia welcomes and strongly endorses the APEC taskforce.

Through the new Aviation Emissions Taskforce, APEC’s members will be able to:

  • Share information on environmental best practice;
  •  Develop practical approaches to support the work being undertaken by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO); and
  • Collaborate more effectively with industry on short and long-term strategies.

Areas identified for immediate action include: developing a better scientific understanding of aviation emissions; improving data collection and sharing; expanding the uptake of new navigational technology; lifting investment in aircraft and engine research; and exploring the feasibility of alternative fuels.

While the aviation industry is critical to the region’s continued economic growth and development, we cannot ignore the greenhouse gases planes produce.

At least two percent of global greenhouse gas emissions are produced by aircraft and the airports they use – a figure expected to grow rapidly if we continue with ‘business as usual’.

According to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Asia-Pacific airlines are expected to experience growth in passenger traffic of 5.8 per cent per annum for the period 2005-2025 compared to global growth of 4.6 per cent per annum.

APEC’s new Taskforce faces the challenge of satisfying the public’s growing appetite for air travel while helping constrain overall aviation emissions. The Taskforce brings together both industry and governments in the region. Together we can help make aviation sustainable.

This latest action supports Australia’s pursuit, working through ICAO, of effective global action towards greenhouse emissions from international aviation.

Further information on the APEC Aviation Emissions Seminars is available at: http://www.apec-tptwg.org.cn.

May 27, 2008

High Level Infrastructure and Aviation Delegation to India

High Level Infrastructure and Aviation Delegation to India

MEDIA RELEASE

The Hon Anthony Albanese

Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

27 May 2008

Yesterday at a meeting with India’s Minister for Civil Aviation, Hon Shri Praful Patel, we discussed the possibility of a high-level aviation and infrastructure delegation to India either later this year or early in 2009.

Minister Patel and I discussed a range of issues important to both countries, including air services; opportunities for Australian companies to contribute to aviation and airport infrastructure development in India; international efforts to reduce greenhouse emissions; and cooperation in the areas of transport security and aviation safety.

There are enormous opportunities for Australian companies to assist India as it moves to invest around A$500 billion in infrastructure development over the next five years.

In particular, as one of the world’s fastest developing economies India’s demand for domestic and international aviation services is booming, with hundreds of new airports likely to be built in coming years.

A high level government and business delegation to India would bring a greater focus on the practical ways we could assist in developing India’s aviation infrastructure.

Between March 2007 and March 2008, more than half a million passengers travelled between Australia and India – and the market is growing rapidly.

According to the Australian Forecasting Committee, Indian visitor numbers to Australia is expected to more than triple by 2016.

At present, no Indian airlines fly direct to Australia, although this may change once Air India and Indian Airlines have completed their merger – or other Indian carriers give further consideration to the Australia/India market.

Jet Airways currently markets seats on Qantas services operating between Singapore and main Australian gateway airports. Air India currently code shares on several Malaysia Airlines’ services operating between Kuala Lumpur and Melbourne.

Qantas operates three weekly services between Sydney and Mumbai and code shares on services operated by Indian carrier, Jet Airways, between Singapore/Delhi and Singapore/Mumbai.

The majority of traffic between Australia and India currently travels on third country airlines via intermediate hubs such as Singapore, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur.

May 27, 2008

Address to the Australian Rural Industries Research & Development Corporation R

Address to the Australian Rural Industries Research & Development Corporation Rural Women’s Award 2008

The Great Hall: Parliament House

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Federal Member for Grayndler

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Thank you Michael.

Good evening ladies and gentlemen.

It’s a pleasure to be able to join you this evening for the presentation of the 2009 Rural Women’s Award.

I understand that this is only the third time that a national winner has been selected from the state and territory awards – so it is a real pleasure to be here in my first year as the Minister for Regional Development.

This prestigious national award celebrates the enormous contribution rural women make to our economy.

From an avocado grower living in the Glasshouse Mountains of Queensland to a timber producer near Katherine in the Northern Territory; from calf-rearing in Tasmania to running a native plant nursery in the hinterlands of Byron Bay – this year’s state and territory winners showcase the breadth and depth of the contribution rural women are making to the life of our nation.

In fact, the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation’s own research has found that regional women’s businesses generated more than $1.2 billion a year.

It is also estimated that women contribute to around half of real farm income when their on-farm work and their off-farm volunteer and community efforts are taken into account.

And we know that it is often women who have kept rural, regional – and many urban – communities and families together, particularly during times of drought and adversity.

Despite this, only around 20 per cent of agricultural decision-makers are women – a sad statistic that the Rural Women’s Award seeks to improve.

The Rudd Government is also committed to improving regional women’s participation in the national economy as well as their local communities.

At the end of June, my colleague, Minister Plibersek will host a Rural Women’s Summit with support from my department.

This Summit will look at opportunities for improving social and economic outcomes for rural women and increasing their participation in a range of policy areas, including agriculture and regional development.

I am also pleased to inform you that after that Summit, I will be reviewing the Regional Women’s Advisory Council in my portfolio and strengthening the role the body plays in terms of policy advice and development.

Of course, more broadly, the Rudd Government has established the Regional Development Australia network to better engage with regional communities, coordinate government policies affecting the regions and improve service delivery.

Having significant female representation in the network and its various committees will be a priority.

We will also be delivering our Better Regions election commitments to regional and local communities.

And from next year, we will have a new Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program to deliver investments in community infrastructure.

We are also dealing with infrastructure bottlenecks that are holding back regional economies.

In the Budget, we announced a $20 billion Building Australia Fund, a substantial down-payment on our commitment to fix and modernise the nation’s infrastructure.

This is on top of our road and rail commitments to regional Australia which total more than $10 billion.

So as you can see, we are determined to boost regional infrastructure, strengthen regional communities and help regional women and men make their contribution to our economy and society.

Ladies and Gentlemen, in closing, it’s a pleasure to be here for the 2008 Rural Women’s Award and the Government will work with you to improve rural women’s participation.

I wish all winners the best of luck in their future activities.

May 23, 2008

Pacific Highway upgrade delivering new Infrastructure

Pacific Highway upgrade delivering new Infrastructure

JOINT RELEASE

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

The Hon Eric Roozendaal MP

NSW Minister for Roads

Minister for Commerce

23 May 2008

The Australian and NSW governments today reaffirmed their commitment to the joint upgrade of the Pacific Highway during a Ministerial inspection of major construction work on the Coopernook to Herons Creek upgrade at Kew.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese and NSW Roads Minister Eric Roozendaal today inspected the Mid North Coast project, which will complete a further 33km of dual carriageway on the Pacific Highway.

Mr Albanese said the Coopernook to Herons Creek project is the longest length of highway construction being carried out on the Pacific Highway and incorporates both the Coopernook to Moorland and Moorland to Herons Creek projects.

“Once complete, the Coopernook to Herons Creek upgrade will provide about 163km of continuous dual carriageway between Bulahdelah and Port Macquarie,” said Mr Albanese.

“The Rudd Labor Government’s first budget delivered $60 million for these critical projects as part of our $242.5 million commitment to this upgrade.

“The Rudd Labor Government has committed to invest $2.45 billion in upgrading the Pacific Highway – three times what the previous government allocated over a similar period of time.”

Mr Roozendaal said this project includes western bypasses of the villages of Moorland and Johns River and an eastern bypass of Kew.

“A major feature of the Coopernook to Herons Creek project is the construction of new twin bridges at Two Mile Creek, Moorland railway bridge, Pipe Clay Creek, Holey Flat Creek, Tom Cat Creek, Stoney Creek, Ross Glen railway bridge, Walkers Creek, and Herons Creek.

“Duplication bridges will be built over Stewarts River and the Camden Haven River.

“Overpasses will be built over the highway at Forest Road, Moorland, Stewarts River Road, Johns River and Ocean Drive, Kew.

"This important project will provide significant benefits to road users, including improved safety and reduced travel times.”

Low noise pavement will be used on sections of the highway adjacent to residential areas and noise walls and earth mounds will be constructed to reduce road traffic noise.

Preliminary construction work started in October 2007 with substantial construction commencing in January 2008. Work to date includes vegetation clearing, installing boundary fencing, major earthworks, pavement widening, installing drainage and constructing pavement and bridges.

Mr Albanese said the entire length of the Pacific Highway is now either completed, under construction or has a preferred route identified.

“The completed Pacific Highway upgrade will mean more than 660km of continuous dual carriageway from the F3 Freeway near Hexham to the Queensland border,” Mr Albanese said.

“More than 91km of the Pacific Highway is currently under construction while more than 263km has already been upgraded to double-lane divided road.”

Mr Roozendaal said 48 separate sections of the highway have been completed and the NSW Government had declared the project critical infrastructure because of its importance to NSW and the state’s economy.

“NSW is working co-operatively with the Rudd Labor Government to complete this critical link between Sydney and Brisbane as soon as possible, for the benefit of working families and the NSW and Australian economies.

“There’s more work to do and both governments are committed to getting on with the job of completing this nation-building road project.”

“While we can never be complacent, the road toll on the Pacific Highway between Hexham and the Queensland border has more than halved since 2003 as upgraded sections open to traffic and extensive road safety improvement packages are implemented.”

Work on the Coopernook to Herons Creek project is scheduled for completion in December 2009.

Further information on this major infrastructure project is available from the Pacific Highway section of the RTA website at http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au.

May 23, 2008

Ballina Bypass: Delivering New Infrastructure

Ballina Bypass: Delivering New Infrastructure

JOINT RELEASE

The Hon Anthony Albanese

Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Eric Roozendaal

NSW Minister for Roads

Minister for Commerce

Friday, 23 May 2008

The Australian and NSW governments today re-affirmed their commitment to the joint upgrade of the Pacific Highway with the official announcement of the start of preliminary site work on the Ballina bypass project.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese and NSW Roads Minister Eric Roozendaal today announced that work has begun on establishing the site office and construction area at Teven Road and Ross Lane for the construction of the Ballina bypass upgrade.

Construction teams will then begin clearing the site, the installation of erosion and sediment controls and fencing next month.

“Thanks to $100 million delivered in the Rudd Labor Government’s first budget, construction on this project will begin at least 12 months earlier than scheduled,” Mr Albanese said.

“The Ballina bypass project is 12.4km long and will extend from the south of Ballina at the intersection of the Bruxner and Pacific highways to north of Ballina at the intersection of Ross Lane at Tintenbar.

“The bypass will be significantly shorter than the current 19 km route through Ballina and will offer a travel time saving up to 12 minutes for Pacific Highway traffic.

“It will deliver significant improvements in road safety, providing an improved alignment at Tintenbar Hill, removal of the high speed traffic out of Ballina township and separate Bruxner Highway traffic from the Pacific Highway traffic.

“The Rudd Labor Government has committed to invest $2.45 billion in upgrading this critical piece of national infrastructure – three times what the previous government allocated over a similar period of time.”

Mr Roozendaal said the bypass will reduce traffic congestion by directing highway vehicles away from seven roundabouts, a set of traffic lights, numerous minor intersections and a 60 km speed zone.

“Initial earthworks were completed by the RTA in the vicinity of Teven Road and Emigrant Creek at Cumbalum in September 2007,” Mr Roozendaal said.

“Long lead times are required to stabilise soft soil sections of the Richmond River before the main pavement can be constructed. The project will be opened in stages which will be:

  •  Opening of the Cumbalum to Ross Lane section by late 2010
  •  Opening of the Bruxner Highway to Cumbalum interchange by mid 2012.

Mr Albanese said the entire length of the Pacific Highway is now either completed, under construction or has a preferred route identified.

“The completed Pacific Highway upgrade will mean more than 660km of continuous dual carriageway from the F3 Freeway near Hexham to the Queensland border,” Mr Albanese said.

“More than 91km of the Pacific Highway is currently under construction while more than 263km has already been upgraded to double-lane divided road.”

Mr Roozendaal said 48 separate sections of the highway have been completed and the NSW Government had declared the project critical infrastructure because of its importance to NSW and the state’s economy.

“NSW is working co-operatively with the Rudd Labor Government to complete this critical link between Sydney and Brisbane as soon as possible, for the benefit of working families and the NSW and Australian economies.

“There’s more work to do and both governments are committed to getting on with the job of completing this nation-building road project.”

“While we can never be complacent, the road toll on the Pacific Highway between Hexham and the Queensland border has more than halved since 2003 as upgraded sections open to traffic and extensive road safety improvement packages are implemented.”

Further information on this major infrastructure project is available from the Pacific Highway section of the RTA website at www.rta.nsw.gov.au.

May 23, 2008

Delivering New Infrastructure: Alstonville Bypass

Delivering New Infrastructure: Alstonville Bypass

JOINT RELEASE

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

The Hon Eric Roozendaal MP

NSW Minister for Roads

Minister for Commerce

May 23 2008

The Australian and NSW Ministers responsible for delivering new road infrastructure today inspected the Alstonville Bypass site on the Bruxner Highway following the federal Budget announcement of funding to start construction.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese and NSW Roads Minister Eric Roozendaal met with Federal Member for Page Janelle Saffin and members of the Alstonville Bypass Committee.

“Thanks to the $13.6 million delivered in the Rudd Labor Government’s first budget, I can today confirm that construction of the Alstonville Bypass will start this year,” said Mr Albanese.

“The Alstonville bypass will clear a bottleneck on the road between Ballina and Lismore and assist in getting trucks and through traffic out of the urban area.

“Our $13.6 million is a down payment to get work started – we will provide $90 million in total to build the Alstonville Bypass.

“This is about the Rudd Labor Government delivering on its election commitments and fixing Australia’s over-stretched transport networks.”

Mr Roozendaal said the project involved a 6.6km bypass of the Bruxner Highway at Alstonville. The bypass will begin at Sneaths Road, Wollongbar and rejoin the highway at the Tropical Fruit Research Station at Perrys Hill, east of Alstonville.

“The Alstonville bypass will provide significant benefits, including faster travel times for local and highway traffic and better traffic flow along the existing highway,” Mr Roozendaal said.

“The project will also reduce waiting times at intersections, reduce vehicle operating costs and lower emissions.

“Residents of Alstonville and Wollongbar will benefit from reduced traffic congestion and better pedestrian access and safety.”

Tenders for construction will be called later this year with the bypass expected to be open to traffic around the end of 2010.

Overall, the Australian Government’s will invest $576 million in New South Wales transport infrastructure in 2008-09.

May 19, 2008

Membership of Infrastructure Australia

Membership of Infrastructure Australia

MEDIA RELEASE

The Hon Anthony Albanese

Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

May 19 2008

Today I’m announcing the eleven members of Infrastructure Australia – the new national body tasked with developing a blueprint for fixing and modernising the nation’s transport, water, energy and communications infrastructure.

I am very pleased the following group of highly distinguished Australians have agreed to serve as inaugural members of Infrastructure Australia:

· Sir Rod Eddington – Chair

· Mr Terry Moran AO

· Dr Ken Henry AC

· Mr Jim Hallion

· Mr Anthony Kannis

· Dr Kerry Schott

· Professor Peter Newman

· The Hon Mark Birrell

· Mr Phil Hennessy

· Ms Heather Ridout

· Mr Ross Rolfe

· Mr Garry Weaven

Under the leadership of Sir Rod Eddington, this group has the capacity to cut through and identify the critical issues as well as the proven abilities to find innovative solutions to the infrastructure challenges Australia faces.

The intellectual calibre and diverse experiences of these individuals underlines the important role Infrastructure Australia will play in our fresh approach to national economic management.

The Rudd Labor Government is serious about bringing national leadership and new thinking to the planning, financing and building of economic infrastructure.

The twelve member advisory council’s immediate responsibilities are:

Completing an audit of nationally significant infrastructure by the end of 2007;

Developing an Infrastructure Priority List to guide billions of dollars of public and private investment; and

Advising on the removal of disincentives to greater private investment in public infrastructure, including the complexity and cost of public-private partnerships.

Ultimately, the work and advice of Infrastructure Australia will inform the Government’s allocations from the soon-to-be-established $20 billion Building Australia Fund.

Today’s announcement underscores just how serious we are about bringing in expertise from outside of government who want to contribute their energies to making our nation what it can be.

 

Infrastructure Australian Advisory Council Membership
 Sir Rod Eddington  Non-executive Chairman (Australia & New Zealand) of JPMorgan

Non-executive roles with News Corporation, Rio Tinto plc, Allco Finance Group Limited, CLP (China Light & Power) Holdings, and John Swire & Sons Pty Ltd.

Chairman of Victorian Major Events Company.

 

Mr Terry Moran

Terry Moran AO is the secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

He has previously been the head of Victoria’s Department of Premier and Cabinet, Chief Executive of the Victorian State Training Board and the Australian National Training Authority, and Director-General of education in Queensland.

 Mr Ken Henry

Secretary to the Treasury.

He is an ex-officio member of the Board of Taxation, member of the Board of the Reserve Bank of Australia, Alternate Governor (for Australia) of the International Monetary Fund and Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Australian Office of Financial Management.

 Dr Kerry Schott

Managing Director and CEO of Sydney Water.

Kerry was previously Deputy Secretary of New South Wales Treasury; an investment banker working in the infrastructure area; including roles as Managing Director at Deutsche Bank and Executive Vice President at Bankers Trust Australia.

She has also worked as an economic policy adviser at the Reserve Bank of Australia and for the Commonwealth Government.

 Mr Jim Hallion

Chief Executive of the Department for Transport, Energy and Infrastructure.

He has facilitated the Adelaide-Darwin Railway and SeaGas pipeline and leads the design, approval and construction of major infrastructure projects for South Australia.

A Fellow of the Institute of Engineers and a Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australia

 Mr Anthony Kannis

Executive Director of Western Australian Treasury.

Has held a number of senior positions across the Department where he provided advice on financial strategy, budgeting and infrastructure planning.

Held primary responsibility for the development of the Western Australian public sector capital works program since 1997 and has extensive experience in prioritisation processes utilised by the State Government.

He is the senior officer responsible for the preparation of the Government’s first State Infrastructure Strategy.

  Professor Peter Newman

Peter Newman is the Professor of Sustainability at Sustainability Policy Institute of Curtin University.

Directed the production of WA’s Sustainability Strategy in the Department of the Premier and Cabinet – the first state sustainability strategy in the world.

 Mr Phil Hennessy

Mr Phil Hennessy is Queensland Chairman of KPMG and practices in the area of corporate reconstruction.

Experience across a wide range of market sectors and has undertaken numerous insolvency related assignments and viability reviews for lenders, creditors and other stakeholders and has been involved in most of Queensland’s largest and high profile insolvencies.

Chair of the Government Owned Corporation, SunWater, Queensland President of the Starlight Children’s Foundation, Chair of the Mater Hospital Foundation, Director of Western Corridor Recycled Water Pty Ltd and Chair of the Premier of Queensland Export Awards Committee.

  Ms Heather Ridout

Chief Executive of the Australian Industry Group.

Active in developing Ai Group’s public policy in relation to economic, industry, innovation, education and training.

  Mr Ross Rolfe Senior Executive, Infrastructure, Babcock & Brown Formally Director-General of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet since 2005, oversaw the south-east Queensland water grid, Queensland Government’s health action plan, Cyclone Larry response, and forming future policy.
 Mr Garry Weaven

Chair of Industry Funds Management Director of Members Equity Bank (owned by 40 superannuation funds) and of Pacific Hydro (world leader in renewable energy).

Board Member of VicUrban, the Victorian Government’s residential and urban renewal development agency, and was a foundation board member of Melbourne’s Docklands Authority.

 Recently appointed to the Federal Government’s Superannuation Advisory Committee.

 The Hon Mark Birrell

Chairman of Infrastructure Partnerships Australia.

Deputy Chairman of the Board of Australia Post. Chairman of Evans & Peck Pty Ltd.

Special Counsel at Minter Ellison Lawyers and national leader of its infrastructure industry team.

 Previously a Cabinet Minister and Government Upper House Leader in Victoria.

 

 

May 13, 2008

Infrastructure Investment of $3.2 Billion drives Australia’s prosperity

Infrastructure Investment of $3.2 Billion drives Australia’s prosperity

MEDIA RELEASE

The Hon Anthony Albanese

Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

May 13 2008

The Rudd Government will invest $3.2 billion in nation-building road and rail projects across the country including over half a billion dollars to make an early start on election commitments.

Urgent action is needed to fix Australia’s over-stretched transport networks and build infrastructure to meet the challenges of the 21st century economy.

That’s why we’re getting a head start on nearly $560 million worth of projects that weren’t due to commence until 2009-10, as well as delivering projects to upgrade interstate transport networks and critical freight corridors.

Highlights of our 2008-09 investment program are:

  • In New South Wales: starting the Ballina and Bulahdelah bypasses on the Pacific Highway, the Great Western Highway between Penrith and Katoomba and the Alstonville bypass in Northern New South Wales;
  • In Victoria: improving capacity on the Westgate Bridge and starting Stage 4A of the Geelong Ring Road;
  •  In Queensland: finishing the Townsville Port Access Road up to two years early and doing further work on the Ipswich Motorway and the Bruce Highway;
  • In Western Australia: $160 million to finish the New Perth-Bunbury Highway as well as planning funds for the Bunbury Port Access Road Stage 1 and the Great Eastern Highway from the Perth CBD to the airport;
  • In South Australia: $118.8 million so the Northern Expressway can finish in 2010 and funds to plan for the Main South Road upgrade;
  •  For local government: $936.9 million to help Australia’s 620 councils maintain and improve local roads;
  •  Rail: $192.0 million for the national rail network, including improving connections to Port Botany, the Port of Melbourne and the inland rail study between Melbourne and Brisbane. In addition the fully Government owned Australian Rail Track Corporation will invest $780 million in major rail projects; and
  •  Safety: $50.5 million to eliminate black spots and improve road safety.

For a breakdown by state of these initiatives, refer to state Budget media releases.

The Rudd Government’s investment of $3.2 billion in Australia’s transport network is a key part of our plan to fight inflation and put downward pressure on interest rates.

These initiatives deliver on our election commitments and tackle major bottlenecks, congestion hotspots and safety issues.

May 13, 2008

Double Boost for Tasmanian Transport subsidies

Double Boost for Tasmanian Transport subsidies

MEDIA RELEASE

The Hon Anthony Albanese

Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

May 13 2008

Programs to encourage growth and development in Tasmania are being increased and extended as part of the Rudd Government’s 2008-09 Budget.

An allocation of $34.4 million has been provided to the Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme, with the subsidy for standard passenger vehicles to increase to $180.

Assistance to other eligible vehicles (including motor homes, buses, motor cycles, vehicles towing caravans and bicycles) has also been increased by 20 per cent.

The subsidies, which will now be indexed to the Consumer Price Index, will benefit all Australians who take their passenger vehicles across Bass Strait.

They will provide a significant stimulus to Tasmanias tourism industry by creating more affordable transport links to the Australian mainland.

The subsidys ongoing indexation also provides tourism operators with the confidence to further invest and grow their businesses.

The Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme (TFES) has also received $2.8 million over four years from the Government to cover intrastate sea freight shipped between King Island and Flinders Island and the main island of Tasmania.

This extension is in addition to the Government assistance currently provided to the communities of King Island and Flinders Island under the existing interstate TFES, which covers eligible sea freight shipped to and from the mainland of Australia. The Commonwealth Government has budgeted to provide a total of $101 million in 2008-09 under the existing interstate TFES arrangements.

The increased funding recognises the additional sea freight costs incurred by local businesses and communities on King and Flinders Islands compared to other Tasmanian communities who benefit from the existing freight scheme.

May 13, 2008

$20 Billion for Nation-Building Projects

$20 Billion for Nation-Building Projects

MEDIA RELEASE

The Hon Anthony Albanese

Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

May 13 2008

The Rudd Labor Government has used its first Budget to make a substantial down-payment of its pledge to fix and modernise the nation’s infrastructure.

The Government has taken the far-reaching decision to allocate an initial $20 billion to its Building Australia Fund, money which in the years to come will be used to build critical economic infrastructure such as roads, rail, ports and broadband.

These funds will be sourced from the budget surpluses expected in 2007-08 and 2008-09, with the possibility of further deposits being made from future surpluses. The Communications Fund will also be rolled into the Building Australia Fund.

Having determined the quantum of our initial deposit, the Government will now spend the coming months finalising the Fund’s governance arrangements.

We expect to have the Fund up and running by 1 January 2009, with the first allocations to be made in 2009-10.

Allocations from the Fund will be guided by Infrastructure Australia’s national audit and infrastructure priority list the first of which will be presented to the March 2009 meeting of COAG.

As well as being a key element to our macro-economic strategy for tackling inflation and boosting national productivity, the Fund will:

 Help our manufacturers, farmers and miners get their goods to market as quickly and cheaply as possible;

 Equip households and businesses with the tools to take full advantage of the Internet and the information revolution it has sparked; and

 Improve the functioning of and quality of life within our major cities and major regional centres.

For too long there has been a lack of investment in the nation’s infrastructure.

We are now living with the consequences of this underinvestment as well as the lack of national leadership and poor planning: higher business costs; and inflationary pressures.

Inadequate or poorly planned infrastructure also produces a social cost. For example, as a result of urban congestion at least one in ten working parents are spending more time commuting in their car than at home with their kids.

We are determined to overcome the legacy we’ve inherited and unlike our predecessors we will use the financial dividends of today’s mining boom to secure tomorrow’s prosperity.

The creation of the Building Australia Fund, together with the establishment of Infrastructure Australia, confirms and builds upon Labor’s tradition as a nation building party.

The Commonwealth Government is back in the business of nation-building.

 

 

Contact Anthony

(02) 9564 3588 Electorate Office

Email: [email protected]

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