Treasurer Perrottet’s State Budget handed down today addresses the growing pains many in the Hunter and Central Coast communities are feeling by investing heavily in long term transport as well as health and education projects.
Property Council of Australia’s Hunter Regional Director, Anita Hugo said commitments to invest in infrastructure that will boost economic activity, drive development and grow job opportunities are welcome news but as a growing region we should always be planning for more.
“It was great to see an allocation of $6.7 million to prepare a final business case over the next two years for Hunter Park. This is an important step to progress the potential of this multi-use precinct in contributing to growth and urban renewal outcomes.
“The Property Council has long advocated for better planning of this space to realise its huge potential in delivering jobs and economic growth alongside exciting urban renewal outcomes.
“The revitalisation of Hunter Park has the potential to deliver more than 30 hectares of upgraded public spaces, leisure, aquatic and entertainment facilities plus new homes.
“Strong funding was committed in the budget to ongoing delivery of health facility projects with $59.1m for the New Maitland Hospital, $34.4m for the John Hunter Health and Innovation Precinct project and car park, $32.9m for the Wyong Hospital redevelopment and $7m for commencement of Muswellbrook Hospital redevelopment Stage 3.
“It was good to see a continued commitment of funding towards major road projects across the region including $28.1 million to continue planning for the Pacific Motorway (M1) extension to Raymond Terrace and Hexham Straight, $29 million to continue planning Stage 5 of the Newcastle Inner City Bypass as well as $25m for local road upgrades and improvements in Dungog Shire
“Water security along with social and affordable housing also rated a mention and we will continue to advocate for these as important priorities.
“While it was encouraging to see $50m for Special Activation Precincts pre-delivery works, shared across Williamtown, Moree and Snowy Mountains, it was disappointing Newcastle Airport’s terminal upgrade didn’t rate a mention. Newcastle Airport is a critical gateway for the Hunter and we call on state government to show their commitment to this important regional asset in securing its enormous international capacity and potential.
“We should be leveraging off current commitments to the Airport to deliver an international gateway that will significantly grow our regional and state economies,” Anita said.
Other regional budget commitments
- $281m to continue delivery of the Mariyung Fleet (New Intercity Fleet), a new, state-of-the-art fleet, that will provide a new level of comfort and convenience, improved accessibility, enhanced safety for customers who travel between Sydney, the Central Coast and Newcastle, the Blue Mountains, and the South Coast
- $28m in Restart funding commitments allocated to Central Coast local authorities for infrastructure building, renewal and upgrades
- $16.1m to complete the new Porters Creek Public School in Warnervale
- $11m to improve sportsground infrastructure across 17 Central Coast sites
- $12.7m to continue planning for new rail alignment to improve travel times between Sydney, Newcastle and Port Macquarie.
- $5.6m to commence works on the Newcastle Education Campus
- $1.9m and $1.6mto commence upgrades and refurbishments at Hunter River High and Irrawang High Schools
- $24.7m for detailed planning and site assessments for a pipeline between Lostock Dam to Glennies Creek Dam
- $3.1m to deliver new and upgraded quality social and affordable housing for aboriginal communities in Blacksmiths, Bolton Point and Wallsend.
- $4.9m for the Madoo Museum Cultural Hub in Cessnock