Now debt-free and expecting a significant surplus in the upcoming financial year, the New South Wales Government was in a strong position to invest $16.9 billion in transport and road infrastructure in the 2016-17 state budget, which includes funding for the Sydney Metro rail project and the WestConnex motorway.
New South Wales Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Andrew Constance, said the budget was focused on delivering a large-scale infrastructure program that would transform the state’s transportation.
“Underpinning our massive infrastructure investment are the funds to continue to grow services on existing public transport networks and ensure they are maintained to high standards,” Mr Constance said.
Rail and public transport
The NSW budget has committed $2.7 billion funding for Sydney Metro, a modern rail network that will be capable of handling a train through the CBD in each direction every two minutes with an additional 100,000 passengers during peak hour.
The Sydney Metro funding includes $1.3 billion for the $8.3 billion Sydney Metro Northwest, a 23km network extending from Epping to beyond Rouse Hill in Sydney’s North West that is expected to open in 2019.
Around $1.4 billion will be spent on the second stage of the project, Sydney Metro City and Southwest, which includes a second harbour rail crossing and extends the rail network to the west.
The CBD and South East Light Rail project will be allocated $1.9 billion, while plans for the Parramatta Light Rail and the Newcastle Light Rail project will receive $64 million and $142 million respectively.
Vermeer National Construction Equipment Sales Manager, Jeff Lawson, said a recent Infrastructure Australia report listed a high-capacity metro system to combat congestion in Sydney as a national priority.
“With Sydney Metro and other key rail projects, this budget has made significant progress towards ensuring current and future public transportation requirements are delivered in NSW.”
The NSW budget will also fund significant road projects, with WestConnex being the state government’s highest priority.
The three-stage road project will widen, extend and join the M4 and M5 together to create a continuous motorway that also connects Sydney’s north and south.
The 2016-17 budget sees stage 1 and 2 of the project each receive over $1 billion in funding, with $65 million also allocated for stage 3 preliminary works.
$560 million will go towards the part-privately funded $3 billion NorthConnex project, a nine-kilometre tunnel motorway linking the M1 and M2 motorways.
In Western Sydney, $1.8 billion will be invested in road infrastructure supporting the development of Sydney’s second airport at Badgerys Creek.
$313.4 million will be invested to upgrade the Princes Highway, including the $950 million Woolgoolga to Ballina project.
Mr Lawson said the government’s investment in road infrastructure was a positive step and that WestConnex would help alleviate congestion problems in Sydney.
“The construction of the motorway alone should bring around 10,000 jobs, which will have a great impact on local businesses.
“This type of construction typically involves a great deal of excavation in areas of intense utility congestion, necessitating the use of non-destructive and trenchless excavation technologies like vacuum excavation and horizontal directional drilling.
“Vermeer is looking forward to our involvement in the NSW infrastructure projects over the coming financial year and beyond.”
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