Transcript of Joint Press Conference with the Hon. Duncan Gay MLC, NSW Minister for Roads and Freight, Leader of the Government Legislative Council and Mr Russell Matheson, Federal Member for Macarthur



15 December 2014

Subject: Award of the Bringelly Road upgrade Stage one tender

Jamie Briggs: It is great to be out in Western Sydney again this year to announce the beginning of the Western Sydney Roads Package as associated with the development of the Western Sydney Airport. $3.6 billion has been allocated to build the roads to support the development of Western Sydney Airport, and this is the beginning. Bringelly Road upgrade, the $500 million that we are spending—the State Government of New South Wales and the Commonwealth Government—to upgrade this road. It will increase the capacity for people of Western Sydney to be able to move around Western Sydney, to ensure that the growth that we want from the development of what will be a world-leading second airport in Sydney, means that we'll have increased productivity, increased economic activity, more jobs, and a stronger Australia. And that's exactly what the $3.6 billion has been allocated to do.

This year, Minister Gay and I have been out here on numerous occasions talking about this plan, and today we're seeing the beginning of the delivery with the appointment of contractors to build the Bringelly Road upgrade. It would begin next month, people of Western Sydney will see the work begin, it won't just be a plan, it will be acted upon. It's another example of delivery by two Governments dedicated to try and build a stronger New South Wales, and a stronger Australia.

Duncan, do you want to say a few words?

Duncan Gay: Thanks Jamie. Look, it's great to be here again with yet another announcement for Western and South-western Sydney, this time in partnership with the Federal Government. Money into this upgrade is 80–20. We congratulate the Federal Government; we had plans for Bringelly Road, but we didn't have money, given the amount of money that's needed. It's over a $500 million project. We'll be starting in the first stage with BMD contractors, who have done a lot of the work on Camden Valley Way and other roads in this area. We will be starting in the New Year, finishing in 2017.

And the great thing about a grown-up government like the Federal Government working with us, we're putting the roads in ahead of time. This is ahead of the major project of the airport, and it's—I don't think the state's ever seen this thing happen at least in the last century, where the infrastructure's going in ahead of the need. Mostly in the past we've had the infrastructure struggling along, running [indistinct]. To be able to do this can I thank you, Jamie, can I also thank the Prime Minister and the Treasurer, because we love your money. The more we can do here in Sydney with your money, we're happy to put our money with your money and get things happening.

Jamie Briggs: Hear, hear.

Question: What's this going to look like in ten years? How different is it going to be do you think?

Duncan Gay: This area will not be the same. It's a beautiful area and it's semi-rural at the moment, but certainly with the evolution of the airport, the evolution of these roads, it has to change and it will change. This will be part of the employment heartlands of the city. It's always been one of the great economic areas, with the small farms, with chickens, with pigs, in this area—and fruit and veggies. But it will change dramatically. It's one of the prices of progress. Sadly, we'll see less farms, but more development. But the great thing is: the people that live in this area, which will be one of the main areas for population growth, will be able to get their jobs locally. Instead of commuting to the city and commuting elsewhere, there will be a growth of jobs in the Southwest and the West of Sydney. Jamie?

Jamie Briggs: Look, I agree. I think the major outcome here is more jobs. More jobs for people in Western Sydney, more jobs for people in south-western Sydney. They employment lands that have been protected for years, associated with the development of the Western Sydney Airport, will come to life. And this sort of key infrastructure will support, will be like the lifeblood for that development. So, there'll be lots more opportunities for people to get a job. I think that's a really important thing for people in Western Sydney to see, that there is massive benefits with the amount of taxpayers' money we are spending here to ensure that the growth—as Duncan says, a massive economic contributor to our country, which we need to get more from.

Question: The Federal Budget is under pressure at the moment; can you guarantee that none of this money will be cut?

Jamie Briggs: Absolutely.

Question: Okay.

Duncan Gay: Do you want to say that?

Jamie Briggs: I can absolutely guarantee that none of this money will be cut.

Duncan Gay: Hear, hear.

Question: What's it going to be like, in terms of while it's happening? Is it going to be disruptive to people in the area?

Jamie Briggs: That's one for the state minister.

Duncan Gay: Look, look, it will be. You can't develop these roads without some interruptions to people's daily lives. But the great thing about the people, particularly in South-western Sydney; they've seen that we're actually delivering. We've done the first two stages of Camden Valley Way and they're already seeing the improvements. There is a price for progress and that's an inconvenience whilst we're building the roads; and this will be no exception. But two years and it will be a hell of a lot better.

Jamie Briggs: One more point on the cuts. The reason infrastructure is so important to the Budget is that we want to grow the economy. The only way we're going to drag ourselves out of the situation left by Labor, with the debt and deficit that we face, is by a faster growing economy with more people employed, with more economic activity. And that's why the infrastructure spend is so important. Particularly when the mining sector is falling off a cliff, as far as construction activity goes. We want constructors like this working, employing Australians and building productive infrastructure. Not Pink Batts in people's roofs and not school halls people don't want, but infrastructure which will support growth. And that's why this is such an important part of our economic plan and I think in the budget next year, you'll still see more emphasis on infrastructure because it is so important to our economic future.