Premier calls on Gillard to fund WestConnex

NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell has called on the Prime Minister to provide federal funding for the WestConnex motorway project.

 Mr O’Farrell has pledged $1.8 billion to build the new motorway, estimated to cost between $10 and $13 billion, and has asked for the federal government to match the funding.

‘‘WestConnex, together with the North West Rail Link, are the two largest transport infrastructure projects in the country,’’ he said.

“Today I call on Julia Gillard and Anthony Albanese to finally deliver for Sydney and match the NSW government commitment of $1.8 billion for WestConnex.’’

Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said a Coalition government would match the state government’s funding if it won power at the next election.

Mr O’Farrell said about 75 per cent of the cost for building the motorway would need to be funded by tolls. 

‘‘The more federal funding we attract for this project, the lower the toll,’’ he said today.

“The federal government’s own figures show congestion costs NSW around $4 billion per year, more than any other state in Australia.

“Yet Sydney received less than two per cent of federal government funding for urban transport infrastructure.’’

The proposed 33-kilometre WestConnex motorway would link western Sydney with the airport and the Port Botany precinct, and would include the M4 extension and duplication of the M5 East to King Georges Road.

Mr O’Farrell said his government would build the motorway regardless of whether it received federal funding.

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