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Ian Smith

Ian Smith

Director, NSW Office of Regional Economic Development

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NSW: in a state of development

NSW: in a state of development

Image credit: Jeremy Piper Photography

In 2018, the construction and infrastructure sector in Regional NSW generated A$14 billion for the state economy. In 2016, 116,080 people were employed in the sector.

As a developed modern economy, NSW has a substantial portfolio of infrastructure assets and a strong pipeline of future projects. The NSW Government is collaborating with industry to deliver a large and sustainable program of both economic and social infrastructure. A sizeable component of this will be contracted to the private sector. 

NSW has been a world leader in public-private partnerships (PPPs) since the delivery of the Sydney Harbour Tunnel in 1992, the first ever PPP. The government is actively involved in establishing PPPs for major infrastructure developments and is working with industry to further modernise the sector.

Infrastructure-related construction in NSW is experiencing major growth as a result of the government's spending program, which will exceed A$93 billion in the four years to 2019-20. The program drives economic growth throughout NSW by alleviating congestion and improving the quality of essential services.

Government support for Regional NSW's construction and infrastructure sector

The $4.2 billion Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to invest in major and transformative infrastructure across Regional NSW. The Fund will help to deliver the critical infrastructure and priority initiatives identified in the 20 Year Economic Vision for Regional NSW, across five focus areas, including:

  • Improved Water Security
  • Rail and Road Transport Connections
  • Freight Linkages
  • Digital Connectivity
  • Special Activation Precincts.

The NSW Government is investing A$1.7 billion in a Regional Growth Fund. This investment in regional infrastructure will support growing regional centres, activate local economies and improve services.

Program Description Funding
Growing Local Economies Investment for enabling infrastructure needed to support job creation and economic growth across Regional NSW. A$500 million
Regional Growth - Environment Tourism Fund Investment in infrastructure to increase tourist visitation to Regional NSW and create jobs. A$300 million
Stronger Country Communities Fund Investment to support councils and community groups to delivery crucial local infrastructure to improve quality of life across Regional NSW. A$400 million
Regional Sports and Cultural Fund Investment to support sports and cultural infrastructure. A$200 million
Connecting Country Communities Investment in communications infrastructure and delivery of improved regional voice and data connectivity. A$50 million
Regional Communities Development Fund Investment to support growing regional centres, activate local economies and improve services. A$100 million
Resources for Regions Investment in improved local infrastructure for mining-related communities to enhance economic growth and productivity in Regional NSW. A$295 million (since inception)

Since 2011, the Government has invested A$33.2 million in the Restart NSW Fund in high priority infrastructure projects across the State.

Programs in Regional New South Wales include:
Program Description Restart NSW at June 2019
Fixing Country Roads Improves regional roads managed by local governments in country areas and connections to key freight hubs such as silos, saleyards, industrial parks and distribution centres. A$543 million
Fixing Country Rail Relieves bottlenecks by upgrading parts of the regional rail network constraining efficient freight movement. A$400 million
Fixing Country Bridges Improves road freight productivity by replacing or upgrading bridges in Regional NSW. A$500 million
Safe and Secure Water Securing water supply and sewerage services for Regional NSW communities. A$1 billion

Source: Infrastructure NSW, Restart NSW - Regional Recommendations, December 2018

Value of work yet to be done as at March 2019
Yet to be done (NSW) Mar-19 Proportion
Roads, highways and subdivision A$12.4 billion 60%
Bridges, railways and harbours A$4.18 billion 23.2%
Electricity generation, transmission A$1.4 billion 6.7%
Water storage and supply, sewer A$0.8 billion 3.6%
Telecommunications A$0.1 billion 0.3%
Heavy industry A$1.0 billion 4.9%
Recreation and other A$0.2 billion 1.3%
Total A$20.08 billion 100%

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics 2019, Engineering Construction Activity, Australia, March 2019, Cat.No. 8762.0.

For more details, visit the assistance page.

Major construction and infrastructure companies that have already chosen Regional NSW

Get in touch

Ian Smith

Director, NSW Office of Regional Economic Development
Office contacts
Suite 1, Level 1
47-59 Wingewarra Street
DUBBO NSW 2830
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