Biggest roads, maritime and freight budget in NSW history: a record $5.5 billion
The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government will invest a record $5.5 billion to build and maintain critical road, maritime and freight infrastructure as part of the 2014-15 NSW Budget.
"This is the largest roads, maritime and freight budget in the state’s history, bringing our overall funding commitment to more than $20 billion since March 2011," Roads and Freight Minister Duncan Gay said.
"For too long, previous Labor governments neglected critical infrastructure in this great state – today, we continue our fierce determination to build the roads, bridges and wharves of the future."
The historic roads, maritime and freight budget – up $400 million from the previous financial year – includes:
- $1.2 billion (including $393.6 million from NSW) to continue the upgrade of the Pacific Highway to a four lane, divided road between Hexham and the Queensland border (due for completion by the end of the decade) plus maintenance funding for the Pacific Highway of $44 million.
- $266 million to fast-track planning, land acquisition and preconstruction for Australia’s largest urban motorway project, WestConnex (construction to commence in early 2015).
A further $132 million will be invested by the Sydney Motorway Corporation in WestConnex construction and delivery costs, including $109 million to commence widening of the M4 (total commitment of $398 million to the WestConnex project in 2014-15).
- $283.7 million (includes Federal funding of $34.3 million) for the NSW Road Safety Strategy, including $240 million from the NSW Community Road Safety Fund.
- $185 million to continue upgrading the Princes Highway to a four lane, divided road, including $80 million for the Foxground and Berry Bypass and $76.5 million for the Gerringong Upgrade, plus maintenance funding for the Princes Highway of $52 million.
- $209 million for road upgrades to support population and economic growth in Western Sydney (includes Federal funding of $16.5 million), including completing sections of Schofields Road, Richmond Road and Camden Valley Way, and commence construction of the Old Wallgrove Road upgrade. There is also maintenance funding for roads in Western Sydney of $131 million.
- $113 million to continue upgrading the Great Western Highway (includes Federal funding of $40 million), including completing the Woodford to Hazelbrook and Bullaburra to Wentworth Falls upgrades, and commencing road works at Kelso, plus maintenance funding for the Great Western Highway of $21 million.
- $109 million for road upgrades to support Sydney’s second airport at Badgery’s Creek (includes Federal funding of $89 million), including commencing construction of Bringelly Road between Camden Valley Way and King Street, and planning for a new motorway between the M7 and The Northern Road.
- $70 million for upgrades to Central Coast roads (includes Federal funding of $6 million), including the intersection of the Central Coast Highway with Brisbane Water Drive and Manns Road, and intersection upgrades along Wyong Road and Terrigal Drive, plus maintenance funding for Central Coast roads of $39 million.
- $69 million for major road upgrades in country NSW, including constructing the second stage of the Moree Bypass, additional overtaking lanes on the Newell Highway, further safety works on the Barton Highway, replacing the Tangaratta Bridge and its approaches on the Oxley Highway, further upgrades to Gocup Road, and planning the upgrade at Bolivia Hill on the New England Highway. There is also maintenance funding for rural and regional roads of $827 million (includes maintenance funding described above for Pacific, Princes and Great Western highways and Central Coast roads).
Minister Gay also announced a state-wide roads maintenance commitment of $1.429 billion to help ensure the existing network continues to meet the standards required.
"The budget reflects the ongoing commitment from the NSW Government to deliver quality infrastructure to ease congestion, better connect communities, support the nation’s freight task and ensure road and waterway users can access safer and more reliable travel," he said.
Other key highlights of the 2014-15 Budget include:
- $283 million ($99.4 million from NSW and $183.5 million from the Australian Government) to continue work on the Northern Sydney Freight Corridor to improve rail freight access through the Sydney-Newcastle rail corridor between Strathfield and Broadmeadow. This work will result in significant efficiency gains for rail freight flowing from northwest NSW to Port Botany including commodities such as cotton, wool and containerised grains.
- $77 million (including $46 million from NSW) to support productivity and safety for road freight in country NSW, including extending the ‘Bridges for the Bush’ program to upgrade or replace critical bridges, and building and upgrading truck rest areas.
- $44 million to maintain and upgrade grain rail lines in country NSW. This is part of an overall five-year $277 million program of works (2012-13 to 2016-17) to refurbish grain rail lines in NSW.
- $6 million to commence a program of rail infrastructure upgrades at key sites on the Country Regional Network to improve freight train loading rates for grain.
Roads (cycling and pedestrian)
- $69 million for cycling and pedestrian infrastructure, including the Albert ‘Tibby’ Cotter Bridge over Anzac Parade, a pedestrian bridge at Heathcote and the Nepean River Green Bridge. This is the largest funding commitment to ‘active transport’ in the state’s history.
- $43 million for Easing Sydney’s Congestion by fixing critical pinch points and bottlenecks. The overall funding commitment to this program of works is $246 million over five financial years (started in 2013-14).
- $26 million to progress planning and preconstruction for future links on the Sydney Motorway Network, including $20 million towards planning for the $3 billion road tunnel linking the M1 to M2 motorways (NorthConnex) and $1 million to help develop a feasibility study for the Princes Motorway (F6) corridor between Loftus and St Peters. The $20 million for NorthConnex is part of an overall NSW funding commitment of $405 million, with the Australian Government providing matching funding.
There is an additional $10 million in Restart NSW funding to help advance the feasibility study for the Princes Motorway (F6) corridor between Loftus and St Peters, also called the Southern Sydney Access to the F6 (total commitment of $11 million).
- $24 million ($14 million from Roads and Maritime Services and $10 million commitment from Restart NSW) to progress short term works and planning for major road upgrades to support enhanced connections to the new Northern Beaches Hospital. To construct these major road upgrades and connections, $348 million has also been reserved in Restart NSW funding.
- $16 million to continue the Bells Line of Road Corridor Improvement Program (Stage 1), including additional overtaking lanes, safety works and road realignments. This funding is part of a $43 million program of improvement works for Bells Line of Road, including the provision of additional overtaking lanes, safety works and road realignments.
- $11 million to continue planning and preconstruction for WestConnex Motorway Enabling Works, including the Wentworth Avenue extension and Joyce Drive widening.
- $2.2 million for planning and preconstruction for the Queanbeyan Bypass (Ellerton Drive Extension).
- $23 million for upgrades to commuter wharves in Sydney Harbour.
- $10 million in grants to local councils to co-fund important boating infrastructure projects across NSW, including: boat ramps, floating pontoons, sewerage pump-out facilities and dinghy and kayak storage solutions.
Minister Gay said roads and freight in rural and regional NSW will also see a massive boost in the immediate future from new reservations from the state’s dedicated infrastructure fund, Restart NSW, including:
- $200 million for a Regional Freight Pinch Point and Safety Program, including proposed improvement works on the Bells Line of Road, Golden Highway, Kings Highway and Gocup Road.
- $177 million to commence construction of the second crossing of the Clarence River at Grafton.
- $150 million towards construction of the $280 million fifth and final stage of the Newcastle Inner City Bypass (Rankin Park to Jesmond), with the remainder to be funded by Transport for NSW/Roads and Maritime Services.
- $50 million for a Western NSW Freight Productivity Program, including fast-tracking sealing work on the Cobb and Silver City highways.
- $37.5 million for Fixing Country Roads – a program to partner with councils and industry to identify and prioritise projects to eliminate missing links (or ‘last mile’ constraints) for high productivity trucks on local and regional roads.
- $12.5 million towards construction of the Queanbeyan Bypass (Ellerton Drive Extension).