DEPUTY Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has said major projects such as the Inland Rail and Dungowan Dam upgrade must be fast tracked so Australia isn't seen as a nation that "struggles to get a spade in the ground".
The Member for New England said it was important to be viewed as a strong, productive nation in front of the likes of China.
Maintaining a good relationship between federal and state governments is crucial to accomplishing that, he said, and Mr Joyce is hoping he can wield more power over the situation now he is Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development.
"It depends on the relationship [between] federal and state government, and we've got to make sure that whether it's the federal or state government that we have the same purpose," he said.
"And that is we have to show ourselves to be a nation that can get things done.
"And for that I need to work and will work with the state government and if there's anything I can do to iron things out and get things moving quicker, then let's do it."
It's not the first time Mr Joyce has spoken about speeding up the process for the $480 million Dungowan Dam project, having previously taken aim at the time it is taking to complete the business case.
Similarly, he wants to see the Inland Rail between Narromine and Narrabri fast tracked, and said he would speak to NSW Minister for Transport and Roads Paul Toole about what options are available.
He believes the amount of red tape required before construction can get underway is exorbitant, and that Australia is at risk of lagging behind if it cannot get major projects built in a timely fashion.
"In Australia, in all that we do we have got to look strong, and the Inland Rail is a crucial part of that," he said.
"And it's not just important for regional Australia, it's got to go forward so that we can show to the world that we can do stuff like this."
With his new ministerial role, he is also hoping to make further inroads into the Mount Lindesay Road upgrade between Legume and Woodenbong, the 'tourism trail' between Armidale and Glen Innes, an off-stream water storage facility at Walcha and the Tenterfield Bypass.
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