The NSW Government has committed $1.18 billion to continue its support for delivering homes and jobs near new roads and transport infrastructure. This allocation has been made in the budget by the NSW Liberals and Nationals Government to the Planning and Environment cluster, and includes $288 million for the Department of Planning & Environment to support housing and jobs growth, particularly in Western Sydney.
A major highlight of the 2014 budget is the introduction of a new map-based online tool that allows the community to immediately locate all infrastructure projects contained in Budget Paper Number 4 (Infrastructure Statement).
Developed jointly by the Department of Planning & Environment and NSW Treasury, the Mapping the Budget website lists various infrastructure development allocations including an additional $83 million for the Housing Acceleration Fund to open up land in south western Sydney and create critical infrastructure; $60 million for councils to deliver essential infrastructure to support new housing development under the Local Infrastructure Growth Scheme; $12 million in grants to local authorities to upgrade local infrastructure and create high quality urban environments within nominated Urban Activation Precincts (UAPs); $22 million of capital funding to roll out ePlanning online portal, a digital platform for planning across the State; and $43 million provided through the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority (SHFA) towards the development of the new Sydney International Convention, Exhibition and Entertainment Precinct.
Additionally, $166 million has been provided in 2014-15 as a continued commitment to deliver the key infrastructure upgrades necessary to support growing communities in Western Sydney and other areas.
The NSW Government’s investment in ‘big ticket’ infrastructure for Western Sydney such as the $8.3 billion North West Rail Link and the $12 billion WestConnex motorway, is being supported by upgrades or construction of regional roads and water projects in the region, as well as in the Illawarra, inner Sydney, the Central Coast and the Mid-North Coast.
Funded through the Housing Acceleration Fund, these projects are absolutely needed to ensure the success of new housing and employment lands by delivering essential roads and water projects.
Local communities can, this year onwards be the decision-makers with respect to which local infrastructure projects will be funded as part of future Urban Activation Precincts. Local communities will be asked to nominate the projects they want to see in their local area.
The budget has also allocated $8.5 million to enable the Planning Assessment Commission and the Joint Regional Planning Panels to continue to deliver robust and independent assessments for State and regionally significant developments so that planning decisions are made transparently and with full community involvement.
The Mapping the Budget website can be found at www.planning.nsw.gov.au/myinfrastructure.