No clarity on Pacific Highway's chance to benefit from $2b

A WHOPPING $2billion in spare funds is headed for the state's infrastructure piggy bank but the NSW Government is yet to say whether the Pacific Hwy will benefit from the sale of one of its biggest assets.

Come the June State Budget, Restart NSW - the fund controlling the government's infrastructure spend- will be worth more than $6billion thanks largely to the privatisation of the Newcastle Port.

While much of the funds, as the Herald reported, have already been allocated to projects - $403million to the Pacific Hwy - it's understood a left-over $2billion is up for grabs.

Deputy Premier and newly appointed North Coast MP Andrew Stoner confirmed a significant portion of the Restart NSW budget was locked in for regional infrastructure projects but stopped short of saying how much, if any, of the "new" money would go towards the Pacific Hwy upgrades.

There was also no suggestion any of the projects would be fast-tracked, with Mr Stoner still predicting the upgrades would be "completed by the end of the decade".

"Finishing the upgrade of the Pacific Highway has always been a top priority for the NSW Liberal & Nationals Government and that is why we spending more than $2 billion to get the job done," Mr Stoner said

"...The Nationals have secured 30 per cent of all Restart NSW funds for infrastructure projects in regional areas, and any future funding decisions will be made as part of the budget process."

A significant portion of the Restart NSW funds ($1.8billion) has already been committed to Sydney's WestConnex motorway and $170million to the Princes Hwy.


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