11 May 2016
A Shorten Labor Government will deliver $13 million to keep work going on the region’s most strategically important infrastructure project, the Glendale Interchange.
Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese, joined Labor MPs and candidates today to announce the funding, which would support completion of the first stage including the Pennant Street Bridge.
Work is currently underway on the first section of roadworks, including the extension of Stockland and Glendale Drives, but there is no funding in place to continue to the critical second section to construct the Pennant Street Bridge over the rail line in Cardiff.
“Labor has consistently backed the Glendale Interchange project, we see the value it will bring to this region,” Mr Albanese said.
“When I was the Infrastructure Minister, over $13 million was allocated to this project through several rounds of the Regional Development Australia Fund. The Abbott Turnbull Government scrapped this fund and cut over a million dollars from the Glendale Interchange in the process. It also refused to allocate any funds through its own infrastructure program, despite numerous applications by Lake Macquarie City Council.
“Labor puts the money where our mouth is when it comes to infrastructure funding.”
Charlton MP and Labor candidate for Shortland, Pat Conroy, said it was important to keep momentum going on the project.
“The first stage has been split in two, and while it’s exciting to see the roadworks on Stockland and Glendale Drives coming together, we know that the real benefits lie in linking Cardiff and Glendale with the bridge over the rail line at Pennant Street,” Mr Conroy said.
“It would be such a shame to see the contractors pack up and leave because funding wasn’t in place to keep going. Ultimately it will cost more to bring them back.”
Hunter MP Joel Fitzgibbon said the NSW Government had to make its support known.
“The State Government needs to make a commitment on funding as well. Lake Macquarie Council is putting $6 million on the table and a Shorten Labor Government will commit $13 million. There needs to be full commitment from each level of government for this project to come to fruition,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.
“Our 11 local councils in the region have collectively nominated this project as a priority and we know that there are economic benefits for Glendale and Cardiff. This is an area that will provide crucial connectivity for mining and energy businesses situated between the Upper Hunter and the Port of Newcastle. There is enormous potential for retail and commercial business as well, and of course this area is earmarked for significant housing growth.”
Newcastle MP 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.
"Our region is currently benefitting from a number of major projects funded by the former Labor Government, like the duplication of the Tourle Street Bridge and the new University of Newcastle City Campus. The Glendale Interchange project will build on Labor's strong foundation of investment into our region."
The former Labor Government delivered $13.7 million to support construction of Stage 1, Section 1 of the Glendale Interchange through the Regional Development Australia Fund (RDAF).
The Abbott-Turnbull Government cancelled Round 5 of the RDAF and cut $1.2 million of this funding. The Abbott Turnbull Government has also twice rejected applications from Lake Macquarie City Council under its own Stronger Regions Fund.
The total cost of Stage 1, Section 2 is estimated at $32 million. A Shorten Labor Government will commit $13 million, which would be added to the Lake Macquarie City Council allocation of $6 million.
Stage 1 of the Glendale Interchange is vital to unlock the economic potential of the Cardiff and Glendale area. Independent economic modelling shows:
- Development of the Knoll Group, Pasminco and Stockland sites would
- Generate $1.225 billion of investment in construction activity.
- Create an additional 10,092 full time jobs in the commercial (6,983) retail (1,750) and industrial (1,080) sectors.
- Create a $780 million increase in regional income to Lake Macquarie and the Lower Hunter (to 2027).
- Construction of an additional 5,000 residential dwellings over the next 25 years as outlined in the Glendale Regional Centre Master Plan (2010) would generate $168 million investment in the regional economy and create 1,084 full time jobs.
- An additional six mixed-use precincts would create up to $440 million in construction activity and 2,845 full time equivalent jobs.
Every dollar invested by a Shorten Labor Government in Stage 1 of the Glendale Interchange would leverage a further $94.23 in private sector investment. Without this investment and completion of Stage 1 of the Glendale Interchange, the potential for 14,021 jobs in the region is at risk.