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The NSW Government’s newly released 2019-20 budget includes significant investment in open and green spaces, regional and metro road and rail infrastructure, and $6.4 billion over four years for the Sydney Metro West.
Metro road and rail investment
$55.6 billion will be allocated across the next four years to invest in transport infrastructure, easing congestion and keeping the community moving.
NSW Minister for Transport and Roads, Andrew Constance, said this investment will deliver on the massive commitments made to improve transport connections and services.
“The Government has invested billions of dollars in road and rail projects across Sydney which has improved journeys throughout Greater Sydney.”
Minister Constance also said transport projects in development and delivery are game-changers for Sydney.
In addition to this infrastructure investment, the recurrent transport budget of $14.4 billion will fund operation of transport services and commitments such as the Regional Seniors Transport Card.
Regional road and rail investment
Regional NSW will benefit from safer and more efficient road, rail and freight networks.
Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, Paul Toole, said the NSW Government was ensuring the regions continued to see the infrastructure projects they need and want delivered.
“This Budget builds upon years of regional investment, with even more happening in the bush than ever before.”
The regional road and rail investment includes:
“I am excited for those who live in regional and rural NSW as we unlock our capacity by investing in infrastructure that responds to the needs of today and prepares for future growth,” Mr Toole said.
Planning and Public Spaces Minister, Rob Stokes, said $162 million will be used to upgrade existing government-owned land and buy new land for public parklands, increase the tree canopy across Sydney and build more inclusive playgrounds.
“We’re committed to creating outdoor living rooms right across Sydney so more people can get outdoors and enjoy easy access to fantastic public spaces wherever they live.”
“This budget shows that the NSW Government is planning for open space more strategically – through improvements to land we already own and by buying up forgotten land across Sydney to create new parks, playgrounds, green links and cycleways between existing open spaces.”
The Budget devotes $19 million to improve existing Government-owned land, including:
Funding has also been set aside to continue building inclusive playgrounds across NSW through the Government’s Everyone Can Play initiative.
Mr Stokes said four new inclusive playgrounds have opened recently in Hornsby, Willoughby, Lane Cove and Wagga Wagga, with 30 more set to be delivered in conjunction with local councils.
“We’re also committed to planting more trees to boost Sydney’s urban tree canopy, with more than $36 million allocated to create greener and cooler environments,” Mr Stokes said.
The funding will help build on the 149,000 trees already planted by the community through the ‘Five Million Trees for Greater Sydney’ program.
Industry welcomes investment
Infrastructure Partnerships Australia warmly welcomed the investment, stating that the NSW Government has cemented its lead as the largest funder of infrastructure in the country.
Infrastructure Partnerships Australia Chief Executive, Adrian Dwyer, said, “The NSW Government has a winning formula for infrastructure funding, and it continues to pay dividends to the people of NSW.
“The 2019-20 Budget dedicates 18.4 per cent of total general government expenditure to infrastructure funding – a huge premium on the 12.78 per cent average for the preceding decade.
“As several major projects reach completion, such as North West Metro and Western Sydney Stadium, the Budget confirms the pipeline remains strong.
“NSW’s pack leading infrastructure program is no coincidence – it’s the product of smart fiscal management, sensible asset recycling, and solid project selection.”
This article first appeared on infrastructuremagazine.com.au
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