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Election 2013: Nationals Statement -

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(generated from captions) Here is a broadcast

by the Hon. Warren Truss,
leader of the Nationals,

for the 2013 election.

The Nationals know the importance
of regional infrastructure,

regional development, and the jobs
regional industries create.

There are many great reasons
to live in regional Australia,

and it's in the interest
of governments

to encourage people
to live there.

It costs government $3 billion

to settle 50,000 people

in a capital city,

but just one billion

to settle those same people
in a rural area.

But a 2009 study

by the National Institute for
Industry and Economic Research

revealed that on average it costs
rural residents five times more

to access essential services

as it does
to metropolitan residents.

So at our Nationals Federal Council
earlier this year,

I launched our
Regional Investment Strategy.

Access to good infrastructure,

be it roads, rail,
telecommunications, bridges,

dams or airports,

is a vital key to truly unlock
regional Australia's potential.

But we know that a lack of soft
infrastructure such as health,

including allied health services,

education, child care
and other social institutions,

are barriers
to regional development.

We must set about the task
to overcome these obstacles

and capitalise
on our national potential.

The Coalition is determined to drive
and provide modern infrastructure

to match the needs
of our modern economy.

Infrastructure Australia has been unable to develop
a longer-term pipeline

for consideration
by decision makers.

The Coalition will enhance
Infrastructure Australia

as an independent, transparent
and expert advisory body.

In 2004, in coalition
with the Liberals,

we created AusLink, Australia's
first-ever national transport plan.

We invested in upgrading
interstate rail networks

and will continue to do so.

The Coalition will extend
the Roads to Recovery program

and is committed
to the Black Spots program,

which reduces the risk of accidents
at dangerous locations on our roads

by funding traffic lights,
roundabouts,

and other safety upgrades.

Additionally,
the Coalition remains committed

to reintroducing the Strategic
Regional Roads program

to support strategic
regional infrastructure

off the national highway network.

In the past, this program
has provided around $350 million

for local road upgrades.

Many of our 20,000 local bridges
across the country

are nearing the end of their life,

but substantial upgrades
to local bridges

are often beyond the financial
resources of local governments.

The Coalition's Bridges Renewal
program will provide $300 million

to be matched by State
or local governments

to restore and rebuild
local road bridges.

The funding was to be allocated

on using a transparent, merit-based
competitive assessment.

We need 21st-century solutions

if we are to have a 21st-century
infrastructure system.

We have already announced

1.5 billion to the WestConnex
project in Sydney,

1.5 billion for the East-West Link
in Melbourne,

1 billion to continue the Gateway

400 million to continue the Midland
Highway duplication in Tasmania,

500 million to continue
the South Road upgrade in Adelaide,

and 1.3 billion to support
the Gateway WA project