Bulldozers breaking ground for global city

Opinion Piece


22 January 2015

The Daily Telegraph

The government is building for our future with billions of dollars in game-changing infrastructure projects across NSW, commencing construction in 2015.

The first of these projects that will slash travel times for motorists and help create thousands of jobs is the $509 million Bringelly Rd upgrade in Western Sydney. Yesterday the Prime Minister, Premier and I turned the first sod on this vital project, which is part of our joint $3.6 billion roads package to support the new Western Sydney airport.

Construction also starts next month to build the $70 million Werrington Arterial road between the M4 and Great Western Highway, meaning shorter journey times for residents travelling to the employment growth areas in Western Sydney and the new airport.

Before the first flight takes off from Badgerys Creek Creek, motorists will enjoy fully upgraded four- or six-lane motorways along Bringelly Rd, The Northern Rd and the Werrington Arterial in addition to a new four-lane motorway between the M7 and the Northern Rd.

We are also wasting no time delivering $200 million worth of local road upgrades in Western Sydney with the first projects to begin next month.

These investments will create 4000 local jobs and ensure the two million people living in Western Sydney can travel to and from work every day, quicker and safer.

They will also capitalise on the economic gains of our landmark decision to build a new airport in Western Sydney, helping transform the region into one of the economic powerhouses of Australia.

Next month Australia's biggest ever road project, WestConnex, will start construction, beginning with the widening of the M4 between Parramatta and Homebush to four lanes in each direction.

WestConnex Stage 2, which we've fast-tracked by 18 months through a $2 billion concessional loan, will also kick off in the second half of 2015. This city transforming project should have been delivered 10 years ago and will fix the M4 and M5 by joining them in a continuous free-flowing motorway connecting Sydney's CBD, airport and Port Botany.

It will also deliver more than $20 billion in economic benefits by creating 10,000 jobs and bypassing up to 52 traffic lights when completed in 2023.

Northwest of the city, the $3 billion NorthConnex project will begin in the first quarter of this year creating 8000 jobs during construction and saving up to 15 minutes travel time.

After more than a decade languishing on the books, this project will finally be delivered by 2019, meaning 5000 fewer heavy vehicles on Pennant Hills Rd each day and safer driving for local residents.

By the end of this year we will see more bulldozers on the ground and cranes in the sky than ever before in Sydney, all building world-class infrastructure that will collectively support tens of thousands of jobs during construction. This is the start of a jobs and construction bonanza for Australia's premier city.

These mega projects are only the start of an exciting period for NSW and I am confident the state government will be making a number of announcements in the lead up to the election that will deliver Sydney's transport network into the 21st century and beyond.

This is what can be achieved when two adult governments work together to deliver world-class projects quickly and at less cost to taxpayers.

Unlike Labor, who like to celebrate the announcement of big new projects, this government is focused on delivering new infrastructure. This is our economic action strategy at work, building the roads for our future and creating the jobs we need today.