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Fri February 26 2021

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Sydney declares war on congestion with multi-billion-dollar spend

11 Jun 14 The premier of New South Wales in Australia has announced major projects as a ‘once-in-a-generation’ assault on Sydney's urban congestion.

Funding for the road and rail schemes as well as AU$6bn (£3.3bn) of other infrastructure upgrades will come from the AU$20bn (£11bn) that will be raised by leasing the state's electricity business.

"Today we are announcing an exciting new project – a new rapid transit rail network, including a second Harbour rail crossing and Western Extension – that will unblock a major train bottleneck and transform this city,” premier Mike Baird said. “And for our long-suffering motorists, we are announcing two extensions to WestConnex that will, for the first time, provide an uninterrupted motorway corridor from Sydney’s south to the ANZAC Bridge, CBD at Darling Harbour and Sydney’s north.”

The projects will be made possible by the long-term lease of the State’s electricity distribution and transmission businesses. "The expected AU$20bn in proceeds will be recycled to turbocharge the delivery of key infrastructure projects like these that would otherwise be decades away," said Baird. The investment will also include AU$6bn in regional spending on roads, water, schools and hospitals.

The 30km Sydney Rapid Transit (SRT) will extend the North West Rail Link, delivering a new rapid transit rail line under Sydney Harbour, through the CBD and on to Bankstown.

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A second Harbour rail crossing was the next major rail project identified in the NSW Government’s Sydney’s Rail Future plan after the North West and South West Rail Links – both of which are now under construction.

Baird said SRT will deliver three new central business district underground stations, 60% more trains in the peak across the entire rail network and cater for an extra 100,000 people per hour.

The NSW Government is today also directing the WestConnex Delivery Authority to bring forward a business case to add two new WestConnex extensions. Baird said the two WestConnex extensions would provide a genuine north to south corridor, benefiting residents in southern and northern Sydney, while also addressing key congestion pinch points.

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