Budget will build better roads, says Mitchell MP

Alex Hawke.

Alex Hawke.

Mitchell MP Alex Hawke (pictured) said this was the largest roads budget in Australia’s history and would help families across Australia spend less time in traffic.

‘‘The big ticket items from the government’s perspectives are the infrastructure spend in Sydney, which means roads,’’ he said.

‘‘You’ve got the WestConnex [motorway] for which construction will commence next year.’’

When complete, it will link Sydney’s west and south-west with the CBD, Sydney Airport and Port Botany.

‘‘We’ve announced we’ll federally fund, with the state, the M2/F3 Tunnel,’’ Mr Hawke said.

‘‘Also there’s the Black Spot [Program] roads funding; that’s been increased.

‘‘That will improve a lot of local roads and intersection.’’

Black spot programs target road locations where crashes occur.

Councils can seek funding for treatment of black spots from either the Federal government’s Nation Building black spot program or the NSW government’s black spot program.

“This record roads budget will, in part, be funded by the change in fuel excise,’’ Mr Hawke said.

‘‘The change will cost about 40 cents a week, depending how far you travel. ‘‘The increase in fuel excise will be directed towards road funding.

‘‘In NSW we’re spending $15 billion on major projects and about $3.5 billion of that is in western Sydney.

‘‘This budget is obviously a tougher one; everyone is paying more, and making a sacrifice.

‘‘There are no traditional winners.

‘‘The winners are, collectively, western Sydney because we are getting real infrastructure.

‘‘You’ll see that on the ground.

‘‘I think the link under Parramatta Road will be a big deal; we all get dumped at Strathfield when you get off the freeway and you have to fight your way to the city.

‘‘There’s going to be a big change there.

‘‘In the education system, we’re deregulating tertiary fees; that allows for more competition and for unis and TAFEs to set fees.

‘‘For the first time ever the Commonwealth is going to provide direct financial support to all students studying higher education diplomas, associate diplomas and degrees.

‘‘We’re starting a Commonwealth scholarship scheme for students from disadvantaged backgrounds — that was one of the key reforms.

‘‘We want to get them into either training or the workforce and off NewStart benefits.

‘‘And we’ve still got our [North West] Rail Link project that’s being built.

‘‘But the roads will now be considerably better in and out of our area.’’

MORE ON THIS TOPIC: Click here for more of Mr Hawke's thoughts on the Budget.

The Budget includes:

■ $50 billion in transport investment by 2019-20;

■ Creating the world’s biggest medical research endowment fund — the $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund;

■ Requiring young people who can work to be earning, learning or participating in Work for the Dole;

■ Businesses will receive up to $10,000 for employing workers older than 50;

■ Funding for additional road infrastructure by reintroducing twice-yearly indexation of fuel to CPI from August 1, 2014;

■ Providing Australian universities with the freedom to innovate through full deregulation;

■ Reforming the age pension to make it more sustainable by gradually increasing the pension age to 70 by July 2035;

■ Freezing politicians’ pay and ending the lifetime gold pass;

■ Changing family payments to target support to those who need it most; and 

■ A three-year Temporary Budget Repair Levy — payable, from July by individuals with a taxable income above $180,000 at a rate of two per cent.

Have your say by commenting on this online story or join the conversation on our Facebook page.

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop