Massive investment for Regional NSW

Published 10th June, 2014

NSW Premier Mike Baird and Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner today announced a once-in-a-generation $6 billion investment in regional NSW to secure the future of communities across NSW.

Mr Baird and Mr Stoner said the package includes a $1 billion Regional Roads Fund, a $1 billion Regional Water Fund and a statewide $2 billion Schools and Hospitals Building Fund, and will be made possible by the NSW Government’s proposed long-term lease of 49 per cent of the State’s electricity distribution and transmission businesses.  There are also strong protections in place for regional jobs.

“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to secure the long-term future of communities right across our great State,” Mr Baird said.

“The centrepiece of the package is a series of future funds to build and upgrade hospitals, schools, roads and water infrastructure throughout regional NSW.

“This injection will ensure regional communities get access to world-class infrastructure, as well as creating jobs in regional areas and securing a pipeline of investment.

“This is a plan to ensure Regional NSW can thrive for future generations,” Mr Baird said.

Mr Stoner said the reform is expected to release up to $20 billion for new infrastructure investment in NSW of which 30 per cent, or approximately $6 billion, will be spent in regional NSW.

“This reform protects jobs in regional NSW, puts downward pressure on electricity prices and secures a record investment into regional infrastructure from the lease of metropolitan assets,” Mr Stoner said.

“Building this infrastructure will create jobs as well as ensuring future generations in regional NSW have safer roads, better schools, world-class hospitals, and high quality water infrastructure to protect communities from drought.

“A new Regional Roads Fund will deliver safer roads and better access for high productivity vehicles to deliver produce to market.

“The new Regional Roads Fund will also be used to reserve regional transport corridors, upgrade regional bridges and provide better roads for the tourism economy.

“A Regional Water Fund will ensure regional communities have reliable access to good quality water supplies by replacing aged assets and bringing systems up to modern standards.

“With communities across the State facing drought conditions, these reforms will allow us to meet the challenge of securing the water supply of the regions for the long term.

“Funds will be explicitly reserved to ensure NSW has adequate protection from major flood events and will investigate the need for more regional dams.

“A new Schools and Hospitals Building Fund will ensure doctors and nurses have state-of-the-art facilities to deliver world-class care to patients who live in rural and regional NSW, and ensure that regional students can learn in modern high quality classrooms.

“Communities right across NSW deserve access to world-class hospitals and schools with state of the art facilities no matter where you live.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity for investment in our roads, dams, hospitals, schools, and other community facilities.”

Mr Stoner said Infrastructure NSW has been asked to update the 20-year State Infrastructure Strategy to reflect the potential new funds available, including the identification of specific infrastructure projects.

For more information, go to: www.rebuilding.nsw.gov.au

Published 10th June, 2014