The New South Wales (NSW) treasurer has expressed dismay over the federal government’s decision to cut infrastructure funding for the state, specifically the planned interchange connecting Sydney’s new airport to two motorways. Despite the reduced budget, the interchange project will proceed, with the state coming up $1.4 billion short. The federal infrastructure minister announced that funding for 50 “high-risk” infrastructure projects across the country would be cut, causing an impact in NSW, the most populous state.
The treasurer, Daniel Mookhey, emphasized his disappointment over the reduction of $110 million from the $1.6 billion interchange project. He pointed out that construction was already underway and that the federal government had indicated that projects already under construction would not have funding withdrawn. While he acknowledged that the project needed to be completed, he raised concerns about the federal government making the funding cut despite the project carrying on.
On the other hand, federal Infrastructure Minister Catherine King described the funding as part of an agreement between Transurban and NSW and expressed uncertainty over the specifics. While the federal government had made contributions, it was not a direct contractual party. The NSW government’s share of federal infrastructure spending has seen a decline over the years, with Mookhey noting that NSW previously received 30 cents from every dollar the federal government spent, which has fallen to 23 cents.
State officials expressed concerns about how the funding cut would affect infrastructure projects and residents, with the Opposition critical of the government’s handling of the situation. The state government was urged to find a way to fund the critical projects. This reduction in funding is expected to negatively impact commuters and businesses, causing more congestion and less productivity. These sentiments echoed concerns over the well-being of residents, tourists, and businesses as a result of the funding cut.