THE New South Wales Government this month released its submission to Infrastructure Australia, with three of its highest priority projects, the Pacific Highway Upgrade, North West Rail Link and Port Botany and Sydney Airport Transport Improvement Plan, put forward to the Australian Government for consideration.
In its submission, the government said it has set out to directly address the criticisms by Infrastructure Australia of past NSW Government Submissions, with 2011 marking "the beginning of a concerted effort to achieve not merely improvement but to position NSW as a national leader in infrastructure planning and as a constructive partner in national reform."
The government said the three proposals it had put forward were the highest priorities for immediate investment in terms of regional and rural strategy, urban connectivity and inter and intrastate freight movement and were developed to address the objectives of the new State Plan, NSW 2021, and be consistent with the national goals of the Australian Government.
The government also used its submission to highlight the change of government that occurred earlier in the year as a turning point for the state.
"2011 also marks a watershed in process, strategy, priority and delivery of infrastructure in NSW as reflected in this Submission. A new Government, new agencies, new legislation and new priorities have been key milestones," the submission writes.
The new agencies include Infrastructure NSW, set up to coordinate and support the delivery of infrastructure projects, and Transport for NSW, an integrated transport agency that was officially established this month.
The NSW submission seeks a commitment by the Australian Government to complete the Pacific Highway Upgrade by 2016, with a continuation of the prevailing 80:20 Commonwealth to State funding ratio. The total cost of the completion of this program is estimated at $7.8 billion.
The government is seeking funding of $2.1 billion for the North West Rail Link, which will be integrated into the existing CityRail network.
The Rail Link will provide at least six new stations over a 23 kilometre extension from Epping to Rouse Hill, with an extension for stabling at Tallawong. Stations will be located at Cherrybrook, Castle Hill, Hills Centre, Norwest, Kellyville and Rouse Hill.
The Australian Government has already allocated $2.1 billion for a Parramatta to Epping rail link and the NSW submission calls for this amount to be redirected to the North West Rail Link.
Alternatively, the submission requests the "Australian Government to provide an equivalent level of funding for the NWRL to maintain the commitment to urban transport in NSW."
The submission reveals the cost of the North West Rail Link to be in the order of $7.5 to $8.5 billion and also explores potential future extensions of the proposed line, such as to Marsden Park and beyond.
The NSW submission also seeks Commonwealth funding of $28 million to support the development of a land side transport improvement plan that considers all modes of transport and both future passenger and freight needs for the Port Botany and Sydney Airport precinct.
More information on the NSW Government's submission to Infrastructure Australia is available from the NSW Government website at <http://www.nsw.gov.au/>. A Strategic Overview is available directly from this link (PDF: 201.73 KB).