NSW Budget 2017: Newcastle light rail funding continues

The new Newcastle transport interchange at Wickham. PICTURE: Max Mason-Hubers

The new Newcastle transport interchange at Wickham. PICTURE: Max Mason-Hubers

THE Berejiklian government will allocate $206 million to revitalising Newcastle’s city-centre in Tuesday’s budget.

A booming property market and the sale of the state’s poles and wires has been a gift to the state’s economy in recent years, and it’s expected to be no different when Treasurer Dominic Perrottet hands down his first budget.

And while that money has been used to fund billions of dollars in infrastructure spending in Sydney, in Newcastle the government will continue its work on the city’s 2.7 kilometre light rail project and projects aimed at “revitalising Newcastle”.

Mr Perrottet said the investment in Newcastle was part of a “drive to invest in key infrastructure programs across the state”.

“Newcastle is a great city, and investing in the revitalising Newcastle program is an important piece of the state’s plan to give people modern and connected communities,” he said.

The government’s $510 million program in Newcastle includes the new transport interchange at Wickham and light rail down Hunter Street.

In last year’s budget the government said it would spend $142 million on the project in 2016-17.

The government expects construction on the project in Hunter Street to begin in September.

In February the Newcastle Herald reported that the cost of the transport interchange and its associated works had reached $200 million, despite the original contract being announced as worth $73 million.

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