Too often the focus for infrastructure investments in NSW has been on developing north-south corridors to move people and produce to the markets, including to the Sydney air and sea ports for distribution interstate and overseas.
80 per cent of the state’s produce comes from west of the Great Dividing Range, yet the transport corridors linking western NSW to ports in Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong act as a significant barrier to growth.
NSW Farmers is calling for a commitment on a sub-three hour journey between Orange and Western Sydney, with $2.5 million funding to investigate ways to achieve this.
Infrastructure delivery must also be a catalyst for broader regional development. That’s why NSW Farmers is calling for $8 billion from the sale of the Snowy Hydro project to fund regional development – roads, rail and air, digital infrastructure, education and connected health services that will ensure a lasting legacy of fit-for-purpose infrastructure for the 21st century.
The building of schools and hospitals are vital for the health and wellbeing of rural areas. Equally important is the delivery of place based services, including tele-health and online education, to ensure the health and wellbeing of regional residents is equivalent to those in cities.
To ensure no one is left behind, NSW Farmers is calling for the state government, together with the Australian Government, to redouble its commitment to upgrade access to telecommunications, data and voice services in rural and regional NSW.
Technology based connectivity is not a luxury, it’s an essential business tool. For primary producers to produce high quality product with global market demand, it must be reliable and available to all.
On February 13, NSW Farmers will host a Q&A forum with government and opposition to discuss key infrastructure and telecommunications issues. To register call 1300 794 000.