‘Use it or lose it’: Government lays down law to states
State and territory governments will need to prove they can get money out the door to access their share of $2 billion in federal money to deliver shovel-ready road safety measures over the next two years.
The money will be used to deliver projects like wire-rope barriers to prevent vehicles veering off the road and rumble strips alerting drivers when they are moving out of their lane, but funding will be provided on a "use it or lose it" basis.
State and territories will be tasked with identifying projects like road widening, centre lines and barriers that can be delivered quickly to produce a short term economic stimulus.
If NSW spends its allocation and other states fail to do so, we will be able to cash in on their leftover money and build more for ourselves.
Federal government funding will be delivered in three six-month tranches. Funding for each instalment will be contingent on successful delivery.
"If a state drags its feet, another state will get the money," Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said last night.
The budget brings forward $2.7 billion for transport projects for NSW to kickstart economic activity.
The projects include $603 million for the New England Highway, $592 million for the Newell Highway Upgrade, and $491 million for the Coffs Harbour Bypass.
City commuters will benefit from $60 million of federal funding used for an M1 upgrade between ANZAC Bridge and the Warringah Freeway, and $94 million to upgrade Heathcote Road.
As The Daily Telegraph revealed this week, there is also $15 million allocated to "planning" for a faster rail link between Sydney and Newcastle.
Nationally, the federal government will also provide $1 billion over two years to deliver "social infrastructure" and improve local roads.
Despite NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance previously saying he wants the federal government to chip in to help fund the Western Harbour Tunnel, that project was not identified on the list of projects set for commonwealth funding.
Originally published as 'Use it or lose it': Government lays down law to states