NSW Premier Mike Baird and Deputy Premier Troy Grant today announced $6 billion would be directed toward regional infrastructure as part of the NSW Government’s $20 billion plan for Rebuilding NSW.
Mr Baird and Mr Grant said the NSW Government has accepted all recommendations for regional NSW outlined in Infrastructure NSW’s updated State Infrastructure Strategy, including:
- $3.7 billion for regional roads and bridges;
- $1 billion for water security projects;
- $400 million for country rail;
- $300 million to accelerate regional health projects;
- $300 million for regional school renewals; and
- $300 million for regional tourism and environment projects.
“The Government have a plan to turbocharge NSW that, once realised, will be the biggest and best thing to happen in this State in our lifetimes,” Mr Baird said.
“More than half of the regional funding allocated under Rebuilding NSW has been reserved for ambitious road projects because we recognise the importance of building and upgrading country roads to sustain growth in local communities.
“Of these funds, $1 billion will be reserved for a Regional Growth Roads Program, which will invest in the Central Coast, Lower Hunter, Illawarra and the North Coast.
“In addition to the money we’re allocating for much needed road infrastructure, we’re setting aside $1.6 billion to improve health, education, and water security across the regions.
“This is an exciting plan for regional NSW. For the first time we have a clear plan for NSW, and more importantly, we have a clear plan to pay for it,” Mr Baird said.
Mr Grant said Rebuilding NSW represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to accelerate capital investment in regional areas that need it most.
“By reserving $3.7 billion of Rebuilding NSW funds for road projects, we will support local workforces and the movement of high productivity vehicles,” Mr Grant said.
“With the amount of freight travelling in NSW almost set to double by 2031, $2 billion will be reserved for a Regional Road Freight Corridor Program for upgrades on the Newell Highway. We’ll also pursue strategies for the Golden, New England and Great Western Highways.
“We’re also planning to expand the highly successful Fixing Country Roads and Bridges for the Bush programs with another $700 million boost.
“We’ll also reserve $400 million for a Fixing Country Rail program to ensure we meet the forecast growth in freight demand and improve regional passenger services.
“A Regional Water Security and Supply Fund will be developed through a $1 billion injection that will focus on securing and improving water supplies for communities around the State including those in the Upper Hunter, Gwydir, Macquarie and Lachlan river systems.
“This fund would also deliver long-term sustainable water solutions for drought-affected communities, with Broken Hill and Cobar identified as priorities. It will also increase the standard of water quality and waste water in regional towns.
“We’ll upgrade regional classrooms by establishing a $300 million Regional Schools Renewal Program.
“A $300 million Regional Multipurpose Health Facilities Program will accelerate smaller healthcare centres across rural NSW. A further $100 million will be available through a Care Co-location Program to establish “one stop” healthcare shops in 19 regional and metropolitan areas.
“We’ll set up a new $300 million Regional Environment and Tourism Program, which will invest in regional tourism assets like museums and cultural centres and national parks.
“These investments will secure the future of regional NSW. Regional communities were widely consulted in developing Rebuilding NSW and I thank them for their encouragement to adopt a broad range of infrastructure,” Mr Grant said.