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Light rail Green light

The Greens have launched an ambitious plan to give the national capital a state-of-the-art light rail system, and called for better public transport planning across the country.

"Access to efficient public transport would make a huge difference to millions of Australians daily lives," said Australian Greens leader Senator Bob Brown.

"But public transport is severely lacking for many suburbs in all our capital cities.

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Civil Aviation Safety Authority

Senator LUDLAM-I have a couple of questions about flight deck duty time and the definition thereof for aircrew and for people flying planes. I am going to declare an interest before I start this line of questioning because I fly a lot and I am really interested to know the degree to which the folk flying the planes get time to rest. My understanding is that operators on Qantas and Jetstar in particular use a different definition of flight deck duty time to that required by Civil Aviation Order 48 General Exemption, CAO 48E. Can you confirm for me whether or not that is the case?

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Electric Vehicles

Senator LUDLAM-To begin, can you give us an idea of your mandate, because we have a number of different agencies and different folk running around thinking about infrastructure and surface transport policy. We have Infrastructure Australia making project-by-project assessments and we have got the Major Cities Unit doing more high-level work about modelling of where our communities are going. Can you just define for me precisely the nature of your mandate and then I will target my questions accordingly?

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M5 Freeway Expansion

Senator LUDLAM-I think maybe it is not too late to go and talk to them at some point this week. Can you tell us whether a request is expected from the government of New South Wales relating to the $4.5 billion M5 expansion? I do not know if that is an Infrastructure Australia thing or whether you have-

Mr Mrdak-It is. It is a project which New South Wales has identified as one of its priority projects which
I understand has been submitted to Infrastructure Australia.

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Rail Manufacturing in Australia

Senator LUDLAM-You can talk about freeways, too? I am just wondering whether you are aware that UGL Rail, which is Australia's largest provider of rolling stock, is in the process of closing the Broadmeadow facility near Newcastle, which is going to shed about 200 jobs and more indirect jobs. What action, if any, has the government taken? Can you point us to initiatives that you have taken to retain rail manufacturing in Australia, particularly in regional areas, and either reflect directly on Broadmeadow or in general?

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