Last Tuesday, The New South Wales Government unveiled the much-anticipated budget for 2021-2020, the results of which have been welcome news for those within the built environment space as the state continues to build its way out of the pandemic.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet revealed the government’s plan to invest a record $108.5 million towards infrastructure commitments over the next four years, making it clear that infrastructure is a key cornerstone within the state’s COVID-19 recovery strategy. This was supported by statements made by NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance, who described the sector as the “engine room of job creation” with the famous Gateway project (a road project aimed to complete the missing links in Sydney's motorway network) along with an upgrade of the Warringah Freeway estimated to create 4600 jobs alone (Stone, 2021).
The budget revealed that this record $10.8 investment will go towards three key areas:
$71.5 billion will be dedicated to delivering road and rail projects
$8.5 billion will be dedicated to delivering schools and educational facilities
$10.8 billion will be dedicated to hospitals and health spending
Government spending will also be dedicated to future-proofing regional areas ($2.8 billion)and accelerating the roll-out of key digital infrastructure and services across the state ($2.1 billion). We delve into the biggest of these projects- road and rail - and what this increased spending means for future job opportunities below:
Photo credit: John Cowper
Public Transport & Road Projects:
It was announced on Tuesday that the Sydney Metro West project – the underground rail project that will aim to connect Greater Paramatta to the Sydney CBD- has been assigned $12 billion for its construction over the next four years. This project has already been touted as a once-in-a-century infrastructure project and is projected to create about 10,000 direct and 70,000 indirect jobs during its four-year construction.
Meanwhile $1.9 billion in capital expenditure (over the next four years) will be going towards the continued construction of the WestConnex Motorway including the delivery of the final stages of the project, the M4-M5 link tunnels and Rozelle Interchange, which is expected to wrap up in 2023. In total, the project is expected to generate 10,000 indirect and direct jobs approximately, including hundreds of opportunities for apprentices and trainees.
An initial $1.1 billion in capital expenditure ($4.8 billion over four years) will be used to start construction on the Sydney Gateway Project and the M6 Stage 1 extension. As previously mentioned, the Gateway project alone is expected to create 4600 jobs and work will be expected to commence in the next few months.
Finally, the government announced that over the next four years $3.1 billion will be invested into the More Trains, More Services program, a program that focuses on increasing rail services across the state- particularly on the Illawarra, Airport and South Coast lines. The program has already delivered 24 new Waratah Series 2 trains and more than 1700 additional weekly services since 2017, while infrastructure improvements are currently being made across the network to continue modernising the rail network and creating hundreds of new jobs within the rail space (Transport for NSW, 2021).
It will be exciting to see these infrastructure projects unfold over the next four years and the career opportunities they will create for those within the industry. To ensure you can keep on-top of the latest opportunities as these projects roll out, or to reach out to our team of NSW consultants for a confidential chat about the job market generally – especially concerning civil construction and engineering – you can contact us here:
 Stone, C. 2021. Record Transport Investment To Boost Jobs And Drive Certainty For Greater Sydney. Liberal Party- New South Wales. Retrieved from https://nsw.liberal.org.au/Record-transport-investment-to-boost-jobs-and-drive-certainty-for-Greater-Sydney
 Transport For NSW (2021). More Trains, More Services. NSW Government. Retrieved from: https://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/projects/more-trains-more-services