Home' Future Building: The Australian Infrastructure Review : Volume 8 Number 1 Contents futurebuilding
New South Wales Treasurer
Health and Education Precinct or to watch a sporting match at
a world-class stadium in Sydney’s east.
From there, you can head south from Port Botany to
major centres, like Wollongong and beyond, using upgraded
motorways, creating a better connection between Sydney and
the South Coast.
This is but a glimpse of New South Wales beyond 2025
a modern, global and connected state. A state with three
separate, yet equally important cities: an eastern city, Sydney; a
central city, Parramatta; and a western city, around the Western
Sydney Airport. They will all be connected to each other, and to
our regional economic centres. Each area will have world-class
transport, schools and hospitals – the foundations required for
people to thrive.
This is the future that we are constructing today. This vision
of New South Wales beyond 2025 is something we have long
aspired to achieve; but for many years, it remained words
trapped on a piece of paper.
While services and infrastructure were under increasing
pressure as our population grew, state budgets were too tight
and stretched to cope. Previous administrations had no way of
solving this problem without raising taxes or increasing debt –
the result was that many did not act at all.
The previous state government, with the best intentions
in the world, released transport plan after transport plan, but
it could never deploy the financial firepower needed – this
resulted in their projects remaining stuck on the drawing board.
Something had to change – a new approach was needed.
In 2011, we decided not to simply tax and spend, borrow
more money or kick the can down the road for future generations.
We realised that we, as governments have to use our resources
and capital more intelligently in order to make the most of what
we already have.
Asset recycling is the answer to the dilemma that plagues
every government. This means divesting old assets and then
reinvesting that money into newer assets that work.
This approach has secured New South Wales $20 billion
to help to rebuild the state through the electricity network
transactions. Instead of owning a power pole outside your
house, you can have a new school or hospital around the corner.
It has allowed us to divest old and expensive social housing
stock, freeing up capital to build three times as many houses
WestConnex. Source: Sydney Motorway Corporation
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