Home' Open Road NSW Central Coast and Hunter : OR0717 Contents NRMA
OPEN ROAD 7
May’s Federal Budget delivered an essential focus on improved
transport for regional communities. This included $10 billion
for a National Rail program and a $472 million Regional Growth
Fund to support infrastructure and investments.
The Government also announced $7.2 million to help
upgrade Ryans Road at Umina Beach, Oceano Street at
Copacabana and the intersection of Langford Drive and Woy
Woy Road at Kariong, which will make a huge difference to
Central Coast motorists.
Having experienced the poor internet access on train trips in
the region, the Government’s decision to spend $12 million
over three years to improve online connectivity between
Hornsby and Wyong train stations is welcome news.
I was also pleased to see $200 million available in 2017-18 to
develop business cases for faster rail connections between
cities and regional centres. This is an opportunity to improve
connections between the Hunter, Central Coast and Sydney.
While Hunter residents welcomed an earlier announcement
of funding for the Scone Bypass, other key projects such as the
Muswellbrook and Singleton bypasses and the Lake Macquarie
Transport Interchange, were overlooked.
The next phase of the interchange, with its clear benefits for
the region, strong community support and relatively modest
cost, remains shovel-ready but unfunded.
I recently spoke at a Property Council event in Newcastle to
promote the NRMA’s support for Lake Macquarie Council,
which is approaching the NSW and Australian Governments for
a partnership to fund and build this important development.
Fast-tracking the Lake Macquarie Integrated Transport
Centre at Glendale would encourage public transport use,
reduce car dependency and provide economic and community
benefit to the Lower Hunter. As your local NRMA Director, I will
continue to fight for the project, promoting the interchange’s
benefits to the Federal and NSW Governments.
RAIL THE BIG BENEFICIARY IN FEDERAL BUDGET
KYLE LOADES Chairman & Director
NSW Central Coast & Hunter (Keele Region)
The hidden costs of serious crashes
Funding for road
upgrades is an
investment in our
says Kyle Loades
THE LATEST edition of the
NRMA’s Cost of Crashes report
makes sobering reading for road
users across NSW.
Between 2011 and 2015, car-
related fatalities and casualties
cost the NSW economy $35.7
billion. That is an extraordinary
figure, especially when you
consider that it represents an
eight per cent drop compared to
the previous report in 2012 and
was driven by a 20 per cent
decrease in the number of lives
lost on the state’s roads.
But the worst news is that over
the same period, serious injuries
increased 4.6 per cent to 61,130, at
a total cost to the community of
almost $18 billion.
The human toll is obviously of
greater concern than the financial
impact, but both factors are
critical for our future wellbeing.
While the number of lives lost
across all areas of NSW fell, the
Cost of Crashes report found that
in key geographical areas there
were increases in serious injuries.
Sydney’s west recorded a 23 per
cent increase that cost $2.25
billion, Sydney’s north saw a 14 per
cent increase that added up to
$852 million, and far western NSW
experienced a nine per cent
increase at a cost of $38 million.
To help reverse this trend, the
NRMA and its sister clubs across
the nation have called on the
Australian Government to fund a
number of important programs in
the Federal Budget.
Key demands include funding for
Sydney motorways, including
SouthConnex and the Northern
Beaches Transport Corridor,
increased funding for the
Blackspot program, and upgrades
to regional highways and public
transport across NSW and the ACT.
The report did find the number
of lives lost on the Princes, Pacific,
Newell, Hume and Sturt highways
from 2011-2015 had decreased by
one-third compared to 2006-2010.
But with the NSW road toll
increasing over consecutive years,
the need for more action and
investment is greater than ever.
Serious injuries from
car crashes cost NSW
almost $18 billion.
19/6/17 3:39 pm
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