WSLD welcomes the publication of a 40-year transport infrastructure plan for NSW. The current level of investment in infrastructure in NSW is unprecedented, with $41 billion committed to projects over the next four years, and a long list of unfunded priorities set out beyond the current budget cycle. Sustaining this level of investment for as long as possible will be crucial to locking in future productivity which, in turn enables further infrastructure investment.
However, over 40 years, the State’s budget position and a range of macroeconomic factors will mean that there will be inevitable peaks and troughs in the state’s capacity to deliver major projects. A transparent pipeline of priorities is therefore important to provide clarity on where and when investment capacity will be allocated.
The idea of Future Transport being a “living document” is also strongly supported and recognises that urban growth and the evolution of the way people live and move about Sydney and NSW cannot be predicted over 40 years and priorities will likely change as a result.
Transparency and consultation on any changes to the state’s transport plan are critical to maintain community support and to de-politicise infrastructure priority-setting.
For Western Sydney, the next 20 to 40 years hold a lot of promise and there is widespread support for major projects such as Western Sydney Airport (plus its road and rail links) and the Sydney Metro West. The narrative of growth across the region is clear and Western Sydney now expects the investment in infrastructure – particularly transport infrastructure – to follow.