The NSW Government will unlock $20 billion in infrastructure funding, including $6 billion for regional NSW, by undertaking a long-term lease of 49% of the “poles and wires” network businesses, NSW Premier Mike Baird announced.
For Sydney, the centrepiece of the plan will be a new Sydney Rapid Transit line, including a second harbour rail crossing and extending the North West Rail Link through the CBD and beyond to Bankstown.
In the regions, among other projects, Rebuilding NSW will support a Regional Roads Fund and a Regional Water Fund, each worth at least $1 billion.
“Rebuilding NSW will turbocharge productivity and improve the daily lives of families right across the State,” Mr Baird said.
“We all know we live in the greatest state in the greatest country on earth, but we also know, as a community, that a number of significant challenges have built up over time.
“Our roads and rail networks, our schools and hospitals, and our water infrastructure have not kept up with our growing population.
“Now we are seeing the consequences, particularly in the area of transport.
“Both our quality of life – the time we are able to spend with family and friends – and the productivity of our workplaces is suffering.
“I am simply not prepared to let these problems fester, so that they drag down our economy and pose even greater challenges for our children and grandchildren.
“Infrastructure NSW will now be asked to re-cast the State Infrastructure Strategy, ensuring that every corner of the State benefits from Rebuilding NSW – including the Central Coast, the Hunter and the Illawarra.”
Mr Baird said highlights of Rebuilding NSW, in addition to Sydney Rapid Transit and the Regional Roads and Water Funds, include:
- Sydney Roads Renewal, which will include two new WestConnex extensions to the north and south, as well as projects to support the Northern beaches and inner west;
- A Schools and Hospitals Building Fund, worth at least $2 billion;
- A Sports and Cultural Fund worth at least $500 million.
Mr Baird said Rebuilding NSW would be funded through a 99-year lease of 49% of the state-owned network companies.
Strict conditions on the lease would include:
- All net proceeds will be invested in new productive infrastructure;
- Electricity network prices will be discounted by 1% off the forecast regulated prices until 2019;
- The jobs of permanent award employees will be protected and treated consistently with previous transactions;
- The transaction will have no adverse impact on electricity reliability; and
- The regional presence of the network businesses will be maintained.
Source: News Release NSW Government media release, 11 June 2014