Key infrastructure pledges of the 2019 NSW election

Posted by Oliver Hogue on 17/03/2019

Infrastructure promises are playing a major role in the lead-up to the NSW state election on March 23.

From rail to water projects, we break down the biggest infrastructure pledges from both major parties.

Rail

Coalition: Metro West is at the heart of the Coalition’s major rail pledge, with a promise of $6.4 billion over the next four years. Construction will begin in 2020 and by its completion, the project is predicted to cost around $18 billion. In tandem with this construction will be a new $2 billion metro line between St Marys and Western Sydney Airport.

Upgrades are also on the cards, with the Coalition saying 68 more train stations around NSW will be improved. Some of the improvements under the Transport Access program include new ramps, footbridges and lifts.

Labor: Metro West is also in Labor’s sights, with the opposition pledging $8 billion and promising to speed up construction works between Parramatta and the CBD.

The funding for this and other rail projects will be drawn from proposed Coalition projects that Labor has stated it will scrap.

The F6 toll road will also take a back seat, and all funds will be put towards improving the Illawarra line (T4). This includes making preparations for a Thirroul–Waterfall tunnel.

Roads

Coalition: Both the Beaches Link and Western Harbour Tunnel will receive initial funding of $14 billion should the Coalition retain government. In addition, the F6 extension will receive $2.6 billion to complete the route from Arncliffe to Kogarah.

A further $450 billion will be put towards improving congested roads – a plan which has so far received $825 million. There’s also been a promise of several billions of dollars for individual road projects and upgrades across the state.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian spent time in communities on the NSW South Coast during the campaign, and intends to inject $960 million into funding the duplication of Princes Highway sections from Jervis Bay Road to Sussex Inlet Road. Funding for Princes Highway upgrades will reach $2.4 billion if the Coalition is re-elected.

Labor: An additional $1.1 billion will be put towards improving Sydney’s congested roads through the pinch-point program. Labor will also spend $900 million over five years on improving roads in rural NSW.

Labor will drop the Coalition's proposed Western Harbour Tunnel, Beaches Link and F6 Extension projects in order to fund rail infrastructure improvements.

Stadiums

Coalition: The Coalition had initial plans to demolish and replace both the Sydney Football Stadium and Stadium Australia – costing up to $2.5 billion. After some controversy over the project, Premier Berejiklian has announced Stadium Australia will be refurbished instead of rebuilt, reducing total spend by $500 million.

Labor: Labor has no plans to alter Stadium Australia. It says it will make the Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust foot the bill for any refurbishments or redevelopment of the Sydney Football Stadium.

Hospitals

Coaltion: Around $780 million will be invested in the redevelopment of Newcastle’s John Hunter Hospital, while $1.3 billion will be spent on relocating Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital to a new site.

A number of other hospitals will receive funding for improvements and upgrades - The Royal Prince Alfred Hospital ($750 million), Westmead Children's Hospital ($619 million), and both St George and Ryde hospitals ($864 million combined). An additional $428 million will be put towards a new children's cancer centre.

Labor: Looking further afield, Labor will focus on regional hospitals, allocating funds to Goulburn Hospital ($200 million) and Shoalhaven Hospital ($434 million).

In Sydney, Nepean Hospital has been promised $1 billion for redevelopment, while $700 million will be used to build a new hospital in the state capital’s booming north-west region.

Schools

Coalition: Around 170 schools will be built or upgraded should the Coalition win the election, and there are also plans for a new $80 million ‘mega TAFE’ campus in western Sydney. Eight new regional TAFE campuses will also be built, with funds totalling $64 million.

Labor: If Labor wins, it has pledged to build more than 50 new schools, and install air conditioning in every public school in the state.

Regional

After the $4.2 billion sale of NSW’s stake in the Snowy Hydro scheme, both the Coaltion and Labor have promised to spend the entirety of it.

Coalition: $1.4 billion of the funds will be used to boost water security by building or improving dams, weirs and pipelines.

Labor: A $1 billion ‘water fund’ will be put towards building and upgrading regional infrastructure.

Cultural projects

Coalition: Under a Coalition government, Ultimo’s Powerhouse Museum will be moved to Parramatta. The $645 million project is part of a new arts precinct that will be built on the banks of the Parramatta River.

Labor: Labor says it won’t move the Powerhouse from Ultimo, instead pledging $45 million towards it while promising an additional $500 million for a new cultural hub in Parramatta.

There have been plenty of promises made by both parties should they win on March 23. Whatever the outcome when NSW goes to the polls, it looks as though a number of major works will be in the pipeline.

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