Treasurer hands down NSW Budget
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 highlights for our Division include:
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.
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.