Regional NSW freight operators are one of the biggest winners in the latest state budget, believes Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole.
Toole said the NSW government would invest more than $9 billion in regional transport and roads in 2021-22 alone, as part of a record spend on transport infrastructure and services in the bush.
“At a time when regional communities are still recovering from the impacts of Covid and natural disasters, the NSW government is investing more money than ever before to help turbocharge jobs in the bush and unlock new opportunities,” Toole said.
“The events of the last year have prompted more and more people to relocate to and travel to the regions and our investment in roads and transport infrastructure will ensure we are meeting the needs of regional communities now and for the future.
“Right across the state, the NSW government is investing in transformative projects through this Budget – from construction kicking off on the Parkes Bypass to the completion of the Albion Park Rail Bypass and Berry to Bomaderry upgrade on the Princes Highway and continued sealing of the Cobb and Silver City Highway in the Far West.
“Nearly every major highway is seeing investment that will deliver safer journeys and improved productivity – from the $2 billion being invested in the Great Western Highway to the $1.2 billion we are investing over the next four years in the Coffs Harbour Bypass on the Pacific Highway.
“We’re also tackling the congestion challenges in fast growing areas like the Hunter and Central Coast, with $438 million to progress the Singleton and Muswellbrook Bypasses which will see works underway in 2022, $10.9 million to deliver Stage 1 of the Hillsborough Road upgrade at Crockett Street, and $54.5 million for Manns Road intersection upgrades at Narara Creek and Stockyard Place.”
Toole said the NSW government was also committed to helping regional councils build a stronger local road network, with $240 million for Fixing Local Roads in 2021-22 to help councils repair, maintain and seal priority roads in their communities and $297.2 million for Fixing Country Bridges which is helping councils replace hundreds of ageing timber bridges.
“The NSW government has created a new fund to support the upgrade of regional roads transferred to the State as part of the NSW government’s regional road classification review, with $250 million committed over the next three years,” Toole said.
Overall yesterday’s state budget revealed an unprecedented $30 billion infrastructure spend within the next financial year, with $585 million allocated to the Gateway project, linking WestConnex and Sydney Airport, with work likely to begin within months.
Another half a billion dollars will be spent next year on the M6 Motorway as construction begins on stage one of the project, twin four-kilometre tunnels linking Kogarah to the WestConnex M8 toll road at Arncliffe.
Some of the roading highlights from the budget include:
- $131.5 million ($2 billion over four years) to progress the duplication of 34 kilometres of the Great Western Highway Upgrade from Katoomba to Lithgow, including investigation of an 11 kilometre road tunnel from Blackheath to Little Hartley
- $311.3 million ($1.8 billion over four years) for the continued transformation of the Princes Highway including the new Nowra Bridge, the Albion Park Rail Bypass and the Berry to Bomaderry Upgrade, as well as planning for further upgrades between Nowra and the Victorian border including the Jervis Bay Road intersection, Milton-Ulladulla Bypass and Moruya Bypass
- $235.6 million ($907.8 million over four years) for NSW and Commonwealth Government funded works to upgrade the Newell Highway, including continued delivery of 40 new overtaking lanes, flood-proofing between West Wyalong and Forbes, the new Dubbo Bridge and commencing construction on the Parkes Bypass
- $193 million (1.4 billion over four years) to continue the Pacific Highway Upgrade program, including commencing construction on the Coffs Harbour Bypass
- $70.3 million ($534.8 million over four years) for upgrades to the New England Highway, including commencing construction between Belford and the Golden Highway and progressing the Singleton and Muswellbrook bypasses where works are on track to start in 2022
- $52 million ($146.5 million over four years) towards Stage 1 of the Barton Highway duplication
- $2.9 million ($10.9 million over four years) to deliver the $35 million Stage 1 of the Hillsborough Road Upgrade, which includes the upgrade of the Crockett Street intersection
- $27.4 million towards completion of the sealing of the Silver City and Cobb Highways in the Far West to open up the region for tourism and freight operators
- $28.1 million ($348.9 million over four years) to progress the M1 Pacific Motorway extension to Raymond Terrace, one of the Hunter’s biggest road infrastructure projects.