Browsing articles in "Ministerial Media Releases"
Jul 10, 2013

Bruce Highway safety works continue

Regular users of the Bruce Highway near Gin Gin will soon experience safer driving conditions following the start of work to realign a 6.7 km stretch of the highway between Cabbage Tree Creek and Carmans Road.

Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said the upgrade will be completed late next year.

“Traffic volumes on the Bruce Highway continue to grow, so I’m pleased that these works will improve safety for the more than 3,500 vehicles that currently travel this section of highway each day, almost 30 per cent of which are heavy vehicles,” Mr Albanese said.

“The alignment of this section of the highway will remove tight curves and increase sight distances for motorists, making it easier to see other vehicles.

“An overtaking lane will be built for each direction of traffic, and two heavy vehicle rest stops will be constructed to cater for north and southbound motorists.

“The Bruce Highway and Monduran Road intersection will also be upgraded alongside other minor upgrades which will improve access to private properties along the Highway.”

Queensland Deputy Premier and Member for Callide Jeff Seeney said interim safety measures had been implemented as part of the project.

“There will be additional signage in place and a reduced speed limit on some sections of the existing highway while the works take place,” Mr Seeney said.

“Side tracks will also be in place to allow the connections to the new alignments to be built.

“Meanwhile, works commenced last year to flatten and realign a 3.7 kilometre stretch of the highway further north across Back Creek Range.

“The project will work to improve the vertical and horizontal alignment along this stretch and will bypass the section locally referred to as the ‘Big Dipper’, with works expected to be completed by mid-2014.

The Federal Labor Government is providing $80 million towards the combined $100 million cost of the Cabbage Tree Creek to Carman Road upgrade and Back Creek Range upgrade.

“Last year, crews also began working on a $20 million federally funded project to improve a 1.6 kilometre section of the highway on the southern approach to Gin Gin,” Mr Albanese said.

These safety works are part of the Federal Government’s unprecedented $5.7 billion investment to upgrade the Bruce Highway.


Click on image for larger version

Bruce Highway—Curra to Sarina

Map of Bruce Highway—Curra to Sarina

Jul 9, 2013

Moorebank Intermodal Company CEO appointed

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese, and Minister for Finance and Deregulation, Senator Penny Wong, have today announced the appointment of Ian Hunt as the new Chief Executive Officer of the Moorebank Intermodal Company following an international executive search.

“Mr Hunt brings 30 years of infrastructure experience to the Moorebank project, having worked on a diverse range of projects including public private partnerships to deliver a major urban motorway and rail rolling stock,” Mr Albanese said.

“Mr Hunt brings to the Company broad skills across engineering, financing and management. These skills will be invaluable in delivering a project that is so important to the future of Sydney and to the Australian economy.”

The Moorebank Intermodal Company was established in December last year to engage and oversee the private sector development of the Moorebank Intermodal Terminal, a nationally significant infrastructure project which will help boost Australia’s productivity.

Senator Wong said Mr Hunt will work closely with the Moorebank Intermodal Company Board, led by Dr Kerry Schott, to facilitate the private sector development of the Terminal.

“As CEO, Mr Hunt will play an important role in leveraging private sector expertise and investment.”

“One of his central tasks will be to oversee the formal procurement process that will identify private companies to develop and operate the Terminal.”

Once up and running, it’s forecast that the Terminal could remove 1.2 million trucks from Sydney’s roads each year – equivalent to 3,300 trucks per day.

In addition, the Terminal will generate around $10 billion in economic benefits through increased productivity, reduced freight costs, reduced traffic congestion and better environmental outcomes.

Dr Schott thanked Lucio Di Bartolomeo who has served as interim CEO over the past six months.

“Under Mr Di Bartolomeo’s leadership, the Company has swiftly built momentum,” Dr Schott said.

The formal procurement process is expected to commence in August 2013, with construction of the Intermodal Terminal planned to commence in mid-2015. It will open for business in 2017.


Jul 5, 2013

NBN training for small businesses in Bendigo

Small-to-medium businesses and not-for-profit organisations in Bendigo will receive free expert advice on how to make the most of the National Broadband Network (NBN).

Local business association iBendigo will deliver training services as part of Rudd Labor Government’s Digital Enterprise program, working with local businesses and the community to raise awareness of the many benefits of high-speed broadband.

The Bendigo Digital Enterprise will deliver group seminars and one-on-one support sessions, which will include training on website development, telework, cloud computing, online marketing, e-commerce, and social media.

iBendigo will receive a grant worth $250,000 to deliver the training that will help the community and local businesses to compete globally and create the jobs of the future. The grant is subject to the finalisation of funding negotiations.

The Bendigo Digital Enterprise is one of 70 that the Rudd Labor Government is establishing across Australia.

More than 7,600 organisations have already benefited from the advice and free training that the enterprises are delivering.

For a list of service providers announced under previous funding rounds or more information please visit:

For more information about the National Digital Economy Strategy visit

Jul 4, 2013

NBN switched-on across the Coffs Coast, as Rudd Labor Government launches cutting-edge telehealth service


More areas in and around Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, are getting access to the National Broadband Network’s reliable, high-speed broadband thanks to the Rudd Labor Government.

Over 14,000 homes and businesses have today been officially switched on to the NBN across the Coffs Coast, including in Sawtell, Toormina, and more areas in Coffs Harbour.

There are now around 16,900 homes and business on the Coffs Coast that can now connect to the NBN, with even more coming online over the next few months.

I urge everyone who can to sign up to the NBN and experience what it has to offer.

The people of Coffs Harbour are already embracing the NBN. In areas that switched on only six months ago, local households are signing up at world leading rates.

The NBN opens up huge opportunities for the Coffs Coast in education, business, and health care.

To highlight what the NBN makes possible, I launched the My Health Clinic at Home program.

The Rudd Labor Government is providing $2.5 million to Feros Care to help older Australians living in Coffs Harbour have their health conditions monitored from home by connecting them, via the NBN, with nurses based in Coolangatta, Queensland.

Feros Care estimates using telehealth will save their nurses approximately 8000 kilometers and 160 hours of travel time annually, allowing them to treat almost double the number of patients over the course of the year.

Programs like this highlight how important Labor’s NBN is to productivity gains in health care and right across the economy.

Labor is building the NBN for all Australians. No matter where you live – in the cities or in regional Australia – you will have access to the NBN.

The NBN is world-class infrastructure that will serve Australia’s broadband needs now and into the future.

For more information about the NBN rollout visit:



NBN in Coffs Harbour and Sawtell

  1. The NBN has today been switched on to another 8,900 homes and businesses in Coffs Harbour, bringing the total number of premises able to connect to the NBN to more than 11,500. This includes Coffs Harbour and North Boambee Valley.
  2. NBN fibre services are also available to around 5,400 homes and businesses in Sawtell. This includes Boambee, Boambee East, Bonville and Toormina.
  3. NBN fibre construction is set to be completed in the coming months for other areas within Coffs Harbour, including Korora and Sapphire Beach.
  4. NBN fibre construction is set to be completed in the coming months for other areas within Sawtell, including Boambee East and Boambee.

NBN in the NSW

  1. NBN fibre construction has commenced or is complete for more than 240,000 premises.
  2. NBN fibre construction is expected to commence or be completed for 1,416,800 premises by mid-2016.


Jul 3, 2013

New Standard to help prevent ‘Bill Shock’ for Australians travelling overseas

Australians travelling overseas will be better able to avoid ‘bill shock’, following the registration of a new standard on international mobile roaming.

The new Australian Communications and Media Authority standard requires telecommunications companies operating international mobile roaming services to provide Australians with more information about their use and how much they will cost.

Australians frequently experience ‘bill shock’ when using their phones and smart devices overseas because the rates for international mobile roaming services, including internet access, can be up to 150 times more than what they are charged at home.

These outrageous prices mean that too many Australians are coming home from an overseas holiday and being confronted with a mobile phone bill that costs more than the trip itself.

By ensuring telecommunications companies provide timely and relevant information to their customers means such ‘bill shock’ can be avoided.

The new standard will result in Australians travelling overseas receiving warnings about the higher charges that may apply while using their mobile devices; information on how to opt out of roaming services; what charges they can expect from such services; and how to access spend management tools.

The new standard applies to all Australian mobile providers and will cover all countries where Australians use international mobile roaming.

The measures in the standard will be phased in progressively from 27 September 2013.

Information about the standard can be found here:

Jul 2, 2013

Release of Infrastructure Australia’s updated priority list

I welcome today’s release of Infrastructure Australia’s fifth annual report to the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), which sets out the pipeline of projects and policy reforms it believes will secure Australia’s prosperity in the 21st Century.

This report marks the first five years of Infrastructure Australia and acknowledges the improvements to infrastructure planning and development that have occurred.

The report also updates the National Infrastructure Priority List of projects which have been rigorously assessed and found to offer the highest economic, social and environmental returns.

As a result of this year’s Budget, all ‘ready to proceed’ projects identified by Infrastructure Australia since its establishment in 2008 have received Federal funding commitments.

This year a record 79 project proposals were submitted for assessment and the number of projects added to the priority list more than doubled.

Federal Labor recognises the importance of getting the investment decisions right which is why we established Infrastructure Australia and continue to deliver reforms that complement our $60 billion Nation Building Program.

I congratulate Sir Rod Eddington, his fellow Council members and the staff of Infrastructure Australia on continuing to drive lasting reforms to the way our nation plans, finances, builds and uses the infrastructure which makes people’s lives easier, our businesses more competitive and the Australian economy more productive.

The 2013 report – National Infrastructure Plan exemplifies the important role that Infrastructure Australia continues to perform, providing leadership in developing a long-term, evidence-based approach to infrastructure reforms and investment.

For this year’s full report to COAG, go to:


Jul 2, 2013

Major upgrade of Parramatta Stadium

Sports fans and local sporting teams will benefit from a major upgrade of Parramatta Stadium, which will ensure more A-League and NRL matches can be played in Parramatta and secure the stadium’s future as key infrastructure for Western Sydney.

The Federal Labor Government will provide $20 million towards the upgrade of the stadium.

Parramatta Stadium is an iconic Western Sydney landmark and located in the world heritage-listed Parramatta Park, which last year hosted more than 2 million visitors.

As well as being the home ground of the Parramatta Eels, the stadium last year became the home of the Western Sydney Wanderers Football Club.

The Stadium was built in 1986 and it no longer meets the needs of this fast growing region.

The Eels already play their largest home games away from Parramatta and tickets to Western Sydney Wanderers games at Parramatta Stadium sold out on three occasions in the club’s debut season.

Demands on Parramatta Stadium will continue to grow with Western Sydney’s population projected to increase to more than 1.6 million by 2031. During the 2012-13 NRL and A-League seasons, Parramatta Stadium hosted over 260,000 patrons.

The funding we are providing will allow players and the growing number of fans to watch and play their favourite sport closer to home and maintain the stadium as a key sporting facility for Western Sydney.

The overall upgrade of Parramatta Stadium is expected to include:

  • Upgrading the Eastern Stand, including a new concourse, new food and drink outlets and better bathrooms.
  • New corporate hospitality suites and a 500 seat function room, a new kitchen and new lifts
  • Better facilities for players including an upgrade of the change rooms and gym in the Western Grandstand, and an extension of the training field to full size.
  • An additional 3,300 seats on the Northern and Southern Mounds, bringing the Stadium capacity to 24,000
Jul 2, 2013

M80 drivers get a feel for new lanes in the west

Motorists will enjoy a safer ride with the opening of a third lane in each direction on the M80 Ring Road between Sunshine Avenue and Ballarat Road.

“The extra lane will reduce congestion by improving the flow of traffic for the 140,000 daily users,” says Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese.

“We know that renewing and expanding Melbourne’s road and rail infrastructure requires a genuine partnership between all levels of Government.”

“That is why in our 2013 Budget, we committed an additional $525 million to complete the widening of the entire M80 corridor,” Mr Albanese said.

Victorian Minister for Roads, Terry Mulder said drivers can look forward to more key milestones to come, as works between the Western Highway and Sunshine Avenue near completion.

“When complete, there will be four lanes in each direction, meaning greater safety and more consistent travel times on one of Melbourne’s key freeways,” said Mr Mulder.

“Installation of the Freeway Management System is underway, including overhead electronic lane signs, variable speed limit signs, CCTV cameras and an upgrade to communications networks and central control systems.

“This new infrastructure will help the management of traffic flow, clearing crashes quickly and providing real-time traffic updates to drivers,” said Mr Mulder.

These works between the Western Highway and Sunshine Avenue will be completed later this year.

Mr Albanese said the $2.25 billion M80 Ring Road upgrade is jointly funded by the Federal ($1.39 billion) and Victorian Governments and will improve safety and reduce congestion along 38 kilometres from Laverton North to Greensborough.


Jul 1, 2013

Statement of new appointments

It is an honour to be appointed Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport and Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.

I thank the Prime Minister and my colleagues for the confidence they have placed in me.

As part of my expanded portfolio, I will have Ministerial responsibility for the National Broadband Network which will transform the way we learn and teach, improve access to health services and change the way we do business.

This is a logical extension of my current responsibilities as Minister for Infrastructure and Transport and will ensure a strong focus on the nation building infrastructure we need to drive productivity in the 21st century.

Federal Labor has a strong track record when it comes to renewing and rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure. In addition to establishing Infrastructure Australia, we are upgrading 7,500 kilometres of road, rebuilding more than 4,000 kilometres of the Interstate Rail Network and investing more in public transport infrastructure than all our predecessors since Federation combined.

I want to take the opportunity to pay tribute to my predecessor Senator Stephen Conroy, who has passionately held the Broadband, Communications and Digital Economy portfolio from day one. I look forward to building on his record of achievements.

The task now is to secure a third term not for the sake of itself but to entrench and build on Federal Labor’s landmark reforms.


Jul 1, 2013

Historic day for maritime sector

New national laws which regulate the safety of ships and seafarers and ensure shipping is conducted in a manner which protects Australia’s precious marine environment come into effect today.

The commencement of the Navigation Bill 2012 and the Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Bill 2012 are the biggest reforms to Australia’s maritime sector in more than a century.

The National Law Bill provides a national approach to commercial vessel maritime safety replacing 50 pieces of state and federal legislation with one national law.

The National Law Bill also establishes the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) as the single national maritime regulator.

From today, seafarers are no longer burdened by seven different marine regulatory systems, each with their own rules and regulations.

A single set of rules for maritime operations, licensing, registration, design standards and seafarer education for domestic commercial vessels will cut red tape, better protect our marine environment and allow the maritime industry to operate across state and territory borders freely.

The Navigation Act 2012, which also commences today, replaces the century old Navigation Act 1912 with a modern maritime safety regime that better reflects contemporary industry practice.

The Navigation Act provides a range of new measures to ensure maritime safety compliance including increased financial penalties for non-compliant vessels, exclusion of vessels from Australian ports with poor inspection histories, and on the spot infringement notices for marine order offences.

Shipping is a crucial part of the Australian transport system with almost all our imports and exports carried by ship.

Together with our shipping reforms, these national laws will grow Australia’s maritime industry and cement Australia’s standing as a shipping nation.

More information on these historic reforms and the National Maritime Safety Regulator is available at


Contact Anthony

(02) 9564 3588 Electorate Office


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