The Western Sydney Business Chamber says the NSW Budget continues major investments in transport, arts, education and health infrastructure in Western Sydney.
David Borger, Executive Director of the Western Sydney Business Chamber, said, “This Budget delivers on the Berejiklian Government’s election commitments including Sydney Metro West, Parramatta Light Rail, Powerhouse Museum and major investments in the Liverpool and Westmead health innovation precincts.
“The $6.4 billion over four years included in this Budget to accelerate the construction of the Sydney Metro West is a welcome investment in the most important transport project in the country. However, the Government needs to answer the question where the rest of the funding will be coming from for a project that is estimated to cost up to $25 billion.
“The NSW Government may have to reconsider its position on further asset recycling including the remaining stakes in WestConnex and the state’s electricity network if it is going to be able to be meet the funding shortfall and deliver this much-needed increase in rail capacity by 2028.
“We should also not let the Federal Government off the hook when it comes to Sydney Metro West. We need the Federal Government to make a significant financial commitment to this project as a partner in supporting the growth of Australia’s largest and most economically important city,” Mr Borger said.
“The business community is very supportive of the Government fast-tracking the investigation into future extensions of Metro into Western Sydney. The Government’s commitment to exploring the extension from Bankstown to Liverpool should be followed closely by investigations into the extension of Sydney Metro West to the new airport and the North South Link extensions to Campbelltown and north to Tallawong.
Providing business with greater certainty over the future of Metro rail lines has the potential to unlock billions of dollars in investment that will create more housing and job opportunities in Western Sydney,” Mr Borger said.
“We are pleased funding for Parramatta Light Rail Stage 1 linking Westmead and Carlingford through to the Parramatta CBD is included in the Budget but it is disappointing there is no major investment for stage 2 of the project, which connects Parramatta to Sydney Olympic Park,” he said.
Mr Borger said money allocated towards the relocation of the Powerhouse Museum to Parramatta is a welcome investment in the city’s cultural future but the Government needs to consider additional funding for the redevelopment of Riverside Theatres.”
He said the Government’s commitment to investing in the expansion of Westmead and Liverpool health and innovation precincts would position these hubs as smart job generators.
Mr Borger said investment in education and skills was a great commitment to Western Sydney.
“Government talks about WS being the engine room of the economy and now we finally have an investment in a Western Sydney Start Up Hub to support this.
“The Western Sydney Airport and its surrounds will provide a major jobs hub for the community and it’s good to see $79.6 million for a new Western Sydney Mega TAFE specialising in construction trade built within the aerotropolis.
“It is also good to see investment in two new vocational high schools in Western Sydney.”
Mr Borger said $33.4 million allocated in this Budget to implement the NSW Motorsport Strategy, including $6.4 million for a motorsport Centre for Excellence, $16 million to install permanent lighting at the Sydney Motorsport Park and $11 million to upgrade the Sydney International Dragway would boost and improve the Western Sydney visitor economy.
“This Budget was a missed opportunity for investment in Business Events Western Sydney and a Destination Network for Western Sydney which would have leveraged some of the great visitor infrastructure in the region,” Mr Borger said.