Budget boost for western Sydney

THE State Budget announced today, looks set to revive western Sydney, with infrastructure and transport the big recipients.

Construction of the North West Rail Link at Bella Vista. $863 million has been allocated to the project in the state's 2014-15 budget. Picture: Gene Ramirez.

Construction of the North West Rail Link at Bella Vista. $863 million has been allocated to the project in the state's 2014-15 budget. Picture: Gene Ramirez.

NSW Premier Mike Baird said western Sydney had been taken for granted in the past, but residents can look at 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 2014-15, $398m to fast-track planning, land acquisition and preconstruction for WestConnex (commence early 2015) — a 33km corridor to link Sydney’s west with the city, south and airport, along with a $400m 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 $5m 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, the threshold for the $15,000 first-home buyers grant will be increased to $750,000 from July 1. The new home grant, worth $5000, will be restricted to Australian citizens and permanent residents.

Londonderry MP Bart Bassett said all round whether it’s health, education or major road and rail infrastructure, western Sydney has 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 projects that received funding include:

Parks:

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

●Over $15m 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.

Transport:

●$91m 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:

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

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

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

●$40m 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.

●$30m 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 $4m 2014-15 for new roundabout The Northern Road and improvements at Blacktown Road and George Street, Londonderry.

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

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

●Allocation of resources to ensure continued rollout of $18m over three years allocated in federal budget for intersection work at Richmond/North Richmond.

Health:

●$81m 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 $10.7b allocation for public schools.

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

●$6m to continue the $7.5m upgrade of Cabramatta High School.

●$12m upgrade for Nepean College Kingswood TAFE.

Waste, water and council:

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

●$60m for local councils to deliver essential infrastructure to support up to 3000 new homes in western Sydney growth areas, under the Local Infrastructure Growth Scheme.

●$3.8m for Prospect Reservoir Upgrade.

●$8.7m for North Kellyville Wastewater Project.

Emergency services:

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

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

●$1.7m in 2014-15 for new fire station at Dunheved.

Sport:

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

People:

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

●$107m to continue pensioner concessions that were cut in the Federal Budget.

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