Budget pours billions into western Sydney

The state budget is squarely aimed at creating a revival in western Sydney with infrastructure and transport the recipients of big funding outlays.

NSW Premier Mike Baird said the region had been taken for granted in the past, but residents could receive this budget with confidence.

‘‘This vibrant region has formed the focus of our priorities in areas including housing, health, and transport,” Mr Baird said.

“Almost one in every two transport infrastructure dollars has been invested in western Sydney.’’

Among the stand-out allocations is $863 million for the North West Rail Link in 2014-2015, $398 million to fast-track planning, land acquisition and pre-construction for WestConnex (commence early 2015) — a 33-kilometre corridor to link the west with the city, south and airport, along with a $400 million investment in light rail for Parramatta — Sydney’s second CBD.

Western Sydney director of the Sydney Business Chamber, David Borger welcomed the state government’s $1.4 billion investment to develop the existing road network and new roads.

In health, Westmead Hospital has landed $5 million to start the redevelopment which will eventually include 12 operating theatres, extra inpatient beds, additional car parking and a new emergency department.

With a housing development boom across western Sydney, first home buyers will also be entitled to $75,000 grants, compared to the previous $15,000.

Londonderry MP Bart Bassett said all round whether in health, education or major road and rail infrastructure, western Sydney had the attention of the budget.

‘‘The budget is tough decisions of the last three years paying-off,’’ he said.

‘‘It doesn’t come easy and we have to make sure the budget can cope with big financial decisions.’’

Other state budget highlights include:

Parks:

●$16 million for Parramatta Park over four years to help create a venue to cater for outdoor concerts, festivals and events.

●More than $15 million to build a 200-hectare ‘super park’ at Bungarribee, which will include regional play and recreational areas, a bushland corridor and an outdoor event and entertainment space.

Picture: Dominic Lorrimer.

Picture: Dominic Lorrimer.

Transport:

●$91 million for new buses and expanded routes in Penrith, Blacktown, Bankstown, Parramatta and Hills; 91 new buses to be rolled-out and replacement of 108 ageing buses.

Road infrastructure:

●$209 million for road upgrades in western Sydney ($16.5 million federal funding), includes sections of Schofields Road, Richmond Road and Camden Valley Way.

●$4.6 million to investigate options for the M9 Outer Sydney Orbital motorway.

●$109 million for road upgrades to support Sydney’s second airport at Badgerys Creek.

●$40 million to fund the next two stages of the upgrade of Schofields Road between Tallawong Road and Veron Road in Schofields, to support approximately 10,450 new homes in the North West Growth Centre.

●$30 million for 2014-15 to fund the next two stages of the upgrade of Richmond Road from Townson Road to Garfield Road in Marsden Park, to support approximately 16,200 new homes in the North West Growth Centre.

●About $4 million 2014-15 for new roundabout at The Northern Road and improvements at Blacktown Road and George Street, Londonderry.

●$500,000 minor safety works between Blacktown Road/Bennett Road, Londonderry.

●$16 million for stage one of Bells Line of Road corridor improvement — seven overtaking lanes.

●Allocation of resources to ensure continued roll-out of $18 million over three years from the federal budget for intersection work to improve traffic congestion at three intersections in Richmond/North Richmond.

Health:

●$81 million to continue the redevelopment of Blacktown and Mount Druitt hospitals.

Education:

●A new school for students with special needs will be built at Glenmore Park under a $10.7 billion allocation for public schools.

●$12 million for the new $31 million The Ponds High School.

●$12 million upgrade for Nepean College Kingswood TAFE.

Waste, water and council:

●$5.6 million for illegal dumping strategies, asbestos waste trial and  Regional Illegal Dump (RID) Squads, which includes western Sydney.

●$60 million for local councils to deliver essential infrastructure to support up to 3000 new homes in western Sydney growth areas.

●$3.8 million for Prospect Reservoir upgrade.

●$8.7 million for North Kellyville Wastewater Project.

Emergency services:

●Five ambulance super stations at $150 million over five years, includes purchase of additional sites. The western Sydney hubs will be in Penrith, Blacktown, Bankstown, Penrith and Liverpool to house ambulances, as well as facilitate training and the start and end of shifts.

●$15.7 million to refurbish Fire and Rescue NSW fire stations across the state, including South Windsor.

●$1.7 million in 2014-2015 for new fire station at Dunheved.

Sport:

●$7.8 million to ensure former Olympic sport venues, including the International Regatta Centre at Penrith, remain in top condition.

People:

●More than $2.7 billion will be invested across child protection, social housing, and homelessness in 2014/15.

●$107 million to continue pensioner concessions that were cut in the federal budget.

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