NSW eyes record $107b infrastructure spend

Luke Costin
·2-min read

More than 70 per cent of NSW's record $107.1 billion infrastructure budget will go to road and rail projects, including two new Sydney metro trains and major highway upgrades.

Record-low interest rates offer a chance for the state to borrow big and build something for the future, NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet says.

"The scale of our infrastructure pipeline is unprecedented, supporting tens of thousands of jobs each year," he told parliament on Tuesday.

"This state-building pipeline will drive our recovery and strengthen our state, so we can stand tall today and lift future generations even higher."

The Sydney Metro West line, creating a second rail line between the Parramatta and Sydney CBDs, has been priced at $10.4 billion over four years.

Another metro line, to Western Sydney Airport, will set taxpayers back $9.2 billion in the next four years.

Meanwhile, the Sydney Gateway delivering drivers from the West Connex to Sydney Airport will cost $2.2 billion over the forward estimate.

Some $1.6 billion will be spent to deliver the new intercity fleet of trains, providing more services to regional cities.

More than $850 million will be outlaid over four years on the Newcastle Inner City bypass and extending the Pacific Motorway to Raymond Terrace.

A further $20.1 million in 2020/21, totalling $671.1 million by 2023/24 will go to upgrades of the Princes Highway between Nowra and the Victorian border.

Some $122.6 million over four years has been budgeted for upgrades to the Pacific Highway and other major roads on the Central Coast.

Stage 1 of the Parramatta Light Rail project is still estimated to cost $2.4 billion by the time it's completed in late 2023 but Stage 2 has been ditched.

More than $100 million will be spent replacing lights in schools with LEDs while planning will begin on new high schools in Sydney Olympic Park, Tallawong and Glenmore Park.

The state's poorest will also benefit from a $812 million spend on new and improved social housing - of which $113.9 million will invested in the next two years.

State-funded capital expenditure will reach $19.7 billion in 2020/21, hitting $83.2 billion over four years.

Commonwealth grants ($10.5b) and public corporations ($13.4b) will supply the rest.

The packages should include job guarantees and using procurement power to create manufacturing jobs downstream, Opposition Leader Jodi McKay said.

She's also concerned the projects are funded by more than just loans at low interest rates.

"Why are we looking to privatisation in a very weakened market?" she asked reporters on Tuesday.