A Shorten Labor Government would invest $13 million to progress work on the region’s most strategically important infrastructure project – the Glendale Interchange.
This election is a choice between Labor’s plan for better infrastructure investment, or bigger tax loopholes for the top end of town under the Liberals.
Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development Anthony Albanese today joined Member for Shortland Pat Conroy and Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon, as well as Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser to announce the commitment.
The funding would help complete the first stage of the Interchange including the Pennant Street Bridge.
While work has been completed on the first section of roadworks, including the extension of Stockland Drive and Glendale Drive, there is no funding currently available to continue to the critical second section – the Pennant Street Bridge over the rail line in Cardiff.
“Labor has consistently backed the Glendale Interchange because we see the value it will bring to this region,” said Mr Albanese.
“When I was the Infrastructure Minister, I ensured that there was $13 million in the Federal Budget for this project. However, immediately upon their election, the current Liberal-National Government in Canberra scrapped the fund.”
Mr Albanese has also called on the NSW Government to do its share.
“This project has the backing of Federal Labor as well as the Lake Macquarie City Council who will contribute $6 million of the $32 million project. The interchange needs the backing of all levels of government and the Berejiklian Government should match Federal Labor’s commitment,” said Mr Albanese.
Member for Shortland Pat Conroy said it was important to keep momentum going on the project.
“Independent analysis has shown that for every dollar invested in this project by government another $94 of private investment will be unlocked, creating up to 10,000 jobs for our region,” said Mr Conroy.
“I am pleased stage one has begun, but the real benefits lie in linking Cardiff and Glendale with the bridge over the rail line at Pennant Street, and that is what Labor is committing to do.”
Member for Hunter Joel Fitzgibbon said all Hunter councils had identified the project as a priority.
“As well as the obvious benefits for Lake Macquarie, this project provides crucial connectivity for mining and energy businesses from right throughout the region to gain access to the Port of Newcastle,” said Mr Fitzgibbon.
“There is enormous potential for retail and commercial business as well, and this area is earmarked for significant housing growth.”
Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon said Labor’s support for major projects continues to deliver much needed jobs for our region.
“Major infrastructure projects are important enablers of regional economies over time but they also deliver a lot of jobs during the construction phase,” said Ms Claydon.
“Our region benefitted from a number of major projects funded by the former Labor Government. These included the duplication of the Tourle Street Bridge and the new University of Newcastle city campus. The Glendale Interchange project would build on Federal Labor’s strong record of delivering for our region.”
Today’s announcement comes on the heels of yesterday’s commitment that a Shorten Labor Government would partner with the NSW Government to extend the Pacific Highway (M1) from Black Hill to Raymond Terrace.