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NSW Premier pours billions into three Sydney motorways

Aerial view of new Westlink M7 orbital motorway at junction with M4 at Eastern Creek in Sydney.
Aerial view of new Westlink M7 orbital motorway at junction with M4 at Eastern Creek in Sydney.

THE Berejiklian government will commit to three new major motorways for Sydney in the state Budget next week with almost $40 million in planning money for links to alleviate growing gridlock on the way to the city's southern and booming western fringes.

The planning funds will be directed to the M6 in the south, the M9 Outer Orbital and the M12 - the eventual link road between the M7 and Badgerys Creek Airport.

In all, there will be a $1 billion package for Western Sydney roads construction in 2017-18 as well as a whopping $3.3 billion next year for the WestConnex motorway.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian's government will put $2.09 million of planning money towards planning an M9 Outer Orbital, which would run west of the M7 from Box Hill in the north to Macarthur in the south.

There will also be $21 million in planning money for the M12, which is the connection between the Northern Road and the M7. There is a 2020 start date due on that project and completion is expected once the Western Sydney Airport is built in 2025.

There will also be $15 million in planning money for the M6 or F6 - the proposed motorway down through Sutherland and the Shire towards Wollongong - which will provide relief for commuters who now have to negotiate local road networks.

"We want every community to be a vibrant community - and a local roads project can make a world of difference," Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said.

"Our strong financial management means we can fund projects Labor never could with money they would never have.

"Some of these will be the most important links in greater Western Sydney for getting home and doing business.

"There will be some exciting times in the 12 months ahead with projects not even on the drawing board in NSW a few years ago finally through planning and pre-construction stage and now the major work has the green light in this Budget.

"Others like Smart Motorways have been talked about for years and this year they'll start to go in the ground on the M4, managing the congestion until we finish the fantastic WestConnex project."

There will be $21 million in the Budget for Smart Motorways on the M4 and M1 motorways - a traffic-handling system which improves flows on those motorways.

An upgrade of the Northern Road will have funding for completion of Stage 1 and commencement of construction for Stage 2, with an extra $200 million in 2017-18 for that project.

The Budget also includes construction money to complete Narellan Road, Schofields Road Stage 2, and Bringelly Road between Camden Valley Way and King Street Stage 1.

Traffic gridlock, as seen here on the M4, will be alleviated by the new road projects.
Traffic gridlock, as seen here on the M4, will be alleviated by the new road projects.

There will be construction money to complete smart motorways on the M4 from Reservoir Road to Mamre Road and from Reservoir Road to Pitt Street, as well as money for the Jane Street and Mulgoa Road upgrade and for the second stage of Bringelly Road.

The Budget will also contain $7 million for a replacement Windsor Bridge and pre-construction and planning money for the new M5 ramps and the Pitt Town bypass.

Funding for 2017-18 includes $648 million of the already-announced package for road upgrades to support the Western Sydney airport.

There is also $246 million to reduce congestion and address critical pinch points - including the Smart Motorways program on the M4 - and $153 million for Western Sydney growth roads, which include the Narellan Road and Schofields Road upgrades.

There will also be $20 million to continue construction of the shared pedestrian and cyclist bridge over Nepean River at Penrith, $11 million for Riverstone traffic improvement and $4.5 million to widen Campbelltown's Appin Road.

State Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and Premier Gladys Berejiklian.
State Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and Premier Gladys Berejiklian. Jonathan Ng

The government believes it needs to get moving on Western Sydney roads infrastructure, saying more than half of all new jobs in Sydney will be in the boom region by 2031.

The area is also critical to Gladys Berejiklian's re-election prospects in 2019.

There had been hopes after the multibillion-dollar electricity privatisation bonanza and increased proceeds from the Land and Property Information Service sale that the government could commit funds to the construction of an F6 or M6 in next Tuesday's Budget.

But it is understood the government wants to do more planning work to establish the best route for such a motorway first.

Roads Minister Melinda Pavey said: "This massive investment of $1 billion on roads in this region will enable us to deliver new roads and complete upgrades to critical connections."

Topics:  new south wales politics

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