2017 is the year of construction disruption and we are asking everyone for their patience. Never in the state’s history have we seen such building activity as we see now.
More than 100km of new tunnels are being built, with new motorways such as Westconnex, Northconnex and three new metro rail projects. Two new light rail projects are under way and we recently opened the International Convention Centre at Darling Harbour. By 2019 we will have spent a record $73.3 billion on new infrastructure in four years.
We will have built, or started building, at least five brand new public transport systems in Sydney alone and are spending billions on regional roads. Just this year we are set to invest $21.8 billion in more than 600 major infrastructure projects across NSW. None of this has happened by accident. Managing the state’s finances and the leasing of the poles and wires is not easy, but the outcomes of doing this well are huge for every person in NSW.
What we are building should be the norm for our state, but I fear people have forgotten that for more than a decade under Labor it was not the norm. Under the Baird government “investing in infrastructure” is about making people’s lives easier and better. There is now 9km of new light rail under construction and the largest urban road and rail projects in the nation’s history are in progress.
We are building new bus rapid transits, cycleways, pedestrian tunnels, ferry terminals, the list goes on, all in an effort to keep our global city moving. Speaking of game changers, what about Westconnex? It is going to double the road capacity along the M5 East corridor, giving relief to the grinding daily congestion caused by dozens of bottlenecks.
This will make life better for every tradie, truck driver, courier or anyone who depends on our roads to make a buck and is the best way to support communities. Beyond the city’s borders, regional and rural NSW is not being forgotten. The people of NSW remember having been badly neglected by successive Labor governments and now the regions are finally getting the hospitals, roads, bridges, footpaths, transport, schools and long overdue community services they’ve been crying out for.
Every region in NSW is now benefiting from a new major hospital development with vital healthcare improvements, including more beds and better specialist services. There are upgrades and improvements being made to more than 120 roads, bridges and highways in regions that were experiencing their own congestion and safety risks.
Building infrastructure gets mums and dads home to their kids earlier and allows small businesses to grow. The investments being made now support the state’s productivity and secure our future. This is what we set out to achieve six years ago when we inherited a $30 billion infrastructure backlog and a long list of broken Labor promises.
Happy New Year