Treasurer hands down NSW Budget 2016/17
The NSW Government has today handed down its 2016/17 budget. While public transport does get a boost, from a transport perspective it is very road heavy, with $2.9 billion set aside for West Connex alone.
The public transport highlights include:
– $1.4 billion to continue property acquisitions and begin early works for Sydney Metro City and Southwest, which includes the second harbour crossing
– $1.3 billion to maintain Sydney Train’s assets including turnout renewals, re-signalling works, control systems upgrade and Tangara technology upgrades
– $1.3 billion for the Sydney Metro Northwest to continue with delivery of a new rapid transit service for North West Sydney
– $407 million to plan, develop and deliver enhancements to increase and improve rail services, including more express services to Western Sydney
– $130 million to commence procurement of new intercity trains
– $100 million for the Automatic Train Protection system
– $90 million to progress the implementation of the Rail Operations Centre
– $44 million for Wynyard Walk: pedestrian access from Wynyard Station to the western central business district and Barangaroo precinct.
Light Rail Services
– $142 million for the Newcastle Light Rail system. Includes the truncation of the heavy rail line at Wickham
– $71 million to continue with delivery of CBD and South East Light Rail that will run from Circular Quay along George Street to Moore Park, then on to Kingsford and Randwick, including $17 million for enabling road works. This excludes the cost incurred by the private sector PPP partner, ALTRAC Light Rail
– $64 million to progress planning for the Parramatta Light Rail
– $20 million to operate the existing light rail services in central and inner western Sydney.
– $1.4 billion for bus services throughout New South Wales, including rural and regional bus services, school services in country areas, and financing 218 buses to replace older vehicles
– $234 million to plan and continue building infrastructure to support bus priority on key corridors, including $210 million for B-Line. [note – no mention of whether the paid bus service on the Northern Beaches is set to be privately run]
Transport Access Program
The Government says it will spend $280 million in 2016-17 to improve access to the public transport network including:
– easy access upgrades at train stations and interchanges
– additional commuter car parking and interchange capacity across the transport network
– improving safety and security across the transport network
– upgrading commuter ferry wharves to promote easy access and improve customer facilities.
Freight Infrastructure and Services
– $208 million for the maintenance of Country Rail assets, including replacement of timber sleepers with modern long-life steel sleepers, resurfacing track and replacement of bridges and culverts
– $111 million to support productivity and safety for road freight in regional New South Wales, including continuing the Bridges for the Bush program
– $43 million for planning and delivery of rail infrastructure upgrades at key sites including enhancing capacity on key routes, and improving train loading rates for grain on the Country Rail Network
– $14 million to progress upgrading Gocup Road to support increasing numbers of heavy vehicles carrying timber and general cargo to and from the forest products mills in the Tumut Valley
– $5.0 million for the Freight Noise Action Plan to address and manage freight rail noise. The Plan includes actions to minimise rail freight noise at its source, and reduce noise impacts at existing hotspots across the rail network
– $5.0 million for the Cargo Movement Coordination Centre
The Budget also locked in the wage cap for public sector workers.
Click here to see the Sydney Morning Herald’s summary of the Budget winners and losers.