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Australian News Update 22nd May 2019

Posted by: Paul Harris
Industry News

Sydney to spend $200 million on community infrastructure

The City of Sydney will spend a significant portion of their 10-year $1.6 billion capital works budget in the next financial year on a series of infrastructure projects to benefit the community.

$200m has been earmarked for the 2019/20 capital works program in the city with $103.9m to be used for major projects, $36m for extensive asset enhancements and $56.5m for rolling capital renewal programs.

The funds will cover major infrastructure projects in the fast-growing Green Square neighbourhood, and improvement of parks and open spaces as well as environmental performance in City properties and facilities.

Major projects for the upcoming financial year include: large-scale urban renewal of Green Square, including construction of Gunyama Park Aquatic and Recreation Centre, the central park The Drying Green, and major works on the area’s streets ($84.6m); green infrastructure projects, including an energy efficiency program for the City’s major properties, improving energy services at Cook + Philip Aquatic Centre, a water harvesting treatment plant at Sydney Park, and the installation of solar panels on City-owned properties ($9.1m); and development of open spaces and parks, including a $5m boost for a new skate park at Sydney Park ($12.6m).

The City will also spend $3.9m for the Johnstons Creek masterplan, which aims to protect and enhance a harbour foreshore area at Glebe, Annandale and Forest Lodge; and $2.3m for the latest instalment of the City’s contribution to the NSW Government's light rail project.

Lord mayor Clover Moore said that it was imperative to provide the local community with the infrastructure and facilities they needed. “Transforming Sydney’s oldest industrial heartland into a new Green Square town centre is an enormous task, but I’m so proud of the wonderful new library and community and cultural precinct we’ve established, and I look forward to the future aquatic and recreation centre,” Moore said.

The 2019/20 budget is currently on public exhibition until 11 June 2019, after which it will be considered by Council for final adoption. Full story.

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Road & rail sectors calls on Coalition investment

Industry think tank Infrastructure Partnerships Australia has called on the Federal Coalition Government to ensure it keeps to the promises laid out in its 2019 Budget following its election win last week.

The Coalition’s funding package includes national initiatives such as a $2.2 billion road safety package; $4 billion urban congestion fund; $2 billion fast rail plan that includes a high-speed link between Geelong and Melbourne, and several further fast rail business cases in eastern Australia; the Melbourne-to-Brisbane Inland Rail project; and the $5 billion Melbourne Airport Rail Link.

“The 2019 Budget showed that the Coalition Government takes infrastructure seriously, and now that rhetoric needs to convert into action,” the group’s chief executive Adrian Dwye said. “In this new term of parliament there are a number of major issues that will need to be front and centre on the Prime Minister’s infrastructure agenda.”

The Coalition Government has lifted total infrastructure funding to $29.5 billion above forward estimates, and has a long-term plan to raise transport infrastructure investment to $100 billion over the next 10 years.

Dwye  concluded: “Much more will need to be done to ensure that Australia retains its hard-won reputation as a leader and global standard bearer for sound infrastructure policy.” Full story.

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