CENTRAL COAST REGIONAL TRANSPORT STRATEGY
The Hon. PENNY SHARPE:
My question is addressed to the Minister for Transport. Will the Minister inform the House about the Central Coast Regional Transport Strategy?
The Hon. JOHN ROBERTSON:
I acknowledge the member's ongoing interest in this matter. The Central Coast is one of fastest growing regions in New South Wales. By 2036 the population on the Central Coast is forecast to grow by 120,000 people, with 45,000 new jobs predicted by 2031. With the growth that is expected over the coming years, an integrated and well-connected transport system is essential for the Central Coast. That is why this Government is investing in transport projects right across the region. I am pleased to inform the House that today the Government released the draft Central Coast Regional Transport Strategy. That document sets out the actions this Government will take to support the growing population on the Central Coast and provide a modern and efficient transport system for the region. The strategy includes investment in roads, commuter car parks, train stations, new buses and new trains.
This comprehensive plan recognises the importance of the Central Coast to New South Wales. In two weeks time one of the first actions to arise out of the regional transport strategy will be put into place: 41 brand new buses will be delivered to Central Coast bus operators Busways and Redbus to deliver a huge increase in services. These buses are in addition to the 16 new vehicles delivered last financial year to boost service on the coast. From 8 November, in less than two weeks, more than 1,500 extra bus services a week will operate on the Central Coast. These services include new late-night buses, more frequent services during peak periods, and better connections between towns and suburbs on the coast and at our major train stations and transport interchanges.
These buses will unlock new opportunities for young people, pensioners, workers and their families to access employment and education. Those on the other side would never deliver these sorts of changes. The Government is extremely proud of this achievement. Residents in Budgewoi, Bateau Bay, Norah Head, Berkeley Vale, Umina, Wamberal, Forresters Beach, Lake Munmorah, Kariong, Somersby, Wyoming, Toukley and Morisset, to name just a few, will benefit from these new services, which are the direct result of the tireless advocacy of the local members on the Central Coast—David Harris, Marie Andrews, Grant McBride and Robert Coombs.
The Regional Transport Strategy and this major investment in bus services build on the Government's transport achievements, such as new commuter car parks at Ourimbah, Tuggerah and Morisset; new OSCar trains with CCTV, air conditioning, toilet access for disabled passengers, on-board passenger information screens, and comfortable seats with graffiti and fire-resistant coverings; 16 new wheelchair-accessible, air-conditioned buses; and a $195 million upgrade of the rail tracks between Gosford and Newcastle.
Under the draft Central Coast Regional Transport Plan, the New South Wales Government will deliver new commuter car parks at Wyong, Woy Woy and Gosford; a major Tuggerah railway station upgrade; more outer suburban rail carriages for the Central Coast; and several roads projects under the $300 million commitment to Central Coast roads from 2007 to 2011. These include Avoca Drive, Sun Valley Road to Bayside Drive; Central Coast Highway, Carlton Road to Matcham Road; Central Coast Highway, Woy Woy Road intersection upgrade; and Terrigal Drive improvements, with further upgrades continuing beyond 2012. Following wide consultation, the draft strategy is now on public display for further community feedback until 26 November 2010. I encourage anyone with an interest to take a look at www.nsw.gov.au/shapeyourstate
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