First priorities for investment
The fund will help to deliver critical infrastructure and priority initiatives identified in the 20-Year Economic Vision for Regional NSW, NSW State Infrastructure Strategy 2018–2038 and other long-term government plans.
The five areas of immediate focus will be improved water security, rail and road transport connections, freight linkages, digital connectivity and Special Activation Precincts to attract more industry investment in the regions.
Business cases are being developed to identify projects in these five focus areas:
- Providing water security in priority catchments: investing in catchment-scale water security infrastructure for regional NSW including dams, pipelines and weirs.
- Improving rail and road passenger transport connections: exploring opportunities to invest in infrastructure that makes travel between regional centres and to metropolitan areas faster and easier, including fast rail.
- Improving freight linkages: improving regional freight networks to global gateways and investigating the development of potential air freight hubs in regional NSW that will allow producers to deliver meat, dairy, fruit, nuts and seafood around Australia and the world as quickly as possible.
- Improving digital connectivity across regional NSW: exploring infrastructure to provide faster and more reliable digital connectivity across regional NSW, improving liveability, productivity and innovation in regional NSW. Business cases will explore regional data hubs, high-capacity ‘backbone’ data links to Sydney, and improved connectivity and data access for businesses.
- Activating regional locations for increased business investment: providing attractive locations and conditions for targeted industries to invest in regional NSW. Work is already underway to build an inland port in Parkes as a Special Activation Precinct that will leverage investment in inland rail. The second Special Activation Precinct has been announced for Wagga Wagga.
Work is already underway on some of these projects and the first studies will be completed in 2019.