Federal Budget allocates $200 million for third Hawkesbury River crossing

Residents are a substantial step closer to getting a third crossing of the Hawkesbury River between Richmond and North Richmond following Tuesday's Federal Budget announcement.

Within the package, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg pledged $200 million towards the project.

Stoked: Liberal candidate for Macquarie Sarah Richards said the third crossing of the Hawkesbury needed to happen "in the earliest time frame".

Stoked: Liberal candidate for Macquarie Sarah Richards said the third crossing of the Hawkesbury needed to happen "in the earliest time frame".

The State Government started the ball rolling, allocating $7 million in its 2018-19 Budget to begin planning the crossing.

Endorsing the decision, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he believed the infrastructure was a necessity for north-west Sydney.

"It will mean people get home sooner and safer which is what investing in our roads is all about," he said.

"This is a significant investment in tackling congestion hotspots that are costing people precious time and losing businesses money. We can make these investments in improving our roads because of this Government's sound economic management."

A site is yet to be chosen for the crossing. That is likely to follow consultation with the community.

News of the funding commitment was eagerly celebrated by Liberal Party candidate for the Federal seat of Macquarie, Sarah Richards.

"As someone who crosses that bridge [at North Richmond] daily and has been stuck in that traffic, I understand why [the funding] was needed and I knew it wasn't going to be cheap, so I am pleased to see the Federal Government has said 'we will allocate $200 million out of the budget to fund that third river crossing," she said.

"The project management and the budget will be up to the State Government. The State Government and RMS are currently doing community consultation, doing a business case, using the money that was announced by the Treasurer in last year's State Budget. They've already been meeting with stakeholders.

"The bottom line moving forwards comes down to funding. It's funding towards what the state will manage.

"The biggest thing moving forwards with any project is community consultation. We learnt that the hard way last year. There is a number of stakeholders being engaged. There is no location at this point and it would be silly to say where it's going to be without going through that process of community consultation.

"The community has said in the past they don't want the government deciding for them without consultation."

Ms Richards said the crossing was needed now.

"The fact that $200 million is now sitting there ready to go towards it is an absolute win for the Hawkesbury," she said. "A third crossing is something all sectors of the community, all parties of politics, have been waiting for for decades. Today that money is there."

Sitting Macquarie MP, Labor's Susan Templeman said that her party would also fund the third crossing.

"This is something I've been pushing for even before I got into Parliament," she said. "It's a great win for our community to see they've [the Liberal government] finally decided to take notice of the issue.

"The key is that what happens from here is really important. If I'm elected and Labor is, we will ensure this bridge is built with genuine input from the community to meet their needs.

"I'll also be fighting to see they have a genuine process for land acquisition and a real consultation with the community to see what the impacts are.

"To have the issue recognised finally by the Liberals is a win for every community member who has talked to me, every letter, every Facebook message, that has helped demonstrate why an extra crossing is so important after all this time."

Speaking with the Gazette on Monday, Ms Templeman said she was keen to see the full details of the pledge.

"Unlike what they've done in other projects, it has to be a really genuine process and people have to be heard," she said.

"I'm very pleased to see Labor will also step up to help deliver this process. I will have no qualms with holding the State government to account to make sure the community's voice is heard right through this process."

Ms Richards said that the new crossing would deliver economic benefits.

"This project will support approximately 1200 direct and indirect jobs during construction," she said. "This kind of investment can only happen because the Morrison Government is delivering a stronger economy."

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