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THE Federal Government is making good on its promise to help build a heavy rail link to Western Sydney airport as part of its multi-billion infrastructure spend announced in the Budget today.
On top of the $2.2 billion promised to NSW to help speed up the construction of the Sydney Metro rail project and the Parramatta light rail, it will pick up the bill for early concept plans and design work on a rail link to Badgerys Creek Creek.
To make the airport site at Western Sydney “rail ready”, the Turnbull Government will spend more than $115 million over the next two years.
The money will be used on technical planning, some “minor” land acquisitions and groundwork to ensure the greenfield site is ready for water, electricity and other utilities.
Concept designs for a rail line to the new airport will be prepared with the help of Transport for NSW.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has committed to a rail link to Badgerys Creek. Picture: Justin LloydThe funds are on top of the “asset recycling” funding package for infrastructure in Western Sydney, that makes funding contingent on the sale of state assets.
NSW is in line for a further $2.2 billion in funding for the Sydney Metro and Parramatta Light Rail in return for the “poles and wires” privatisation.
An artist impression of a future Western Sydney Airport.The funding includes $1.7 billion for Sydney Metro, the largest urban rail project in the country due for completion by 2024, which aims to double the number of trains into the city.
It would also fund $78.3m for the Parramatta Light Rail, $60m for the Smart Motorways project and $52.2m to unclog road pinch points.
The Budget confirms plans to unlock funds to help build the Sydney Metro rail expansion.The infrastructure package is on top of an announcement last week of an “investment bank” to underwrite private sector investment in future projects.
The plan means the Government will use its AAA rating and access to low interest rates to effectively lend money to investors for major projects that will generate income.
The aim of the big infrastructure spend in Western Sydney was mapped out by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in his “30 minute cities” Cities Deal plan last week.
It goal is to transform Sydney into a city where commuters spend only a half-hour on their trip to and from work.
“With more people in our outers suburbs, more people are travelling longer to get to work. In Western Sydney a net outflow of 200,000 people leave the region each day for work. This is forecast to grow to 340,000 by 2041, ”the report states.
This article first appeared on www.dailytelegraph.com.au
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