Browsing articles in "Ministerial Media Releases"
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 www.amsa.gov.au

 

Jul 1, 2013

Abbotsfield Park Upgrade

Abbotsfield Park in Tasmania will be upgraded to cater for growing participation in community sports.

The Federal Labor Government will provide $200,000 funding to upgrade the sporting precinct, ensuring ongoing community access to sports facilities close to home.

The funding will be used to replace the ageing canteen, construct new coaching boxes and install netting behind the goals, bringing the facilities up to modern health and safety standards.

The project will build upon the new lighting system that has recently been installed at Abbotsfield Park which will enable the Claremont Football Club to hold night games.

Abbotsfield Park is being used by an increasing number of sporting teams including in 2013, an U18 Colts football side for the first time since 2008.

Together, these improvements will help clubs who use the ground to attract more players and members and increase the ability of the facilities to cater for growing cricket and football participation.

Jun 30, 2013

Transcript of Press Conference – Burnie, Tasmania

Subjects: Federal Labor’s investments in Tasmania; Ministry and Cabinet; Tony Abbott’s relentless negative and GST rip-off; Leadership; Election date; DisabilityCare Australia; Better Schools Plan; Midland Highway

ANTHONY ALBANESE:   This Federal Labor Government has been totally committed to delivering jobs and growth here in Tasmania.  That’s why we’ve worked together with local members to ensure positive delivery.

Positive delivery through people like Dick Adams and Sid Sidebottom with the work they did on the forestry plan.  Working with Geoff Lyons on infrastructure in the north-east.  Working with Julie Collins and Jane Austin as the candidates in Hobart and in the south.

We have delivered for Tasmania and are very proud of our record.  There’s no single project that more represents Federal Labor’s commitment to Tasmania and its future than the fact that we chose Tasmania as the place for the rollout of the National Broadband Network.  The National Broadband Network opens up a whole range of possibilities.  I have also been working closely with my Federal Parliamentary colleagues on the Tasmanian Jobs and Growth Plan.

Today we have an announcement about Sense-T.  This is an exciting project for Tasmania.  This is world’s best practice only made possible because of the NBN.  It will lead directly to the creation of some 175 jobs for what is the second stage of this project: $10 million to make sure that this world’s best practice technology can be used.  Put simply, what it does is enable real-time monitoring of the agriculture and aquaculture process.  So that we can identify exactly when is the best time to harvest, for example, oysters or other seafood, so that it maximises its value to producers.

What this will also do is have a multiplying impact to the Tasmanian economy.  Because it further entrenches Tasmania’s reputation as a fresh food produce state in Australia as a fresh food produce nation.  The work the Parliamentary Secretary Sid Sidebottom has done on these projects is very important given his responsibilities for agriculture.  This is an exciting project for Tasmania.  We remain absolutely committed to secure the economic future for Tasmania.

Can I make one further comment which is about Julie Collins’ promotion to the Cabinet?  Over recent days the Prime Minister and his leadership team have been sitting down and discussing the Cabinet and the make-up of the Outer Ministry and other positions.  It’s a difficult task because there are so many talented people in the Labor caucus who could be put forward.  As a result of the state funeral that the Prime Minister is attending this morning at Yirrkala in the Northern Territory, it’s not appropriate on a day of a state funeral for other political announcements to be made.

So the full announcement of the Ministry has been finalised but it will be announced tomorrow morning by the Prime Minister.  But one thing that has been determined is and announced, is Julie Collins’ elevation to the Cabinet.  We believed that it was very important that Tasmania have a seat at the Cabinet table.  Julie Collins gets there not just because she’s a Tasmanian, she gets there absolutely on merit due to the outstanding work that she has done since she entered the Ministry.  The elevation of Catherine King and Jacinta Collins, no relation, to the Cabinet – although it does make doing the list with two J Collins very difficult – means that there will be more women in the Rudd Cabinet than there has ever been in an Australian Government Cabinet ever before.  There will be more women ministers in the Rudd Ministry than have ever been appointed before.

I think that’s a good thing.  Modern Australia needs to be reflected by the Government of Australia.  I think it is important that people have come through the ranks on merit but more women also means that it’s more reflective of Australian society.

QUESTION: Is there – the new blood in the Cabinet, does that make it harder to [indistinct]

ANTHONY ALBANESE:   Not at all.  What we have is a mix.  We have a mix of experience but also renewal going forward.  A sign the Labor Government has renewed itself, that in terms of the quality of people in the Cabinet and the Ministry.  The difficult task has been that there are so many quality representatives going forward.

People will be able to compare the Rudd team with the Abbott team.  When you look at the Abbott team, what you have is a bunch of people who’ve been there since 2010 without any changes.  There is no-one in the Coalition caucus who believes that they have their best team on the front bench.  That people such as Bronwyn Bishop and others are there on merit or that they represent the future of the modern Liberal Party.

What we have is Labor putting our team forward and person to person, we’d be quite happy to have debates across the board – minister vs. shadow minister.  I’ve been trying to have a debate against Warren Truss anywhere in the Parliament, at the National Press Club, anywhere at all in terms of my alternative as the Shadow Minister for Infrastructure but also now as the Deputy Prime Minister.  And he has refused to do so.  Our team are person for person far in advance of the team that Tony Abbott has put forward.

Because what occurred was that when Tony Abbott took over the leadership when Malcolm Turnbull was defeated, he put in place a team and it’s stayed there ever since throughout the term because Tony Abbott hasn’t had a plan for the future.  He’s just had a plan for today.  He’s had a plan that has said: today we’ll go into the Parliament and the Government will fall.  The Government won’t serve full-term.  We well recall Tony Abbott’s arrogance of inviting members of the National Press Gallery to the Lodge for Christmas drinks in 2011.  That is what he said in 2010, he invited them to drinks in December 2011, because he did not believe that the Government would be able to last the entire term.

Well, the Government has served full-term, it’s been a good Government, we had renewal.  What they have in place is the same team, and indeed they have more shadow ministers and a larger shadow ministry than is allowable under the federal legislation.  There are some faces there that know they can’t be seen.  There are more shadow ministers than there are ministers.

I don’t know what a whole lot of them do.  I’ve had about half a dozen of them shadow me at any one time, including at the moment, there’s about half a dozen shadows across the portfolio responsibilities I have.  But I’m yet to see a single coherent, costed policy in my area.

QUESTION: You told the conference that you will win the election.  Are you getting carried away based on just a couple of okay polls?

ANTHONY ALBANESE:  Not at all.  The point that I make is this: That Labor is not in the business of just trying to get a better result than we would have otherwise.  We’re not about transforming whether we have 30 or 35 or 46.  We’re in the business of having a majority Labor Government.  That is what we will seek to do at the next election, that’s why not just the maintenance of all the seats that we hold with quality candidates.  Dick, Sid, Geoff and Julie represent quality people in terms of the Federal Parliament.  We want to add Jane to that list, because we’re about winning more than 75 seats.  We’re about a majority Labor Government

QUESTION:  Does the boost in the polls justify what you did earlier this week [indistinct] Julia Gillard?

ANTHONY ALBANESE:   We made a decision as a Caucus.  A line has been drawn under that.  Julia Gillard has my utmost respect.  Julia Gillard is deserving of that, as a former prime minister.  I believe that history will regard Julia Gillard well indeed, and history will look back at some of the personal attacks that were made on Julia Gillard and wonder what was going on.

QUESTION: When’s the election going to be? I mean [Indistinct]

ANTHONY ALBANESE:  I came to Tasmania to give you the election announcement.  I’m pleased you’ve come.

We’ll make proper considered decisions about those issues with due respect.  This is a Government that will be a Cabinet Government.  This is a Government where Kevin Rudd will consult based upon the facts.  There won’t be decisions, that or any others, that will be made on the run.  So the media are just going to have to be a little bit patient.

I know there’s a whole lot of stories being written about alleged policy changes, and I’m sure you can find someone who can say that they’d like policy x or policy y.  Guess what? That is just speculation, and the media will do that from time to time.  And the modern media spend a lot of time talking to other members of the media about what’s happening.  We are not going to be rushed into decisions.

As the Prime Minister said on Friday, just chill.  Give you the big hint, the election will be on a Saturday, and it’ll be at a time that is determined after proper consideration by the leadership and discussion by the Cabinet, and after full consideration of all the implications.

QUESTION: How [indistinct] is the rollout of the NDIS here in Tasmania tonight [indistinct].

ANTHONY ALBANESE:   DisabilityCare Australia is great Labor reforms.  It will be up there with the rollout of Medicare.  It is iconic reform.  It will make such a difference.  I believe that society should be judged not by how it looks after the wealthiest people at the top of the tree.  We should be judged by how we look after the most vulnerable.  That’s why I joined the Labor Party.  It’s a proud day tomorrow with the rollout here in Tasmania and right around the country.  And I think it’s very significant indeed that the Prime Minister will be in Newcastle tomorrow for that.  Sid Sidebottom, as a Member of the Executive, is doing the rollout here in Tasmania.

QUESTION:  How big of an indictment is it on Labor that you’ve lost so much talent this week, people that Australians elected to run the country and now they’ve taken their bat and ball and gone home?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Well, we had a number of valedictories over the last fortnight for people who are leaving Parliament.  There were more members of the Coalition than members of the Labor Party were leaving the Parliament.  That seemed to escape the attention of the media, but that is a fact of what occurred, and we also had, of course, a couple of crossbenchers who’ve made that announcement as well.  The idea that these are jobs for life is not the case.  We’re of course subject to election every three years, but also, from time to time people make decisions based upon where they’ve been, their personal circumstances, you know, in some cases health and other issues come into it.

So people have made those decisions, and in Prime Minister Gillard’s case, she made the statement on Wednesday, when she announced the ballot, as did Kevin Rudd when he announced that he’d be contesting the leadership, that both of them, the non-successful candidate would leave the Parliament.  I think it is the case that allows the party to draw a line under it and to move forward without the spectre of former Prime Minister Gillard and Prime Minister Rudd being both in the Parliament into the future.  So I think that was a very positive gesture from both of them, and the acknowledgement that that was a necessary step in terms of moving on.

QUESTION:  Today is the original deadline to sign up to Gonski.  Are you disappointed that the Premier here hasn’t signed Tasmania up?

ANTHONY ALBANESE:   Well Gonski is Gonski.  It’s now the Better Schools Program.  So the Better Schools Program, in terms of the states and territories who are yet to sign up, I’ve had discussions here on a personal level with the Premier.  We continue to urge state and territory governments to sign up to the Better Schools Plan – to the plan that’s about better funding for students, better future for kids, better training of teachers.  This is about Australia’s future, and every state and territory government has an absolute incentive to look after the future and to end what’s been a debate.  Since I was at school there’s been debate about public funding and private funding and the mix.

This ends it.  This is about putting funding for schools, and support for kids on a sustainable level into the future – and ensuring that those old, tired debates are put behind us.

One of the things that will characterise Kevin Rudd’s Government is that he is a unifying figure.  We’re about governing for all Australians.  That we’re about moving on from the politics of division.  We have had a Parliament that has been very difficult because an Opposition leader has been engaged in a relentlessly negative attack trying to bring down the Government and the Parliament in a ruthless fashion.

Well I think Australians want to move on from that.  They want to know what positive plans are for the future.  The Better Schools Plan is a great example of that.  We’ll be out there arguing and putting the case that state and territory governments should act in the interests of their kids at school now, but importantly, into the future, including future generations, and sign up to this plan.

QUESTION:  Can you offer her the same – some reassurance that the extra money for schools won’t impact on our [indistinct]?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: I’m not going to negotiate in front of the media.  Minister Rudd has said that he will sit down with Premier Giddings.  I’ve already had discussions with Premier Giddings over a period of time, both a face to face meeting some weeks ago, but also on the phone.  I’ve had discussions with her.  I’ll keep those discussions confidential.

What we intend to do is to do all we can to give the message that this is positive reform that’s worthy of support.

QUESTION:  [Indistinct] Kevin Rudd save any Labor seats here in [indistinct]?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: What we’re about is winning seats right around the country.  Not because that’s the end in itself, but because what Labor governments can do.  And Tasmania has an absolute interest in the re-election of Kevin Rudd.  Not just because of the positive agenda of the rollout of the National Broadband Network, the Jobs in Growth Plan, the support for issues right around the country.  Whether it be on the West Coast, the railway proposal that Sid fought so strongly for.  Whether it be the forestry restructuring package that Dick fought so strongly for.  Whether it be the issue of the Launceston Bypass that I announced with Geoff in recent times.  Whether it be the Brooker Highway upgrade that I’ve stood with Jane Austin and given support for.  Or whether it be the Midlands Highway and other projects that benefit the whole of Tasmania.

I mean we have had a very good record.  It is very important that that not be stopped in the case of the NBN.  But it’s also the case that Tony Abbott’s only plan for Tasmania will be to rip off money in terms of the GST.  That’s what Tony Abbott has made very clear when he’s been outside of Tasmania.  It’s a bit more ambiguous when he’s here, but when he’s outside of Tasmania he says don’t worry about it to his friends in the East Coast states and in Western Australia – don’t worry about it, I’ll look after you.

Well there’s a consequence because it’s a pie that gets carved up.  We think that the current situation shouldn’t be the case that Tony Abbott comes into office and simply rips money off Tasmania.  We’ve made our position clear.

QUESTION: We know which jobs Minister Collins has taken on, what about you? What portfolios will you have going forward?

ANTHONY ALBANESE:   That’ll be announced tomorrow.

QUESTION:   You must know that.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: I do know.  I know all of them.

QUESTION:  How much workload will you have to take on giving the, you know, the loss of talent.  Ten or fifteen, or…?

ANTHONY ALBANESE:   Good try.  We will have an outstanding Cabinet and Ministry announced tomorrow.  We’ll have quality people, as I said, more women than have ever been in an Australian Government Cabinet.  More women ministers than have ever been sworn in will be sworn in tomorrow afternoon.  The Prime Minister will be making an announcement tomorrow.

There are some protocols here.  A great indigenous Australian is being honoured today, we will respect him by respecting the appropriate protocols.

QUESTION:  Back to the poll, did you sigh a breath of relief when you read about it?

ANTHONY ALBANESE:   Look I, you know, I said this when polls weren’t so good, so I’ll say the same now consistently.  You know polls do come and go, and they go up and down and that will happen as well.  I’m not going to get carried away by a poll.

What I know is that we were having difficulties cutting through.  And you didn’t have to do a poll to do that.  People were aware of that.  The caucus has made a decision.  This has been a remarkably smooth transition in which the Labor Party has conducted ourselves with dignity and respect, particularly the former prime minister and the former deputy prime minister.

I’ve had good discussions with a range of my colleagues.  People are absolutely determined, absolutely determined, to focus on the future and to focus on ensuring that we can win the next election.  Because we can win the next election, that’s a matter of the judgement of the Australian people though.

What’s occurred over the last three years is that the Coalition and Tony Abbott have not accepted the judgement of the Australian people.  The Australian people voted for a Parliament that we respected and that we worked with.  That is the Parliament that the Australian people gave us.

Tony Abbott seems to have this view that he has a right to the keys to the Lodge, and that any other result is unacceptable.  In the Parliament he seems to have thought that he could get away with not having fully costed, fully detailed policies.  They don’t have an education policy except for opposing more funding for schools.  They don’t have a health policy except for opposing the funding models that have been put forward.  On infrastructure they don’t have a policy either.

Some of you would have been at the Bellerive Oval just a couple of weeks ago where I made comments there about the Midlands Highway promise.

The $400 million that he said would fully duplicate the Midlands Highway.  He shouldn’t be able to get away with that.  You have a job to hold him to account just as you have a job to hold us to account.  The difference is he’s been getting away with it frankly.  He’s been getting away with it – three word slogans.

Those days are over.  We will put forward comprehensive plans for the nation’s future.  He has to do something more than just say no and just put forward negative politics.  The politics of division are the politics of the past.  What we’re about is not the politics of the future but we’re about is the policies for our future.  This isn’t about Julie Gillard or Tony Abbott or Kevin Rudd or Anthony Albanese.  At the end of the day this is about the nation’s future, that’s what the Labor Government is determined to do.

Thanks very much.

Jun 27, 2013

Bulahdelah Bypass open for school holidays

The Pacific Highway is a safer road from today with the opening of the long-awaited Bulahdelah Bypass.

The opening coincides with the start of the school holidays and will be particularly welcome for the thousands of families heading north for the winter warmth.

While the upgrade opens today, from Monday northbound traffic will be temporarily diverted so that noise barriers, surfacing and landscaping can be completed.

The upgrade will open permanently in late July, weather permitting.

“Not only will locals and travellers enjoy a modern, safe road but the people of Bulahdelah will no longer be divided by a highway with thundering trucks and cars through the middle of town,” says Deputy Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese.

“From Hexham to Port Macquarie, the Pacific Highway is now two lanes in each direction, and we are 56 per cent of the way towards its complete duplication.”

NSW Minister for Roads and Ports, Duncan Gay, said the community had enjoyed a preview of the bypass during a community day at Alum Mountain Park last weekend.

“The overall Bulahdelah upgrade included construction of 12 bridges, including twin 245 metre bridges over the Myall River, and a steel truss bridge providing access to the significant Alum Mountain Park.

“The project involved the removal of about 1.1 million cubic metres of material, the equivalent of some 440 Olympic swimming pools,” said Mr Gay.

Construction of the new 8.6 kilometre Bulahdelah Bypass is part of the ongoing upgrade and full duplication of the Pacific Highway, a massive nation building project being jointly funded by the Federal ($7.9 billion) and NSW ($2.5 billion) governments.

Jun 26, 2013

Joint press conference with Kevin Rudd

PRIME MINISTER KEVIN RUDD: Let me make some remarks before I turn to the Deputy Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese.

In 2007 the Australian people elected me to be their Prime Minister.

That is a task that I resume today with humility, with honour and with an important sense of energy and purpose.

In recent years, politics has failed the Australian people. There has just been too much negativity all round. There’s been an erosion of trust. Negative destructive personal politics has done much to bring dishonour to our parliament but done nothing to address the urgent challenges facing our country, our communities, our families. In fact it’s been holding our country back.

And all this must stop, and with all my heart that is the purpose that I intend to pursue as Prime Minister.

I want to pause to acknowledge the achievements of my predecessor, Julia Gillard. She is a woman of extraordinary intelligence, of great strength and great energy. All of you here in the National Press Gallery and across the nation would recognise those formidable attributes in her and I know them having worked with her closely for some years. Also Julia, as Prime Minister, and prior to that Deputy Prime Minister has achieved much under the difficult circumstances of minority government.

And in doing so she has been helped by a group of dedicated Ministers and Members of Parliament whose contribution I also wish to acknowledge.

In Julia’s case let me say this, if it were not for Julia we would not have the Fair Work Act. If it were not for Julia, we would not have a national scheme which ensures that the literacy and numeracy performance of Australian schools is tested regularly and that interventions occur to lift those students who are doing poorly. She has been a remarkable reformer and I acknowledge those contributions again formally this evening.

I also wish to acknowledge the contribution of the Deputy Prime Minister, as he has been, Wayne Swan, with whom I have also worked intimately, in fact over several years. Working in the trenches, day in, day out, night in, night out. Here in Canberra, working together to prevent this country from rolling into global economic recession and avoiding mass unemployment.

So, Wayne, whatever our differences have been, I acknowledge your contribution here as part of that team which kept us out of a global catastrophe.

The question many of you will be understandably asking is why I am taking on this challenge.

For me it’s pretty basic, it’s pretty clear. I simply do not have it in my nature to stand idly by and to allow an Abbot government to come to power in this country by default.

I have known Mr Abbott for 15 years, since I was elected to this place the first time. I recognise his strengths. I also recognise, however, that Mr Abbott is a man steeped in the power of negative politics, and he’s formidable at negative politics. But I see no evidence of a real positive plan for our country’s future. I also passionately believe that the Australian people want all of us engaged in the national political life to work together, to come together whenever that is possible, and I see my role as Prime Minister in forging consensus wherever I am. Identifying our differences where they do in fact exist and without reverting to personal vitriol. That just diminished and demeans us all. We can do better than that. We can all do better than that.

You know, Australia is a great country. Having seen a few others in the world in my time, this is a fantastic place. We owe much to those who have come before us and we owe much to those who will come after us to ensure that what we have inherited is improved upon and not degraded. But you know something, we have a great future but that future is not guaranteed. As I’ve said once before, here in Australia we’ve got to make our own luck and we can. We’re good at it and if we work at it we can actually bring our future home securely.

In recent times, I’ve been thinking a lot about the state of the global economy. There are a lot of bad things happening out there. The global economy is still experiencing the slowest of recoveries. The China resources boom is over. China itself, domestically shows signs of recovery and when China represents such a large slice of our own economy, our jobs and our own opportunities for raising our living standards. The time has come for us to adjust to the new challenges. New challenges in productivity. New challenges also in the diversification of our economy. New opportunities for what we do with processed foods and agriculture, in the services sector and also in manufacturing.

I’ve never changed my script or my belief. I never want to be Prime Minister of a country that doesn’t make things anymore. There’s a big future for Australian manufacturing under this Government.

Looking at our global economic circumstances, therefore, we have tough decisions ahead on the future of our economy. This means having a government that looks at growing the size of our economic pie as well as how it is distributed. And let me say this to Australian business: I want to work closely with you. I’ve worked with you closely in the past, particularly during the GFC and there were some white knuckle moments there as some of the heads of the major banks will remember. But we came through because we worked together and I’m saying it loud and clear to businesses large and small across the country, that in partnership we can do great things for the country’s future.

And for the Australians that depend on the success of your businesses to have a job, to have decent living standards and opportunities. Business is a group that this Government will work with very closely. What I want to see here in Canberra is for business and Labor to work together I don’t want to see things that drive business and Labor apart. We’ve been natural partners in the past and we can be again in the future. I intend to lead a Government that brings people together and gets the best out of them.

Before I conclude, let me say a word or two to young Australians. It’s clear that many of you, in fact far too many of you, have looked at our political system and the parliament in recent years and not liked or respected much of what you have seen. In fact as I rock around the place, talking to my own kids, they see it as a huge national turn off. Well I understand why you have switched off. It’s hardly a surprise but I want to ask you to please come back and listen afresh. It’s really important that we get you engaged, in any way we can. We need you. We need your energy. We need your ideas. We need your enthusiasm and we need you to support us in the great challenges that lie ahead for the country. With your energy, we can start cooking with gas.

The challenges are great but if we’re positive and if we come together as a nation we can overcome each and every one of them.

Now, ladies and gentlemen, it is my great pleasure to introduce you to the Deputy Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese. Deputy Prime Minister Albo and I am delighted that the caucus elected him today and I congratulate him on his new appointment.

DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER ANTHONY ALBANESE: I want to thank Kevin for his support.  I do want to thank the party for the great honour of electing me this evening to be the Deputy Leader of the Labor Party.  It says a great thing about our nation that the son of a parent who grew up in a council house in Sydney could be Deputy Prime Minister.

Labor is about opportunity for all; removing discrimination across the board – race, gender, ethnicity, religion.  It’s about creating fairness, supporting the economy but also making sure the benefits of economic growth are spread.

It’s a big job. It’ll do it as I have since 1996 with enthusiasm, passion and commitment. I’ll give my all for Labor. Not because it’s an end in itself but because it is only Labor that can truly serve the long term interests of Australia.

The reason I was attracted to infrastructure portfolio was because I believe Labor is concerned about the long term, compared to the short term of the Opposition. Labor believes government can play a positive role in people’s lives. Abbott believes if government gets out of the way everything will sort itself out. I believe in terms of working with Kevin that together with the team, we can do great things for the nation and I believe we have this evening maximised our chances of going into a third term and beyond of a Labor government.

Because it’s only long term Labor governments that can get the big reforms done. I want to conclude by saying this has been really tough days for the Labor Party. Julia and Wayne have been people I’ve worked with on daily, hourly and weekly basis, and they are also close friends. I pay tribute to both of them and their achievements over the entire period of government and prior to that, that we were able to form government in 2008.

We won’t be found wanting in days, weeks and months ahead up until the federal election. We’ll be out there advocating the cause every day, looking for a new energy, a resurgence of energy in the Labor cause because this a fight worth having to ensure a long term Labor Government compared to the negativity that Abbott represents.

PRIME MINISTER: Just as we go, colleagues, can I just say this: this evening we’ve been briefed by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet on the immediate challenges which lie ahead. We will begin briefings as appropriate in the next several days on the budget and the economic outlook, and a range of other international matters that lie before us. We will await the Governor-General on that matter but what I would say to you is that we have a formidably busy day tomorrow. There’s a few things on. We will certainly speak with you collectively again very soon. In the meantime, we have got to go and do other work.

 

ENDS

Jun 26, 2013

Have your say on High Speed Rail: Submissions close soon

There is less than a week for Australians to have their say on the final report into the feasibility of High Speed Rail down Australia’s east coast.

More than 30,000 people have downloaded the Phase Two report, with more than

174 submissions received in advance of the 30 June deadline.

High Speed Rail has the capacity to change the way Australians live and work, particularly for those living in regions along the route.

Traffic along Australia’s east cost will double to 388 million trips per year by 2065.

This will place enormous pressure on our transport infrastructure and governments, as they look for ways to reduce congestion and improve services for travellers.

Without High Speed Rail, this extra travel will have to be met by existing public and private transport networks, which are already facing capacity and cost constraints.

The final report provides us with a solid basis for an informed public debate about how High Speed Rail could address our transport challenges.

While the cost of the project would be up to $114 billion in today’s dollars, the report found that economic benefit could be as high as $2.30 for every dollar invested.

My department’s High Speed Rail Unit has been consulting along the preferred route with local councils, community groups and industry organisations.

Through Austrade, it has also been meeting with operators and agencies in Europe and Asia.

Feedback received through submissions will help inform future consultation meetings and the work of the High Speed Advisory Group.

One of the most immediate concerns is preserving corridors along the proposed route.

I commend the Australasian Railways Association for hosting today’s forum in Parliament House which is attended by High Speed Rail experts from around the world.

Submissions can be made at www.infrastructure.gov.au/HSR

Jun 21, 2013

New freight terminal to create jobs in South Australia

A new intermodal freight terminal will be established in Penfield, South Australia which will create hundreds of jobs, take trucks off local roads and cut transport costs for the state’s businesses.

The Federal Labor Government today announced it would contribute $7 million towards the project which will make freight handling and transfer more efficient and cater for South Australia’s freight task which will almost double by 2030.

Key features of the $16.3 million intermodal freight terminal include:

  • Rail container area expansion with capacity to store 30,000 containers and an additional 750,000 payload tonnes of freight;
  • 1km rail track;
  • Road infrastructure to enable access to B Double trucks at the site;
  • Support infrastructure, including an electrical substation, relocation of a fibre optical cable and work to support a gas pipeline; and
  • Drainage and storm water infrastructure to support further investment

Federal Minister for Regional Development, Anthony Albanese said Adelaide not only generates significant amounts of intermodal freight in its own right, but also functions as an important marshalling and freight consolidation point between Melbourne and Perth.

“Boosting rail freight’s role in moving goods through South Australia will improve the state’s productivity and provide better access for industry to key markets on the eastern and western seaboards. It will connect the state’s wine, food processing, mining and manufacturing sectors with new export markets,” he said.

“The new intermodal will also make the state a much more attractive place to invest, providing opportunities for other national and regional distribution centres to be located on site in Adelaide.”

The Member for Wakefield, Nick Champion congratulated the City of Playford and the Australasian Railway Association on their successful application which was endorsed by the Adelaide Regional Development Australia (RDA).

“It is another example of the Federal Government, local councils and private enterprise working together to provide important infrastructure and jobs to the community,” he said.

This project will inject $60 million annually into the local economy and generate 50 local jobs during construction and provide up to 350 jobs when operational.

The project is expected to be completed by mid-next year.

Funding for this project is provided to the Australasian Railway Association under the Regional Development Australia Fund. 

More information on the Regional Development Australia Fund and all projects can be found at www.regional.gov.au

 

 

Jun 21, 2013

Governments sign up to funding agreement for F3-M2 link road

Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese and NSW Roads and Ports Minister Duncan Gay have today signed an Intergovernmental Agreement on behalf of their respective governments locking in potential funding contributions required to bring forward delivery of the “missing” link between the F3 and M2.

Mr Albanese said another major milestone had been reached, with both governments coming together with Transurban and Westlink M7 Shareholders to create the opportunity to make this vital piece of nation building infrastructure a reality sooner rather later.

“After being on the drawing board for more than five decades, we have today taken another major step towards cutting travel times along the F3 and reducing congestion through Sydney’s northern suburbs,” said Mr Albanese.

“As well as removing up to 7,000 trucks a day off Pennant Hills Road, this new link will allow motorists to bypass 22 sets of traffic lights and take as much as 15 minutes off the time it takes to get from the M2 Interchange to the start of the F3.

“Without projects like this the cost of urban congestion in Sydney will more than double to almost $8 billion by the end of this decade and the City’s infrastructure will struggle to cope with the extra two million residents expected by 2036.”

The F3 to M2 Link will be a new 7.7 kilometre dual two lane road tunnel beneath Pennant Hills Road – one of Sydney’s busiest roads used by 71,000 vehicles daily (see attached map).  Both the Federal and NSW governments are contributing $405 million to the project, with the balance of the funding to come from the private sector.

Mr Gay said the multibillion dollar project is at the third and final stage of the unsolicited proposal process, with negotiations around a final binding offer underway with a final decision on the project expected by mid-next year.

“RMS will now commence community consultations, publish an environmental impact statement and obtain the required environmental and planning approvals,” said Mr Gay.

“We will continue to work closely with the private sector to progress the project and deliver a continuous motorway between Western and South Western Sydney as well as the Central Coast and Hunter regions.

“This new road will go a long way to reducing congestion on the City’s roads and speeding up the movement of freight across the State.”

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Click to enlarge

Sydney Motorways Program: F3 to M2

Map of Sydney Motorways Program: F3 to M2

 

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Contact Anthony

(02) 9564 3588 Electorate Office

Email: [email protected]

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