Tourists were avoiding Coffs Harbour due to heavy traffic but the budget allocates nearly $1 billion for a bypass. (ozroads.com.au)
Sydney has been ripped off in tomorrow’s federal budget, with Victoria getting the lion’s share in federal funding, the state’s Opposition says.
“People will be very disappointed … the most populous city in Australia, Sydney, is the city taking all the nation’s population growth … it is getting harder and harder to move around, [there’s] so much congestion,” Opposition infrastructure spokesman Michael Daley said.
“This is a roads-focused budget, with very little for Sydney’s public transport system.”
The state’s share of tomorrow night’s total infrastructure pie of is set to be around $1.5 billion in rail and road projects out of $24 billion federally.
Mr Daley said there is nothing in the budget that will help the people of Sydney move around in the short term.
Pacific Highway bypass for Coffs gets funding
However, the mid-north coast has something to celebrate, as it is revealed nearly $1 billion is to be spent on the planned bypass for the Pacific Highway in Coffs Harbour.
Coffs Harbour Mayor Denise Knight said it is one of the major blackspots between Sydney and Brisbane.
“This is incredible. It is going to be fantastic for the region and in fact for the whole state,” he said.
“We have been waiting years and years for this to come through.
“At the moment you can get on a four-lane road from Sydney and get to Brisbane until you got to Coffs Harbour and then you are choked at 12 sets of lights. Tourists were avoiding us.”
Port Botany a winner
The rail link for Port Botany will take a lot of trucks off the roads, the PM says. (AAP: Dean Lewins)
The Australian Rail Track Corporation has welcomed $400 million in federal funding for a rail duplication link between Mascot and Botany in Sydney.
Paul Zalai, the director of peak industry body Freight and Trade Alliance, said rail was vital for trade in Port Botany.
“What we have experienced to date has been a reliance on road in the area with much congestion,” he said.
“Rail is going to be a very important part for the trade through Port Botany. Not just our metropolitan sectors, but also to best serve the rural sectors of NSW.
“Port Botany has now become the largest port by container volume in Australia. Traditionally Melbourne has had that role.”
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, speaking at a press conference near Port Botany, said the rail link would be a vital piece of economic infrastructure and meant less congestion on the nation’s roads.
“Every single additional train with containers along this rail line takes 50 trucks off the road,” he said.
But Mr Daley said the rail freight project was cancelled by the Federal Government in 2013 and this is the Government “just putting it back in”.
However, he welcomed the $50 million injection towards the Western Sydney Airport rail link as a “good start”.
NSW residents will also benefit from $200 million road upgrades in the Australian Capital Territory.