Construction on the Sydney Metro is progressing nicely at Castle Hill where the tunnels for the first stage of the project have been completed within budget and 10 months ahead of schedule.
It’s an impressive result that demonstrates our commitment to tackling Sydney’s congestion and improving public transport options for the city’s residents.
This week, I visited the site of what will become the Castle Hill metro station with Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian. We were taken on a tour of the underground station cavity and into the newly completed tunnels and saw for ourselves how far the project had progressed.
It took about 5,000 workers to deliver this new section of world-class railway within budget and almost a year early, and we’re now at the point where railway tracks are ready to be installed and the metro station can be built.
This project will change the way we move around Sydney when it gradually opens from 2019 and has received an additional $12 billion in the NSW Budget.
The money will be delivered over the next four years and means the first two stages of the project, the Sydney Metro Northwest and the Sydney Metro City & Southwest under Sydney Harbour, are now fully funded.
Budget funding for the Sydney Metro Northwest will allow tracks to be laid, eight new stations to be built, procurement of the fully-automated metro trains, and ongoing construction of the 4km skytrain. Funding for the Sydney Metro City & Southwest will allow the tender process for twin tunnels from Chatswood to Sydenham to underway, as well as early construction work next year.
The Budget also includes a record investment into schools, hospitals, transport and roads while also virtually eliminating the State’s debt.
It includes a record $22 billion investment in health in 2016-17, up $1.2 billion since last year and a record $14.3 billion on education, an increase of $1.1 billion.
More than $60 million will go toward continuing the redevelopment of Westmead Hospital while $58 million will continue construction of the Blacktown and Mount Druitt Hospital.
As part of the education budget, we are building more classrooms and three new schools at Parramatta as the state experiences a once in a generation spike in enrolments.
We’re also allocating $16.9 billion to transport and roads projects and services, helping to cut congestion and allow faster travel times so workers can spend more time with their families.
I’m proud to say we have delivered a surplus of $3.7 billion showing that, that after five years of fiscal repair, we now have the strongest Budget and economy in Australia.
This hasn’t happened by accident. Our record infrastructure investment of $73.3 billion over four years is boosting consumer and business confidence and making NSW the number one destination to live, work and do business.