From Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack:
The Nationals in Government are continuing to promote and advance regional Australia at the very heart of the government.
Over the past couple of weeks, you would have seen that we have brought forward significant infrastructure investment in every State and Territory.
In New South Wales, we have brought forward $530 million and provided $41 million in additional funding for seven projects, including for safety and efficiency improvements for the Pacific, Newell and Princes Highways.
This is part of our record $100 billion infrastructure pipeline – delivering new and upgraded regional roads, highways and community assets right across regional Australia.
And on Friday we made history on a major project that will deliver benefits to regional Australia for generations to come.
Together with the Queensland Minister, I signed the final Bilateral Agreement needed to complete the Inland Rail.
During construction alone, Inland Rail will support around 5,000 jobs for New South Wales and is projected to provide a long term boost to the NSW Gross State Product of more than $2.5 billion.
The project is also supporting local small businesses such as Calvani Crushing and Ausrock Quarries, two Central West businesses that are providing $7 million in ballast for construction.
These kinds of benefits will be replicated from Albury to the Queensland border as construction continues – providing a vital boost to regions suffering from the devastating drought.
The Federal Nationals are fast approaching our centenary – a movement established to relentlessly pursue the interests of regional people in Canberra.
Regional people have a high expectation that government will go above and beyond to deliver economic opportunities, continually improve infrastructure and future-proof their communities.
Be assured, your Nationals representatives and my team are working tirelessly to honour the trust that communities have placed in us and make regional Australia a prosperous place for our future generations.