What does fast tracking mean for regional projects?

After the announcement of the NSW State Budget last year, the $3 billion Jobs and Infrastructure Acceleration Fund will fast track projects across the state. By fast tracking environmental legislation, the Federal and State Governments hope to aid the economic recovery of the State.

The creation of jobs and the guaranteed movement within the construction industry are the motivating factors for the fund, but what does this mean for regional projects?

Delivering jobs today and benefits tomorrow - that’s the promise of the fund and one that will have a positive impact on Regional Australia. To be eligible for fast tracking, projects must demonstrate an ability to create jobs during and after the completion of construction. Boosting employment was, and remains, critical during the pandemic. Injecting substantial figures into health, education, and transport right across regional NSW, is critical to the economic recovery of the regions in which we live and work. 

Fast tracking has more than halved approval times for projects, ensuring the same stringent checks, balances and community consultation occurs. With approval for projects like the Inland Rail, the fund has provided regional businesses with consistent work throughout both the drought and the pandemic, with benefits having an on flow effect into accommodation providers and hospitality services in the areas work is being undertaken. 

The Fixing Local Roads Program is another shovel ready project being addressed in NSW as a result of the fund. Improving safety and network reliability, the program will see pavement rehabilitation, seal extensions, resurfacing and routine maintenance for NSW roads. This work will provide the regional road network with some much needed urgent attention. 

Fast tracking environmental legislation is a major benefit for regional projects. More often than not, projects of all scales are delayed by the approval process, dragging out the positive impact they are set to make to the economy and local communities. Fast tracking will see regional areas reap the economical benefits of these projects sooner than initially planned for. 

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