NSW budget makes record commitment to infrastructure

The NSW 2019-20 budget has allocated $93 billion to infrastructure over the next four years, the largest infrastructure commitment in the state’s history.

Of the $93 billion, $55.6 billion has been awarded to road and rail projects, with the remaining allocated to schools, hospitals, energy, water and housing.

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the state’s infrastructure plan is designed to drive economic growth, create jobs and provide high-quality services to residents.

According to Mr. Perrottet’s Budget Infrastructure Statement, the plan draws from the State Infrastructure Strategy 2018-2038, the Future Transport 2056 plan and the Greater Sydney Region Plan.

The State Infrastructure Strategy focuses on developing a infrastructure project pipeline to support sustainable growth, while the Future Transport 2026 plan is a suite of strategies designed to support directions for mobility, transport and integrated land planning.

According to the statement, the Greater Sydney Region plan is designed to guide the transformation of Greater Sydney into three distinct but connected cities.

Transport and Roads Minister Andrew Constance said the budget illustrates an unprecedented investment in road and rail projects across NSW, with a central focus on 
easing congestion.

Mr. Constance said of the overall investment, $32.2 billion has been allocated to public transport, with the excess $23.4 billion committed to roads.

“This investment will deliver on the massive commitments made to improve transport connections and services,” Mr. Constance said.

“Major motorways aren’t the only roadways receiving attention, with many local roads receiving much-needed upgrades.”

Mr. Constance also highlighted the budget’s $4.1 billion investment in the WestConnex project.

“Once complete, these projects will transform the way drivers travel around Sydney, bypassing up to 52 sets of traffic lights to provide faster, safer and more reliable trips,” Mr. Constance said.

Additionally, the budget includes a $6.4 million allocation to fast-track works on the Metro West.

Road highlights:

The budget has allocated $1.5 billion over four years to continue upgrade works on the Pacific Highway project, with construction continuing between Woolgoolga and Ballina.

Princes Highway upgrades have been awarded $1.2 billion for works on the Albion Park Rail Bypass, the Berry to Bomaderry Upgrade, the new Nowra Bridge and the Batemans Bay Replacement Bridge.

To enhance road freight productivity and provide safe travel though regional New South Wales, the budget has allocated $822.3 million. This includes Bridges for the Bush projects at Tabulam, Echuca-Moama and Gunnedah and new overtaking lanes on the Newell Highway.

The budget has allocated $268 million over four years to start duplication works on the 31 kilometre Great Western Highway between Katoomba and Lithgow.

A commitment of $99 million has been made to ease congestion via smart technology, including intelligent traffic light installations, planning for a smart motorway upgrade on the M1 between Gosford and Sydney, digital parking and clearway signage and virtual in-car and GPS messaging.

An additional $450 million has been allocated to ease congestion at key traffic bottlenecks.

Rail highlights:

The budget has allocated $6.4 billion over four years to accelerate construction on the Sydney Metro West.

Subject to completion of the business case, $2.0 billion has been committed to construction on the North South Metro Rail Link, which will connect to the new Western Sydney Airport.

An initial investment of $295.0 million has been allocated for the fast rail network, including identifying an improved alignment north of Mittagong, duplication between Berry and Gerringong, development for a new alignment between Sydney and Woy Woy and planning work to improve the route to the Central West.

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