Described as the nation's "engine room", NSW is Australia's first half-a-trillion dollar economy, has virtually zero debt, and gained 141,800 jobs in the past year — that’s 63 per cent of new jobs across the nation, in a state that accounts for 31 per cent of Australia’s population.
Ms Berejiklian said that the strong Budget result allowed the government to spend record amounts on infrastructure, with $20 billion allocated to roads and rail over the next year to improve NSW’s crippling traffic congestion.
$2.9 billion for WestConnex, the largest transport project in Australia linking Sydney’s west and south-west with the CBD, the Airport and Port Botany.
$1.5 billion for the Pacific Highway to continue the duplication program, with construction underway on all remaining sections between Port Macquarie and Glenugie.
$1.5 billion for road maintenance, including bridge rebuilding, pavement rehabilitation and traffic facilities maintenance.
$2.7 billion in 2016-17 to deliver Sydney Metro, Australia’s biggest public transport project. The allocation includes $1.3 billion on Stage 1 of Sydney Metro (Sydney Metro North West), which opens in the first half of 2019. On Stage 2 of Sydney Metro, Sydney Metro City & Southwest, $1.4 billion will be invested this year on the tender process and contract for tunnelling and early construction work in 2017.
$1.4 billion for bus services throughout NSW including rural and regional bus services, school services in country areas and financing buses to replace older vehicles and provide capacity for growth services.
More than $1 billion over the next four years for growth trains on the existing suburban network.
$560 million for public transport concessions.
$234 million for the B-Line Program and Bus Rapid Transit, an integrated package of services and infrastructure to deliver better bus services, including for Northern Beaches residents.
$16 million per year increased funding to ensure the continued provision of Wheelchair Accessible Taxis, including increasing the cap for the Taxi Transport Subsidy Scheme from $30 to $60 per trip and increasing driver incentive payments.
Image: NSW Government
NSW hopes to benefit from the transition away from the mining boom, with economic and financial capacity now available to be redirected to infrastructure projects across NSW. Several major projects of the budget were listed in The Australian Infrastructure Plan as a high priority to address urban congestion, including Sydney Metro, WestConnex, and B-Line. 6 High priority projects address major opportunities of national significance.
Over the next four years the Government is undertaking $41.5 billion of major capital works in the transport sector including:
major upgrades for vital link roads, including Princes Highway ($313.4 million), Western Sydney Growth Roads ($315.3 million), Great Western Highway and Bells Line of Road ($150.7 million) and completion of the duplication of Pacific Highway
the WestConnex Motorway project , commencing planning for Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link, and planning funding for WestConnex Stage 3
Western Sydney roads to support Sydney’s second airport at Badgerys Creek ($1.8 billion)
the Fixing Country Roads Program ($50.0 million allocated in this Budget) to fund road and bridge upgrades in rural and regional areas
rail projects including the fully funded Sydney Metro City and Southwest ($6.2 billion over the Budget and forward estimates period), the Sydney Metro Northwest ($5.8 billion), Next Generation Rail Fleet ($518.4 million), Fixing the Trains ($154.2 million), the Northern Sydney Freight Corridor and growth trains for the suburban rail network (more than $1 billion over the next four years)
the Transport Access Program of $280.3 million in 2016-17 to provide a better experience for public transport customers by delivering accessible, modern, secure and integrated transport infrastructure
the CBD and South East Light Rail ($1.9 billion), planning for the Parramatta Light Rail ($64.0 million), new buses ($509.0 million) and funding for Newcastle Light Rail
B-Line ($210.1 million in 2016-17) to deliver faster, more reliable bus journeys.
In addition, the State Government will contribute approximately $560 million to the $3.0 billion NorthConnex project.
Image: North Connex
Infrastructure is critical to driving productivity and economic growth. For our industry in particular, infrastructure investment offers the economic benefit of employing people to construct the infrastructure. WestConnex alone is expected to create over 10,000 jobs. So as the resources boom continues to wind down, infrastructure investment is an important measure to offset decreasing investment and employment in the mining industry. It's phenomenal to see NSW charging ahead with such a strong focus on infrastructure funding and jobs.
With NSW in an enviable position for construction professionals around Australia, it's important to know how to capitalise on any infrastructure trends predicted. Check out this free eBook, 4 tips to increase your chances of hire work, to learn more.
As the Content editor at plantminer.com.au, Sophia works behind the scenes to keep our blog machine in motion. A student of Law and Business, she's very dependent on coffee and loves any excuse to travel.