Big Win for Rural and Regional NSW with Record Spend on Country Roads
More than half the state’s $8.5 billion Budget will be invested in regional NSW, Deputy Premier John Barilaro, Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey announced.
The 2017-18 Budget will allocate more than $4.8 billion for roads in rural and regional areas, topping last year’s figures by over $800 million.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the highways and backroads in regional NSW are pivotal in keeping economies and communities connected.
“We live in regional NSW because we value more space, less traffic and a unique quality of life. Ensuring we have safe and reliable roads is essential to maintaining our standard of living and will continue to be a priority for the NSW Liberals and Nationals,” Mr Barilaro said.
Mr Perrottet said, “While we are continuing to build major new road projects that will transform our cities, we have never taken our eye off improving and maintaining important country roads.”
Mrs Pavey said this year’s Budget is a great win for regional NSW.
“Whether it’s primary producers getting their goods to market, school buses getting rural and remote children to school in town or people needing fast access to a regional hospital, country roads keep our communities connected,” she said.
“This is an investment for the future to help our freight and tourism sectors, as well as small and large business.”
Headlining this year’s regional investment is a plan to inject billions in upgrading the Princes and Pacific Highways.
Over the next four years, the NSW government will invest more than $789 million to upgrade the Princes Highway in the Illawarra, Shoalhaven and South Coast, starting with $137 million in works during 2017-18.
In the north, $1.5 billion will be spent to continue the NSW and Federal Government-funded upgrades to the Pacific Highway, including completing all projects between Port Macquarie and Glenugie near Grafton, continued construction between Glenugie and Ballina, and planning for the future bypass of Coffs Harbour.
Other regional roads projects in 2017-18 include:
- $208 million for major road upgrades in regional New South Wales including completing the Guanna Hill realignment on the Mitchell Highway, continuing construction of the additional bridge over the Clarence River at Grafton, and commencing construction of the Ellerton Drive Extension at Queanbeyan
- $188 million for Central Coast roads, including widening works on the M1 Pacific Motorway and completion of intersection upgrades on Wyong Road, commencing construction of the M1 Pacific Motorway widening between the Kariong Interchange and the Somersby Interchange, as well as continuing construction on the M1 between the Tuggerah and Doyalson interchanges and on the Pacific Highway widening between Lisarow and Ourimbah
- $154 million for increasing road freight safety and productivity, including continuing construction of the replacement Clarence River bridge at Tabulam, preconstruction for the additional bridge over the Murray River between Echuca and Moama, continuing Golden Highway improvement works and continuing construction of improvements to Gocup Road between Tumut and Gundagai
- $79 million for upgrades on the New England Highway, including commencing construction of the Scone bypass and the upgrade at Bolivia Hill
- $58 million for upgrades of the Newell Highway, including completion of realignments at Grong Grong and Trewilga
- $49 million for upgrades to Hunter roads.
Country NSW will also share in the benefits of our investment in safer roads and waterways.
$282 million will be spent to improve road safety across NSW, including $19.2 million in federal funding, through safety-targeted road improvements, education and high visibility police enforcement.
Another $77 million will go towards improving maritime safety through education programs, more Boating Safety Officers and the continuation of our popular Old 4 New lifejacket exchange program.