Australia, Transport News

Industry welcomes new projects in NSW Budget

Both Roads Australia and NatRoad have welcomed new funding initiatives included in the NSW Budget for the state’s transport and roads network

Transport industry members have welcomed the latest NSW Budget to be handed down this week as transport and infrastructure continues to receive investment.

Despite the Budget having slight reductions in spend compared to last year’s Budget, the wealth of regional road projects receiving funding has been welcomed by industry stakeholders.

The main part of the current NSW government’s first Budget is a focus on delivering critical regional roads, rail and transport funding.

This includes $1.4 billion into delivering a new regional rail fleet to replace an ageing fleet and $390 million into establishing a Regional Emergency Road Repair Fund, as well as $334 million into a Regional Roads Fund to build new roads in rural and regional areas.

For transport operators, $10 million will go into improving the heavy vehicle rest stop network across regional NSW, while more funding will go into fixing country bridges, country rail and into an improved zero-emissions bus program.

Roads Australia CEO CEO Ehssan Veiszadeh says this investment into the roads sector is welcome.

“RA is pleased to see the current NSW government’s first Budget largely continue NSW’s commitment to infrastructure delivery at an uncertain time for the economy, while charting a pathway back to surplus,” Veiszadeh says.

“It’s pleasing to see investment in the regional road network and funding for building resilience across Western Sydney in the wake of significant natural disasters.

“As we await the outcomes of state and federal reviews, this Budget will provide the industry with a level of certainty around NSW’s infrastructure build.”

Outside of this regional boost, the Budget also targets road improvements across NSW’s urban network and veers away from toll roads as part of a new metropolitan roads funding package.

The main feature of this is the $770 million Urban Road Fund that has reserved funding for 23 road projects over the next four years, including in Western Sydney.

The fund will also put $200 million over two years into the Western Sydney Floods Resilience Plan, while the Connecting Sydney Roads fund will continue injecting money into key urban road upgrades.

The National Road Transport Association (NatRoad) has also welcomed this mix of regional and urban funding, including the $390 million injection to fix NSW’s damaged regional roads.

“The Regional Emergency Road Repair Fund is vital work and essential to keep road freight moving,” NatRoad CEO Warren Clark says.

“Potholed and badly degraded roads are a constant risk to safety so we’re right behind anything that brings them back to standard.

“We also welcome a $10 million commitment to improve the network of heavy vehicle rest stops across regional NSW – we just wish it was more.

“Our road transport drivers deserve well-appointed and strategically located rest areas.”

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