Restart NSW Fund To Kickstart Investment In Western Sydney Road And Transport Infrastructure

Thursday, 10 June 2010

The NSW Liberals & Nationals will establish Restart NSW to kickstart investment in crucial road and transport infrastructure to make Western Sydney and NSW number one again, NSW Opposition Leader and Shadow Minister for Western Sydney Barry O'Farrell and Liberal Candidate for Penrith Stuart Ayres said today.

"NSW is caught in a vicious cycle. Economic growth drives government revenue. However, NSW lacks the essential infrastructure to grow and without growth there is no additional revenue for future infrastructure," Mr O'Farrell said.

"Something needs to change, and fast. We need to restart the Western Sydney and NSW economy," he said.

"We need to regain NSW's reputation as Australia's number one place to live and do business.

"In government, the NSW Liberals & Nationals will establish Restart NSW, a capital fund to help build essential infrastructure including public transport, roads, hospitals and water to support people working in frontline services.

"The fund will have the specific mandate to grow economic productivity in Western Sydney and NSW and the clear goal of lifting NSW economic growth to above the national average.

Restart NSW will fund projects including:

  • Public transport infrastructure;
  • Roads infrastructure to address urban congestion, black spots and missing links;
  • Economic infrastructure to address the economic competitiveness of NSW, including freight, inter-modal facilities and water;
  • Hospitals and health infrastructure; and,
  • Improvements to workplaces for frontline workers including law and justice officers, teachers, and nurses.

Mr O'Farrell said the board of Infrastructure NSW will oversight Restart NSW, giving it the teeth to make a difference. Infrastructure NSW will not only have the mandate to make recommendations to government but the initial capital to underpin their decisions.

"This is a clear message to show NSW is back in the business of big infrastructure projects and we're serious about making NSW number one again.

"Restart NSW will be funded from:

  • windfall tax revenues that exceed Budget forecasts;
  • additional borrowings, including new Waratah Bonds; and
  • proceeds from the $1.2 billion long-term lease (approx 25 yrs) of the Sydney Desalination Plant.

"Any borrowing will be undertaken in strict compliance with our fiscal commitment to maintain the AAA credit rating.

"Restart NSW will also seek to partner with the Federal Government, to fund further infrastructure delivery.

"It will be well positioned to make the most of available Federal Government funding for infrastructure projects.

"The NSW Liberals & Nationals are determined to make the most of any Federal funds which may become available," Mr O'Farrell said.

Liberal Candidate for Penrith Stuart Ayres said the NSW Liberals & Nationals commitment to Restart NSW will help deliver the infrastructure Penrith and greater Western Sydney needs to grow.

"Through Infrastructure NSW I will be pushing for funding for the M4 east extension, the Erskine Park Link Road and the M4 on/off ramps at Mulgoa Road, The Northern Road and Russell Street, which I want to see delivered to help rejuvenate the Western Sydney economy," Stuart Ayres said.

"Our commitment to Restart NSW gives hope to the long suffering Penrith and Lower Mountains residents who's needs have been neglected by Labor for 15 years.

"I will fight for our fair share of funding so that we get the public transport, roads, hospitals and water infrastructure needed to support people working in frontline services.

"Only the NSW Liberals & Nationals have the positive and practical plans needed to make Western Sydney and NSW number one again," Stuart Ayres said.