Dec 5, 2016

Coalition inaction on Glendale Interchange is holding back the Hunter

The Federal Government must reverse its continuing refusal to invest in the Glendale Interchange project to boost economic and jobs growth in the Hunter region.

The project would unlock the economic potential of the Cardiff Industrial Estate and Glendale shopping precinct, clearing the way for major new development and job creation.

Independent economic analysis into the project has found every dollar invested in Stage I would leverage $94 of private sector investment, leading to the creation of more than 10,000 jobs.

That is why Hunter Councils, the organisation representing 11 local authorities across the Hunter, has described the Glendale Interchange as the region’s most-significant infrastructure project.

The Federal Labor Government invested $13 million in the Glendale Interchange. Upon coming to office the Coalition government cut $1 million of that funding.

At the last election Labor committed a further $13 million.

It is time for the Coalition government to match this funding commitment and work with the Lake Macquarie City Council and State Government to deliver the project.

As Australia transits out of the investment stage of the mining boom, there is a clear role for government to support infrastructure projects that will lift productivity and set the stage for job creation.

The Glendale Interchange is such a project.

But the Coalition has cut investment in infrastructure, with the Australian Bureau of Statistics reporting that total public sector investment fell by 20 per  cent its first two years in office. And in the 2015-16 financial year the Government invested $5.5 billion on transport infrastructure – $2.5 billion less than it promised in its 2014 Budget.

It is time for the Government to stop talking about investing in infrastructure and actually invest.