The NRMA has welcomed a raft of roads, public transport and tourism initiatives in the state Budget as key to keeping people moving, keeping people safe, easing cost of living pressures and encouraging families to enjoy the state’s tourism treasures.
The 2018 NSW Budget includes $9.1b for roads, maritime and freight infrastructure, a record $14.4 billion for public transport and $173 million to support NSW tourism.
The NRMA has welcomed a $10 million investment in the future of mobility, with the funding allocated for connected and autonomous vehicle trials.
However, the NRMA has said the Budget missed an opportunity to replicate the ACT Budget and prepare NSW for the benefits of an electric vehicle future, with no funding to support fast charging networks or incentives to encourage the take up of electric vehicles, such as a reduction in stamp duty and vehicle registration.
NRMA Group CEO Rohan Lund said today’s budget struck the appropriate balance between multi-billion projects that would tackle Sydney’s growing congestion, funding to make regional roads safer and more efficient and initiatives to boost the state’s vital tourism sector.
“The NRMA is strategically focused on finding ways to keep people moving quickly and safely, connecting regional communities and helping all Australians to make the most of what our great state has to offer – this budget is a good step towards funding projects that help achieve these outcomes across the state,” Mr Lund said.
“This Budget invests in vital road and public transport infrastructure projects, which once complete, will finally deliver Sydney with the network it deserves as one of the world’s great cities.
“2017 was a horror year on our roads with the number of people losing their lives reaching a heart-breaking five-year-high and 80 per cent of these deaths occurred outside Sydney. Making regional highways safer will not just save lives, it will strengthen regional economies and provide better connections across the state.
“As one of Australia’s largest tourism and transport providers the NRMA will also support measures that promote the amazing destinations this state has to offer and we support funding to showcase the state’s major events and encourage people to holiday locally.”
Today’s $9.1 billion roads, freight and maritime Budget includes major projects in Sydney:
- $1.8 billion for WestConnex with the M4 East tunnel to open mid-2019
- $439 million for the Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan
- $334 million for major Sydney roads including Heathcote Road, Henry Lawson Drive and King Georges Road
- $178 million in planning and pre-construction work for the F6 Extension, Western Harbour and Northern Beaches tunnels and the Sydney Gateway
Regional projects to receive funding include:
- $1.2 billion (joint Fed/State) funding for the Pacific Highway including the Coffs Harbour bypass
- $244 million for the Princes Highway, including the Albion Park bypass
- $155 million for the Nowra Bridge (matching Federal funds)
- A $600 million boost to statewide road safety for enforcement and infrastructure upgrades
- $165 million for Central Coast roads, including the widening of the Pacific Motorway
Today’s Budget includes $173 million in funding to support the state’s tourism sector, including:
$82 million to promote major events
$54 million for tourism promotion, including initiatives to grow regional tourism