In nine months, in the midst of uncertain economic times, our Coalition government will ask voters to put their trust in us once again and re-elect a Liberal Nationals government for a fourth term.
This is an incredible ask.
Never in history has the Coalition governed for 16 years in NSW.
Then again, never in history has NSW experienced such growth and prosperity.
We have the lowest unemployment rate on RECORD – 3.5 per cent. We are delivering a RECORD $110 billion infrastructure pipeline. We are investing a RECORD $14.5 billion into regional roads and transport.
We have achieved these results despite the harsh impacts felt by the worst drought in recorded history, the most catastrophic bushfires in our State’s history, the worst floods seen in decades and the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Our sound economic management allowed us to take the necessary steps during these unprecedented times to keep people safe, and keep households and businesses afloat.
The recent floods wreaked havoc across NSW, causing 167 landslips that impacted roads across the network. The damage caused is in excess of $1.4 billion across state roads, local and regional roads and the regional rail network. Transport for NSW teams have gone above and beyond to quickly reopen impacted parts of our network. The NSW Government also fast tracked $46 million in funding to help councils kick start urgent repairs and restore access to local communities without worrying about funds or the claims process. This was on top of the specialised unit in Transport that has been working with local councils to ensure we are supporting recovery efforts every step of the way.
We announced a $312.5 million Regional Roads and Transport Recovery Package, in partnership with the Commonwealth Government, to help our regional communities get back on their feet and repair flood damaged infrastructure to better withstand the impacts of future natural disasters. This type of funding is the first of its kind. Recovery packages from the Commonwealth government usually only offer funding on a like-for-like basis. This new Fund allows us to build back better, so that damaged infrastructure is stronger and able to withstand future natural disasters.
Our party is truly a grassroots party that encourages all members to be active and engaged. This is the heart of our party, first and foremost. This allows us to represent diverse communities across the whole State, and in partnership with the Liberal party, we can truly govern for all.
When policies are too focused on the city, the Nationals will quickly ask “what’s in it for the bush?”
Former Labor governments ignored regional NSW. They had no plans for us in the bush and they still don’t. It is our job to remind voters of this, especially when voters who believe they will get a better result with Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party (SFF) or even teal-independents.
The only time the bush has a voice at the Cabinet table is when the Liberal and Nationals are in power.
That’s why our party is the only true voice for regional NSW. We value strong economic management because it allows us to build what matters to make everyday life easier and secures a brighter future for our state.
As Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, I feel it is our government’s responsibility to the next generation to complete major infrastructure projects currently underway and plan for the next wave of transformation.
Projects that will transform regional NSW include:
- the Great Western Highway upgrade, including a 34km duplication and an 11-kilometre tunnel, the longest road tunnel in Australia;
- $1.7 billion upgrade to the Newell Highway – NSW’s longest highway and the economic backbone of the state;
- the Coffs Harbour bypass that will divert 12,000 vehicles from passing through the centre of the town making life easier for people living and working there;
- Muswellbrook and Singleton Bypasses;
- $40 million to make roads safer around regional schools;
- $640 million to make regional and country roads safer through our Saving Lives on Country Roads program; and
- $1 billion combined for our Fixing Local Roads and Fixing Country Bridges program.
That’s just to list a few.
We’ve delivered legacy projects that make life easier for our communities and we will continue to deliver legacy projects to make regional NSW the best place to live, work, do business and raise a family for generations to come.
Labor left us with a $30 billion infrastructure backlog. We have turned this around and are delivering a record $110 billion infrastructure pipeline.
That’s why the choice at the election is simple.
It’s a choice between a government who got regional NSW working again and has a plan to secure a brighter future for our state or a long-term Labor opposition who still has no plan and no vision for regional NSW.
Not only is the choice simple… the choice is clear.