NEW South Wales Minister for Transport and Acting Minister for Roads Gladys Berejiklian last week released the regional transport plans for the Illawarra, Hunter and Southern regions of NSW, which feature major road upgrades and improvements to public transport and freight.
Ms Berejiklian said the plans identify a range of short, medium and long term actions to deliver key transport and infrastructure projects and demonstrate the government's commitment to public and community transport, roads infrastructure and services that support and encourage economic and social development.
"This work ensures our transport and roads network are delivered and prioritised based on evidence and connect residents with jobs, healthcare, education options and town centres, now and into the future," Ms Berejiklian said.
Ms Berejiklian said actions identified in the plans reflect the feedback received throughout the consultation process for the Long Term Transport Master Plan.
The Hunter regional transport plan outlines a number of planned projects, including upgrades to the M1 Pacific Motorway, improvements to the New England Highway and construction of the Newcastle Inner City Bypass.
The plan also includes a new light rail network, which will link the beach at Newcastle with a new transport interchange at Wickham as part of a transformational project that aims to open up and revitalise the region.
"The Hunter is home to the state's second largest city, the largest regional workforce, and the world's largest coal export port – so it's important to deliver the transport services and freight critical for a modern, diverse, vibrant and attractive city for residents, visitors and local businesses," Ms Berejiklian said.
For the Southern region, projects include upgrades to the road network, including Princes, Barton, Kings, Federal, Monaro and Snowy Mountains highways to improve long distance journeys for cars and trucks.
The region will also benefit from the NSW Government's $145 million Bridges for the Bush Program, with upgrades to the Bemboka River Bridge on the Snowy Mountains Highway to provide increased heavy mass limits for freight.
In the Illawarra, the reduction of travel times from Sydney to key employment, tourism and population centres in Wollongong will be prioritised, as well as ongoing improvements to the Princes Motorway, Princes Highway and Mount Ousley Road.