Page 129 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 9 February 2022

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In the next few weeks we are looking forward to an outcome from the National Capital Authority on the works approval for the raising of London Circuit. This project will better connect the city with the lake, activating a pretty unloved part of the CBD in the southern end, and enable the delivery of light rail by creating an at-grade intersection with Commonwealth Avenue. As the light rail project continues to ramp up through this year, it will create many new jobs and provide a great boost for our local construction industry.

Down at the Woden end of the light rail project, there is a lot happening in that town centre. We are delivering a brand-new CIT campus, integrated with the new light rail ready public transport interchange—projects that will make a huge contribution to the ongoing renewal of Woden town centre.

In addition to creating more general construction jobs, we are making sure that this particularly contributes to apprentice and training employment in the territory. The construction of CIT Woden will have minimum requirements for the employment of women in construction roles, as well as targets for engaging and employing apprentices and trainees. Just as many of our major projects do, including the hospital which has up to a 30 per cent ratio of apprentices and trainees employed on that project, this will ensure that at the CIT we have a minimum number of apprentices and trainees that are undertaking work. That is really important because this is a project that is designed to support students in their training.

These are just a couple of the big headline projects that are underway as we ramp up our infrastructure agenda this year. But there are so many others: the John Gorton Drive extension and bridge over the Molonglo River, duplication of William Hovell Drive and the construction of a major new off-road shared path as part of that project; significant safety upgrades to the Monaro Highway; new active travel infrastructure in Kambah, Coombs, Chifley and O’Connor; local shop upgrades for Evatt, Macquarie and Lanyon, in addition to the works already underway at Kaleen, Duffy and Campbell; playground upgrades in Ngunnawal and Aranda are also on the agenda; and new and upgraded waste facilities to help Canberra continue our transition towards a zero emissions future.

We have a huge program of infrastructure projects, big and small, that will help to contribute to our economy by creating jobs. And that is going to provide an important boost for many of the firms directly in the construction industry but also in the wider economy, as people can move around more easily, spend more time at their refreshed local shops and grow their businesses in great places like the revitalised Woden town centre.

We understand that one of the things which underpin the growth of our economy and local businesses is a skilled and trained workforce. We know many businesses have been having a hard time finding the right people, particularly in the last few years, and we recognise the important role that government needs to play in boosting the availability of skills and training. That is why we are investing very strongly in our training system to support local industry and Canberra job seekers in 2022. This year we will invest a record $126.3 million in vocational education and training through

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