Browsing articles in "Ministerial Media Releases"
Aug 29, 2013

The day the Nationals turned their back on Regional Australia

Nationals Leader Warren Truss has today confirmed he and his Liberal Party masters will rip more than $8 billion out of the Federal infrastructure budget, including $2 billion earmarked for projects in Regional Australia, to help pay for Tony Abbott’s promises, including his extravagant, unfair and unaffordable paid parental leave scheme.

A full list of regional projects facing the axe is attached below.

And consistent with the words of Mr Abbott and the record of the former Howard Government, Mr Truss also reaffirmed that the Liberal and National Parties won’t agree to provide any funding to help fix the nation’s urban public transport infrastructure.

Moreover, they will deny regional communities access to superfast broadband – unless they were prepared to pay as much as $5,000 out of their own pockets to have their homes or businesses connected.

During his extraordinary performance at the National Press Club today, Mr Truss made a mockery of the National Party’s ‘guarantee’ of a ‘fair share’ for rural and regional communities.  It also explained why for six years he has refused to debate me about our respective infrastructure records and competing plans for the future.

Let’s not forget, Mr Truss and the Nationals have form when it comes to failing to deliver for Regional Australia.

The last time they were in government, they abolished the entire Department of Regional Development and eliminated all the funding programs associated with it.  On top of that they slashed the Federal roads budget by $2 billion, with most OF the cuts falling on regional projects.

For our part, the Rudd Labor Government has made sure that regional communities get their fair share, with almost two thirds of our infrastructure funding going to projects outside our cities.  In fact, Federal Labor has doubled spending in regional Australia to around $40 billion.

In addition, Federal Labor has injected $260 million into building new and upgrading existing regional airport facilities – five times what our predecessors spent.  We’ve also made sure regional communities are amongst the first to benefit from the rollout of our National Broadband Network.

Since 2007 Federal Labor has delivered the better deal regional communities have long deserved, and if you want good infrastructure for the future, then you’ve got to vote Labor on 7 September.

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TONY ABBOTT AND WARREN TRUSS’S REGIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE ‘HIT LIST’

QUEENSLAND

  • Peak Downs Highway: Straighten and upgrade the Eton Ranges section of the road.  Federal contribution: $120 million.
  • Gladstone Port Access Road: Complete this new road link.  Federal contribution: $50 million.
  • Cape York Roads Package: Upgrade the road between Mapoon and Weipa, the road connecting Aurukun to the Peninsula Development Road and the Jardine River Bridge as well as redevelop the Seisia Wharf and improve the raw water pipeline from Bamaga to Seisia.  Federal contribution: $210 million

NORTHERN TERRITORY

  • Regional Roads Productivity Package: Upgrade six regional roads:
    Strengthen and widen sections of Roper Highway as well as improving its flood immunity;
    Seal sections of Port Keats Road as well as improving its flood immunity;
    Replace gravel on poor sections of the Santa Teresa Way;
    Construct a new bridge over Rocky Bottom Creek on Central Arnhem Road;
    Strengthen, widen and seal sections of the Buntine Highway; and
    Replace gravel on poor sections of Arnhem Link Road.

    Federal contribution: $90 million.

NSW

  • Tourle Street Bridge and Cormorant Road Upgrade: Duplicate the bridge and the approaches to it.  Federal contribution: $52 million.
  • New England Highway: Realign the three kilometre Bolivia Hill section.  Federal contribution: $80 million.
  • New England Highway: Fix congestion and safety issues around the level crossing in Scone.  Federal contribution: $45 million.
  • Mt Ousley upgrades: Construct two new northbound and two new southbound climbing lanes on Mt Ousley Road between Bulli Tops and Picton Road interchange.  Federal contribution: $42 million.
  • Olympic Highway: Replace the existing Kapooka Bridge and the approaches to it.  Federal contribution: $19.5 million.
  • Newell Highway: Install additional overtaking lanes.  Federal contribution: $5 million.

VICTORIA

  • Ballarat Freight Hub: Develop a general freight centre in the Ballarat West Employment Zone. Federal contribution: $9.1 million.
  • Princes Highway West: Duplicate the Winchelsea to Colac section. Federal contribution: $257.5 million.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

  • Anangu Pitjanjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands: Upgrade sections of the main access road between the Stuart Highway and Pukatja, as well as 21 kilometres of community roads.  Federal contribution: $85 million.

TASMANIA

  • Midland Highway Upgrade: Package of works, which includes duplication of the section between Perth and Breadalbane; dedicated upgrades at Mona Vale, St Peters Pass and between Mangalore and Bagdad; and planning for a future Launceston Bypass.  Federal contribution: $500 million over ten years, with the Coalition having committed only $400 million.
  • Freight Rail Revitalisation: Continuing upgrade of the network including replacing approximately 290 kilometres of old track.  Federal contribution: $119.6 million.
  • Huon Highway: Upgrade the intersection with Summerleas Road.  Federal contribution: $17.5 million.
  • Channel Highway: Upgrade and widen road near Huonville, as well as build new link roads and erect a new bridge over Skinners Creek.  Federal contribution: $7.5 million.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

  • Great Northern Highway: Package of works along the Muchea to Wubin section, including realignment work, intersection upgrades, road widening and additional overtaking lanes.  Federal contribution: $307.8 million.
  •  North West Coastal Highway: Package of works between Minilya and Barradale, include widening and strengthening the road as well as erecting two new bridges.   Federal contribution: $174 million.

Funding for all these projects are already included in the Budget.

 

 

 

 

Aug 28, 2013

Only Labor can be trusted to complete the Inland Rail Link

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and his sidekick, Shadow Infrastructure and Transport Minister Warren Truss, are truly shameless – having spent the last four years criticised Federal Labor’s approach to building the Inland Rail Link, they have today adopted it lock, stock and barrel.

The Liberals and Nationals have committed exactly the same amount of funding, adopted exactly the same route and signed up to exactly the same construction time-table as first announced by us back in 2010.

In fact they have ditched their earlier promises to have the line up and running by 2020.

And let’s not forget they have form.  The former Howard Government, in which Mr Truss served as Transport Minister, had twelve years to build this rail line but instead they chose to do nothing, except establish committees and commission one study after another.

What’s more, today’s extraordinary backflip doesn’t conceal the fact they will rip billions out of rail projects nationwide: Brisbane’s Cross River Rail, Melbourne Metro, a light rail network through Perth’s northern suburbs and a new rail line to its airport, and the Tonsley Rail Line Upgrade in Adelaide.

But Tony Abbott’s axe won’t just fall on urban passenger rail.

He’s also refused to commit to a number of freight rail projects such as the next stage in the revitalisation of Tasmania’s rail network – a $119.6 million capital works program which will replace some 290 kilometres of old tracks – as well as the upgrade of the lines into and out Port Botany.

So if you value rail and want to see these projects, as well as the Inland Rail Link built, then you’ve got to vote Labor on 7 September.

Only Federal Labor has a long term plan to get more freight AND people off our roads and onto rail.  Already we’ve rebuilt over a third of the Interstate Rail Freight Network and committed more funding to urban public transport than all our predecessors since Federation combined.

Once operational, the new 1,731 kilometre Inland Rail Link via the NSW Central West will cut up to 7 hours off the journey times between Brisbane and Melbourne, take trucks off our highways, ease the growing congestion on the existing coastal line through Sydney and open up new economic opportunities for many inland communities.

 

Aug 27, 2013

Labor reaffirms commitment to completing the Inland Rail Link

A re-elected Rudd Labor Government will prioritise completing the necessary preparations so construction of the remaining sections of the Inland Rail Link can commence as soon as possible, with further detailed planning, environmental assessments, and land acquisitions to begin within twelve months.

Already we have done much to progress this vital project.  Over the past five years, we have invested almost $600 million rebuilding the existing track that will eventually form around 60 per cent of the final Inland Rail link, including upgrades around Melbourne, Albury, Cootamundra and Parkes.

The additional pre-construction work along the rest of the corridor will be funded from the $300 million set aside in the Budget’s Forward Estimates.

Once operational, this new 1,731 kilometre line connecting Brisbane to Melbourne via the NSW Central West will cut up to seven hours off the time it takes to transport freight between these two capital cities.

It will also take trucks off our highways, ease the growing congestion along the existing coastal line through Sydney, and open up new economic opportunities for inland communities such as Toowoomba, Moree, Narromine, Parkes, Wagga Wagga and Albury.

First conceived more than a century ago, it took the election of Federal Labor in late 2007 to breathe life into the project.  We are the first ever national government to commit to building this new rail line with real money to make it happen.

By comparison, my National Party predecessors in the former Howard Government made an art form out of inaction.  They never committed any money for construction nor upgrade or laid one metre of track.

If you value rail and want to see this nation building project completed, then you’ve got to vote Labor.  When it comes to rail infrastructure, Labor always delivers more than the Liberal and National Parties.

From the outset, the modernisation of the Interstate Rail Freight Network has been central to this Federal Labor Government’s broader efforts to lift national productivity, reduce harmful carbon pollution, and get more freight off our highways and onto the back of trains.

Beyond the Inland Rail project, Federal Labor has invested billions rebuilding more than a third of the Network – or almost 4,000 kilometres of track.  In fact it has been the most extensive upgrade in almost a century, involving 52 major projects across the country.

 

Aug 24, 2013

Tony Abbott to cut Victorian Infrastructure Funding

This week the Liberal and National Parties confirmed they will slash funding for Victorian road, rail and public transport projects by almost $3.9 billion to help pay for Tony Abbott’s promises, including his extravagant, unfair and unaffordable paid parental leave scheme.

Indeed, this funding is the latest victim of the Coalition’s desperate search for ways to fill the more than $70 billion hole in their election costings, confirming that if Tony Abbott wins Victoria’s infrastructure will be the loser.

The much-needed projects to go if there’s a change of government include:

  • Melbourne Metro: Constructing a new underground rail line from west of South Kensington to east of South Yarra, increasing capacity on the entire network (Federal Labor’s contribution: $3 billion).
  • M80 (Western and Metropolitan Ring Roads): Upgrading a further 38 kilometres of these roads and install an Intelligent Transport System along the whole corridor (Federal Labor’s contribution: $525.1 million).
  • Managed Motorways: Upgrading the Intelligent Transport System along the Monash Freeway from High Street to Warrigal Road and from Warrigal Road to Clyde Road, including new sensors and Variable Speed Signs (Federal Labor’s contribution: $77.7 million).
  • Ballarat Freight Hub: Developing a general freight centre in the City’s West Employment Zone (Federal Labor’s contribution: $9.1 million).
  • Princes Highway West: Duplicating the section between Winchelsea and Colac (Federal Labor’s contribution: $257.5 million).

A full list of projects facing the axe nationwide is below.

Ripping billions of dollars out of the infrastructure budget and cancelling major projects when we should be tackling urban congestion, building stronger regions and preparing our nation for the post-mining boom era would be an act of economic vandalism.

Let’s not forget the Coalition has form. When last in government they slashed road funding by $2 billion, starved rail of much needed new investment and refused to commit anything to fixing our urban public transport infrastructure.

By contrast, under this Federal Labor Government, Australia has gone from 20th to 2nd amongst major advanced economies when it comes to infrastructure spending as a proportion of national income.  Here in Victoria we have nearly tripled annual spending from $68 to $183 per person.

Only Federal Labor has a positive vision and clear plan to build Victoria’s future.

 


TONY ABBOTT’S INFRASTRUCTURE ‘HIT LIST’

Federal Labor’s infrastructure commitments which have not been matched by the Liberal and National Parties – and are therefore likely to being cancelled if there’s a change of government on 7 September:

QUEENSLAND

  • Brisbane Cross River Rail: Construct a new tunnel between Yeerongpilly Station and Victoria Park as well as four new underground stations.  Federal contribution: $715 million.
  • Warrego Highway Upgrade: Package of works between Toowoomba and Miles.  Federal contribution: $317.5 million. 
  • Peak Downs Highway: Straighten and upgrade the Eton Ranges section of the road.  Federal contribution: $120 million.
  • Gladstone Port Access Road: Completing this new road link.  Federal contribution: $50 million.
  • Cape York Roads Package: Upgrade the road between Mapoon and Weipa, the road connecting Aurukun to the Peninsula Development Road and the Jardine River Bridge as well as redevelop the Seisia Wharf and improve the raw water pipeline from Bamaga to Seisia.  Federal contribution: $210 million

NORTHERN TERRITORY

Regional Roads Productivity Package: Upgrade six regional roads:

  • Strengthen and widen sections of Roper Highway as well as improving its flood immunity;
  • Seal sections of Port Keats Road as well as improving its flood immunity;
  • Replace gravel on poor sections of the Santa Teresa Way;
  • Construct a new bridge over Rocky Bottom Creek on Central Arnhem Road;
  • Strengthen, widen and seal sections of the Buntine Highway; and
  • Replace gravel on poor sections of Arnhem Link Road.

Federal contribution: $90 million.

NSW

  • F3 Productivity Package: Widen the F3 from Tuggerah and Doyalson and from Kariong to Somersby as well as upgrade the Kariong Interchange and the Weakleys Drive intersection.  Federal contribution: $195.8 million.
  • Port Botany Rail Link Upgrade: Remove the level crossing at the General Holmes Drive by constructing a road underpass.  Federal contribution: $40 million.
  • Port Botany Rail Line Upgrade: Upgrade the line to improve access and connectivity between the Port and the future Moorebank Intermodal Terminal.  Federal contribution $75 million.
  • Tourle Street Bridge and Cormorant Road Upgrade: Duplicate the bridge and the approaches to it.  Federal contribution: $52 million.
  • New England Highway: Realign the three kilometre Bolivia Hill section.  Federal contribution: $80 million.
  • New England Highway: Fix congestion and safety issues around the level crossing in Scone. Federal contribution: $45 million.
  • Mt Ousley upgrades: Construct two new northbound and two new southbound climbing lanes on Mt Ousley Road between Bulli Tops and Picton Road interchange.  Federal contribution: $42 million.
  • Olympic Highway: Replace the existing Kapooka Bridge and the approaches to it.  Federal contribution: $19.5 million.
  • Newell Highway: Install additional overtaking lanes.  Federal contribution: $5 million.

VICTORIA

  • Melbourne Metro: Construct a new underground rail line from west of South Kensington to east of South Yarra to increase capacity on the entire network. Federal contribution: $3 billion.
  • M80 (Western and Metropolitan Ring Roads): Complete 38 kilometres of capacity improvements including installing an Intelligent Transport System along the whole corridor:
    o   Princes Freeway to Western Highway;
    o   Sunshine Avenue to Calder Freeway;
    o   Sydney Road to Edgars Road; and
    o   Plenty Road to Greensborough Highway.   Federal contribution: $525.1 million.
  • Managed Motorways: Upgrade the Intelligent Transport System on section of the Monash Freeway between High Street and Warrigal Road, including additional sensors and Variable Speed Signs to help improve traffic flow.  Federal contribution: $9.9 million.
  • Managed Motorways: Upgrade the Intelligent Transport System along the Monash Freeway between Warrigal Road and Clyde Road, including additional sensors and more Variable Speed Signs to improve traffic flow.  Federal contribution: $68.6 million.
  • Ballarat Freight Hub: Develop a general freight centre in the Ballarat West Employment Zone.  Federal contribution: $9.1 million.
  • Princes Highway West: Duplicate the section between Winchelsea and Colac.  Federal contribution: $257.5 million.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

  • South Road: Upgrade and widen the Torrens Road and the River Torrens section, including sinking 1.4 kilometres of the road below surface as well as constructing two new interchanges and a rail overpass. Federal contribution: $448 million.
  • Managed Motorways: Install an Advanced Traffic Management System along the South Eastern Freeway between Stirling and Mount Barker, including new variable speed limit and message signs. Federal contribution: $8.0 million.
  • Managed Motorways: Install an Intelligent Transport System along the South Eastern Freeway between Crafers and Stirling.  Federal contribution: $4.5 million.
  • Tonsley Park Public Transport Project: Upgrade of the public transport infrastructure in and around Tonsley Park, including duplicating a section of the Tonsley Rail Line as well as upgrading Clovelly Park and Tonsley stations with new park-and-ride facilities and bus interchanges.  Federal contribution: $31.5 million.
  • Anangu Pitjanjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands: Upgrade sections of the main access road between the Stuart Highway and Pukatja, as well as 21 kilometres of community roads.   Federal contribution: $85 million.

TASMANIA

  • Midland Highway Upgrade: Package of works, which includes duplication of the section between Perth and Breadalbane; dedicated upgrades at Mona Vale, St Peters Pass and between Mangalore and Bagdad; and planning for a future Launceston Bypass.  Federal contribution: $500 million over ten years, with the Coalition having committed only $400 million – an amount Tony Abbott has finally conceded won’t be enough to fully duplicate the road.
  • Freight Rail Revitalisation: Continuing upgrade of the network including replacing approximately 290 kilometres of old track. Federal contribution: $119.6 million.
  • Brooker Highway: Address congestion and access issues at the intersections with Goodwood and Elwick Roads as well as replace the existing Howard Road roundabout with traffic lights.  Federal contribution: $25.6 million.
  • Huon Highway: Upgrade the intersection with Summerleas Road.  Federal contribution: $17.5 million.
  • Tasman Highway Ramps: Install new on and off ramps at the intersection with the East Derwent Highway. Federal contribution: $13 million.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

  • Tonkin Highway: Build three new interchanges at the intersections with Benara Road, Morley Drive and Collier Road. Federal contribution: $140.6 million.
  • Leach Highway: Widen and straighten High Street in Fremantle between Carrington Street and Stirling Highway. Federal contribution: $59 million.
  • Perth Public Transport Package: Assist in building a light rail network through the City’s northern suburbs and/or a new rail line to Perth Airport. Federal contribution: $500 million over ten years.
  • Great Northern Highway: Package of works along the Muchea to Wubin section, including realignment work, intersection upgrades, road widening and additional overtaking lanes. Federal contribution: $307.8 million.
  • North West Coastal Highway: Package of works between Minilya and Barradale, include widening and strengthening the road as well as erecting two new bridges.  Federal contribution: $174 million.
Aug 24, 2013

Fibre to the football

From the start of the next AFL finals series, football fans at Etihad Stadium will be able to enjoy superfast internet access turbocharged by the Rudd Labor Government’s National Broadband Network (NBN).

A re-elected Rudd Labor Government would fast track the rollout of the NBN to Etihad Stadium as a pilot project that in an Australian first, will allow the AFL to deliver wi-fi internet to football fans.

Using the capacity of NBN, the AFL will deploy wi-fi hotspots for fans to connect to fast broadband using mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.

The NBN rollout to Etihad Stadium will be the first stage of the AFL’s national fibre and wireless strategy, that will ultimately incorporate all major AFL venues as the NBN rolls out across Australia.

This is an exciting development for both the code and the fans and will be a game-changer in how fans can experience the sport.

Sports fans want to get online in different ways – through their mobiles, tablets, desktops and smart TVs, and we need to keep pace with a changing world.

As part of the pilot, the AFL’s Docklands Headquarters will be connected to the NBN and the AFL will be an early trial customer of NBN Co’s enterprise grade broadband product, capable of providing 1,000 mbps download and 1,000 mbps upload speeds, ahead of its commercial release in 2015.

Getting online at the footy through a smart phone or tablet is becoming as natural as barracking for your team.

Federal Labor’s NBN will turbocharge wireless devices through wi-fi connections whether at home, at work, or at the footy, avoiding the frustration sometimes experienced at major events where congestion on mobile networks can make connecting to the web unreliable and slow.

The Rudd Labor Government’s NBN is being rolled out to all Australian homes and businesses, as well as schools, hospitals, nursing homes and sporting stadiums.

It is delivering benefits across all sectors of the economy, including education, health, small business, agriculture, and sporting organisations.

Over the next three years, the NBN’s fibre network will have construction completed or commenced to over 4.8 million premises all over Australia.

Federal Labor’s NBN is an investment in our nation’s future prosperity. It will transform the way we live our lives, do our business, grow our regions and engage with the rest of world.

When it comes superfast, affordable and reliable broadband, only Federal Labor will do it once, do it right, and do it with fibre.

Australians now face a clear choice: they can vote for the future with fibre under Federal Labor, or the past with copper under the Coalition.

 

Aug 24, 2013

Australia divided by broadband under Coalition

Australia will be divided into broadband haves and have nots if the Rudd Labor Government is not re-elected at next month’s federal election.

Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull would wreck Federal Labor’s National Broadband Network (NBN), denying millions of Australians access to the boundless educational, health, lifestyle and commercial opportunities this essential infrastructure delivers.

Right now, construction on the NBN’s fibre network has commenced or is complete for 1.2 million homes and businesses across the country. If there’s a change of government on 7 September, that is where the fibre rollout will stop.

Areas to miss out on superfast fibre broadband under the Coalition include 3.6 million homes and businesses currently scheduled to get NBN fibre, including Shellharbour, Alice Springs, Bendigo, Broome, Burnie, Mount Gambier and Maroochydore, as well as all suburbs in the one and three year rollout plans in every town and city across Australia.

They will be left with one of two choices: battle on using last century’s copper, or fork out as much as $5,000 to have fibre connected to their home or business – something others will get for free under Labor’s NBN.

However, if the Rudd Labor Government is re-elected the roll out of fibre-to-the-premise will continue, delivering world class broadband infrastructure for all families and businesses in Australia.

Tony Abbott will cut down the NBN, dividing the country between broadband haves and broadband have nots.

If Tony Abbott and the Coalition win on 7 September, Australians will lose.

Australians now face a clear choice: they can vote for the future and fibre under Labor or the past and copper under the Coalition.

nbn

 

Aug 24, 2013

Building for the future with the National Broadband Network

The Rudd Labor Government’s investment in the National Broadband Network will ensure Australia is one of the world’s leading digital economies by 2020.

The Prime Minister today released Labor’s broadband and digital economy paper, Building for the Future, which demonstrates how the NBN will underpin economic growth and jobs for the future. 

The NBN will connect every Australian home and business to superfast, affordable and reliable broadband, an investment in critical infrastructure which will meet our needs for decades to come.

This election is a choice between Federal Labor’s investment in our future and the Coalition’s determination to cut the NBN and rely on the communications technology of the past.

Labor understands that with the Chinese mining investment boom coming to an end we need to diversify Australia’s economy so we don’t have all our eggs in one basket.

The NBN is a central element of Federal Labor’s positive plans for the future.

Superfast broadband will open up new ways of working and new ways of doing business, allowing Australia to improve productivity and tap into new sources of growth beyond the mining boom.

It will transform all sectors of the economy, including mining, agriculture, manufacturing, financial services, retailing, education, healthcare and entertainment.

The broadband and digital economy paper shows how the NBN will deliver economic and social benefits by:

  • Encouraging innovation in the same way electricity and transport networks transformed the economy in earlier generations.
  • Overcoming Australia’s geographical distance from key global markets.
  • Improving health and aged care through online medical consultations and management of health conditions.
  • Connecting students in our schools, TAFEs and universities to the best teachers, resources and research materials here and abroad.
  • Creating new opportunities for telework which will allow more people to work.

The paper also highlights the benefits of the NBN for regional Australia and small businesses.

Research shows small businesses using advanced digital technologies are twice as likely to increase their revenues and four times as likely to hire new workers.

The NBN is too important for our future to be jeopardised by Tony Abbott’s cuts.

The Coalition’s plan is to roll out a network which will be obsolete as soon as it is built because it relies on copper wire.

Federal Labor’s NBN will deliver broadband services over a superfast fibre network right to the customer’s premises.

This is a central part of the Rudd Labor Government’s plan to build and create new jobs for the future.

By contrast, the Coalition’s cuts will relegate Australia to relying on the outmoded communications technology of the past.

Labor’s broadband and digital economy paper, Building for the Future, is here: http://goo.gl/9o7AMY

 

Aug 24, 2013

Small business innovation fund

A re-elected Rudd Labor Government will create a $10 million Small Business NBN Innovation Fund to help small businesses across the country unleash the full potential of the National Broadband Network (NBN).

Federal Labor wants to see Australia’s information, communications and technology (ICT) sector create new applications that will allow small businesses to cut costs and become more productive and competitive.

The new Innovation Fund will back businesses, researchers and entrepreneurs in developing innovative NBN enabled applications which deliver practical benefits for small businesses across the nation.

Once developed, the new applications would be made available free of charge to all small businesses through www.business.gov.au.

This will allow small businesses to realise the benefits of Federal Labor’s investment in the National Broadband Network.

Federal Labor understands that with the Chinese mining investment boom coming to an end we need to diversify Australia’s economy so we don’t have all our eggs in one basket.

The NBN is a central element of Labor’s positive plans to create economic growth and jobs for the future.

It will open up new ways of doing business – and our new Innovation Fund will ensure small business owners and operators can tap into these benefits.

Streamlining business administration means small businesses can spend less time doing the books and more time with their customers.

The NBN is a game changer for small business across Australia. It is the biggest ever investment in small business infrastructure this nation has ever seen.

Research shows that small businesses who are engaged in the online world and use broadband grow their business faster and are more likely to be hiring new staff.

This commitment would be delivered through the Federal Labor Government’s Economic Competitiveness Fund that is already included in the budget.

Under Federal Labor, small businesses will get fibre connected to their premises for free.

In stark contrast, the Coalition will cut the NBN and slug small businesses as much as $5,000 to have fibre connected. For Australia’s 3.2 million small businesses, this cost could hit as high as $16 billion.

Labor’s Small Business NBN Innovation Fund comes on top of:

  • The biggest ever infrastructure investment for Australia’s small businesses – the National Broadband Network.
  • The Digital Enterprises Program – providing small businesses with the skills and knowledge they need to get online and take advantage of the NBN.
  • The Digital Business Kits – a suite of targeted resources and information that will help small and medium enterprises in ten specific sectors get online and make the most of the NBN.

Federal Labor would work with the Australian Computer Society and the Australian Information Industries Association on the design of the scheme to ensure it best utilises the resources of the ICT sector.

 

Aug 23, 2013

Tonsley Rail Line duplication and upgrade brought forward

The Rudd and Weatherill Labor Governments have today announced the bring forward of $63 million to duplicate part of the Tonsley Rail Line and upgrade existing track as quickly as possible.

Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and South Australian Transport and Infrastructure Minister Tom Koutsantonis today announced their respective governments would bring forward funding while inspecting the start of construction work in Ascot Park.

“The Rudd Labor Government has a plan to keep our cities moving, one which involves investing in both their road and rail infrastructure. If not tackled in such a balanced way, the cost of congestion here in Adelaide will double to $1.1 billion a year by the end of the decade,” Mr Albanese said.

“The Tonsley Park Public Transport Project will significantly improve public transport services for people living in the southern suburbs and is part of our unprecedented investment in public transport.

“Construction to duplicate and upgrade the rail line near Ascot Park commenced just this week and bringing forward funding will ensure this first stage of work is completed as quickly as possible, minimising inconvenience to rail commuters.

“Bringing this work forward also means we can redeploy 250 workers that are already engaged on the Rail Revitalisation Project in Adelaide’s south, keeping jobs in South Australia when and where they’re needed.

“This project is an example of the record investment we’re making in urban public transport, all of which would be cut by Tony Abbott and the Liberals. Mr Abbott has repeatedly said that the Federal Government should have nothing to do with fixing our nation’s public transport infrastructure.

“Only Labor will invest in and deliver the public transport our cities need into the future.”

As part of the project, 1.2 kilometres of the Tonsley Rail Line will be duplicated and 3.3 kilometres of existing track upgraded.

Mr Koutsantonis said the Tonsley Park Public Transport Project also includes upgrading Clovelly Park and Tonsley stations and the construction of a new park–and–ride facility and bus interchange.

“Our investment here will deliver the infrastructure we need to meet demand for public transport services into the future,” Mr Koutsantonis said.

“We anticipate patronage increases of about 450 per cent at Clovelly Park station and 600 per cent at Tonsley station by 2015.

“This project also caters for the growing popularity of park-and-ride in our suburbs as well as linking into bus services at a new interchange to be built in the later stages of the project.

“By beginning the track work now we can avoid having to close the line some time next year after the resumption of rail services, which would not have been ideal.

“Substitute buses will continue for a little longer but in return we are building a more efficient rail service to complement our investment in advanced manufacturing and education facilities at the former Mitsubishi site.”

The next stages of the Tonsley Park Public Transport Project include the:

  • Rebuild of the Clovelly Park station to service the Tonsley Park development and to link to the park-and-ride facilities announced last December.
  • Rebuild of the Tonsley Station to connect rail and bus services.
  • New bus interchange at the intersection of South and Sturt roads.
  • Extension of Flinders Drive to Sturt Road to better connect to bus services.
  • Minor works on Sturt and South roads to improve the efficiency of local bus services.

Rail services on the Tonsley line are scheduled to resume in November. A long weekend shutdown will be required in early 2014 to install the duplicated junction at the Noarlunga line that will allow electrified services to run on the Tonsley line.

Funding for this project is already included in the budget.

_________________________________

NATION BUILDING PROGRAM: SA

Through our Nation Building Programs, Federal Labor is investing a record $4.2 billion to maintain and modernise the State’s road, rail and public transport infrastructure, with $196 million being provided this financial year alone.

All up, we’ve more than doubled infrastructure spending in the State from $92 to $226 per South Australian.

This includes funding for two of the biggest road projects in South Australia’s history: the Northern Expressway (completed) and South Road Superway (underway) – both in Adelaide.

EXISTING PROJECTS

Over the next 12 months (2013-14), we will complete work on the following major projects:

  •  Constructing the new South Road Superway, which will feature a new 2.8 kilometre elevated roadway between Wing and Taminga Streets along South Road.   Federal contribution: $406 million.
  • Upgrade of the Dukes Highway, including new overtaking lanes, additional rest areas and other safety works.  Federal contribution: $80 million.

Over the next 12 months work will also continue on untangling the passenger and freight lines through Adelaide’s CBD at Goodwood and Torrens (Federal contribution: $232.1 million).

NEW PROJECTS

Following consultations with the State Government and Infrastructure Australia, this year’s Federal Budget added the following projects to our capital works program:

  • South Road (Torrens Road to River Torrens): Upgrade and widen South Road between Torrens Road and the River Torrens, including sinking 1.4 kilometres of the road below surface as well as constructing two new interchanges and a rail line overpass. Federal contribution: $448 million, with $20 million brought      forward to kick-start the project.
  • Tonsley Park Public Transport Project: Improve the public transport infrastructure in and around Tonsley Park, including duplicating a section of the Tonsley Rail Line and installing park-and-ride facilities and bus interchanges at Clovelly Park and Tonsley stations. Federal contribution: $31.5 million.
  • Managed Motorways: Install an Advanced Traffic
    Management System along the South Eastern Freeway between Stirling and Mount Barker, including variable speed limit and message signs. Federal contribution: $8 million.
  • Managed Motorways: Install Intelligent Transport Systems along the South Eastern Freeway between Crafers and Stirling, including hard shoulder running, lane use management and better incident management systems. Federal contribution: $4.5 million.
  • Anangu Pitjanjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands: Upgrade sections of the 210 kilometre main access road between the Stuart Highway and Pukatja as well as improve 21 kilometres of community roads.  This package will provide all-weather access to airstrips at Pukatja, Umuwa, Fregon, Mimili, and Indulkana, as well as to the Umuwa and Fregon homelands.  Federal contribution: $85 million.

The 2013-14 Federal Budget also maintained funding for a range of initiatives which help make local roads better and safer:

  • $4.7 million to eliminate another 22 dangerous black spots;
  • $87.1 million to assist councils across the State to maintain and upgrade their local roads; and
  • $2.9 million to provide 7 new and upgraded rest areas, 9 new and upgraded stock ramps and 2 road upgrades to improve access for trucks and livestock transporters.

 

Aug 9, 2013

Thousands in Townsville set to miss out on superfast broadband

More than 37,000 homes and businesses in Townsville are set to miss out on superfast, affordable and reliable fibre broadband if the Rudd Labor Government is not re-elected at next month’s Federal Election, according to new maps released today.

The maps graphically show the extent to which Tony Abbott and his sidekick Malcolm Turnbull would wreck Federal Labor’s National Broadband Network, denying most in the region access to the boundless educational, health, lifestyle and commercial opportunities this essential infrastructure delivers.

If there’s a change of government on 7 September, the only homes and businesses that can be sure of getting access to NBN fibre broadband are the 15,000 that have been switched on under Federal Labor.

Everyone else is likely to be left with one of two choices: battle on using last century’s copper or fork out as much as $5,000 to have fibre connected to their home or business – something people are currently getting for free.

For Townsville’s 11,440 businesses alone, that could be a total financial hit as high as $57 million.

However, if the Rudd Labor Government is re-elected the roll out of fibre-to-the-premise will continue by mid-2016 to 52,400 homes and businesses in Townsville, Mount Louisa, Bohle, Deeragun, Bushland Beach and Black River.

Federal Labor’s NBN is an investment in our nation’s future prosperity.  It will transform the way we live our lives, do business, grow our regions and engage with the rest of world.  That’s why access to it should not depend on how much money you have or where you happen to live or do business.

When it comes superfast, affordable and reliable broadband, only Federal Labor will do it once, do it right, and do it with fibre.

Australians now face a clear choice: they can vote for the future and fibre under Labor or the past and copper under the Coalition.

 

 

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Contact Anthony

(02) 9564 3588 Electorate Office

Email: A.Albanese.MP@aph.gov.au

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