Partnership Agreements Driving Strong Infrastructure Investment Wed 30 May 2012 David O'Byrne Minister for Infrastructure Partnership agreements with local government are helping build a strong case for extra Federal Government funding under the Nation Building 2 Program. The Minister for Infrastructure, David O'Byrne, said strategic partnerships between the State Government and local councils over critical parts of Tasmania's infrastructure - including the Midland Highway and Brooker Highway - are crucial to boosting Tasmania's slice of Federal investment. "Under the strong leadership of the State and Federal Labor Governments, more than $800 million in road and rail infrastructure has been invested under the Government's Nation Building Programfunding," Mr O'Byrne said. "That's near-record infrastructure investment. We've had to work hard and provide a compelling case to earn that funding - and Council partnerships have been vital. "Understandably, it's difficult for the Federal Government to risk major infrastructure funding when state and local Governments and the broader community are divided about how to invest it. "Instead, a shared and united set of priorities is the best way to attract support. "That's why we've worked hard with local Councils to develop shared long-term goals, and deliver shared outcomes for our communities," he said. The Nation Building Program provides funding for Australia's major freight and passenger corridors. It focusses on projects with major economic benefits, which better connect communities. Projects funded under the program include the Brighton Bypass, North East Freight Roads, Midland Highway and the Main Line rail upgrades, as well as planning for both the Bridgewater Bridge and the Bagdad Bypass. Tasmania is currently working with both local and Federal Government in preparing it submission for funding from Nation Building 2 - which covers the years 2014-15 to 2018-19. "I'm confident Tasmania's well-placed to secure significant funding under Nation Building 2," Mr O'Byrne said. "We have strong policy frameworks, partnership agreements, and project-level analysis to support effective, targeted investment," he said. A list of priority projects for the submission is expected to be agreed by mid-year.