NRMA welcomes roads and tourism funding boost in NSW budget

NRMA NRMA welcomes roads and tourism funding boost in NSW budget

The NRMA has today welcomed another record $11.2 billion investment in roads and an increased investment in NSW tourism of $193 million from today’s Budget.

The state’s investment in Roads and Maritime Services has increased 15 per cent from $9.7 billion (2015/16), while tourism investment increased 10 per cent to $193 million on last year.

The NRMA welcomed investments in significant road projects that will tackle congestion in Sydney, while improve the safety and efficiency of regional highways. These include:

–       $3.2 billion for funding for WestConnex

–       $463 million for NorthConnex

–       $648 million for roads around the Western Sydney airport

–       $500 million to support local councils in fixing country roads

–       $282 million on crucial roads safety education and enforcement programs; and

–       $264 for Sydney pinch points and to inject smart motorway technology on the M4 Motorway

NRMA Chairman Kyle Loades said the NSW Budget tackled the very issues the NRMA identified as critical in its Budget submission – address congestion in Sydney, invest in the safety and economic improvements of regional roads and funding to support NSW tourism.

“The NRMA today welcomes the Government’s congestion-busting, economic and tourism boosting Budget,” Mr Loades said.

“The Government continues to invest in those critical projects that we know Sydney desperately needs, such as WestConnex and NorthConnex, while planning for the next round of critical missing links in Sydney’s South and Northern Beaches.

“In addition to the commitment to major motorways, the budget also provides continued and muchneeded funding support to local councils to maintain local roads, pinch point funding to address local congestion hotspots across suburban streets and smart technology for the M4.

“Congestion is affecting the quality of life for our Members in Sydney and hurting business – this Budget will help turn this around.”

Regional Highways

For too long regional NSW had missed out on critical road funding, however the NRMA has today welcomed another strong Budget for regional and rural communities in NSW. Key major projects include:

–       $1.5 billion to upgrade of the Pacific Highway, including planning for the Coffs by-pass

–       Almost $790 million to upgrade the Princes Highway

–       $208 million to upgrade regional highways; and

–       $200 million for the Bridges for the Bush program

“Investing in regional highways is fundamental to the growth of this crucial part of our state,” Mr Loades said.

“Improving regional roads will save lives. It will also strengthen the connectivity and quality of life for regional communities, boost the local economy and tourism. This is one of the ways to address the mass urbanisation of Sydney and encourage people to start a life outside our cities.” NSW Tourism

As one of the state’s largest investors in NSW travel and tourism, the NRMA has welcomed the Government’s increase in funding for tourism. Key investments include:

–       $95 million to secure major tourism and entertainment events; and

–       $61 million to support tourism operators

“NSW has so much to offer to both the domestic and international tourism sectors and investing in these remarkable locations ensures the rest of the world can enjoy them as well,” Mr Loades said.

“We welcome the increased investment in tourism and in particular regional tourism – this not only opens up the state to the rest of the world but provides a much-needed boost to local economies – this is a key strategic priority for the NRMA.” Public Transport

The NRMA has also welcomed the significant $12 billion in the state’s public transport system, including:

–       Almost $3 billion for the North-West Rail, city and South-west programs

–       $1.4 billion for Sydney Trains

–       $658 million for new air-conditioned trains

–       $400 million for fixing Country Rail

–       $200 million to improve public transport access for the elderly, parents with prams and people with disabilities; and

–       $25 million to begin planning for the replacement of the XPT regional rail freight

“Tackling Sydney’s congestion and helping people get around more efficiently requires a combination of decent roads and decent public transport and the NRMA are strong supporters of both,” Mr Loades said.

“The NRMA welcomes the continued investment in Sydney’s public transport network because it will help give people choice, reduce congestion on our roads and improve mobility options for the public.

“The NRMA also strongly supports improving regional rail – there is often little choice but to drive for our Members outside Sydney and this must be addressed. In addition, improving regional rail freight is the most effective way to get heavy vehicles off our roads.” General Budget issues

–       $66 million of revenue has been transferred from the Community Road Safety Fund to invest in road safety initiatives

Revenue from fines has increased to $605 million (2015/16: $587 million)

Source = NRMA
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