The Federal Government will assist in the development of a long term infrastructure blueprint for the Hunter, which will be developed by Infrastructure NSW and the Hunter Regional Development Committee in consultation with industry and the community.
The plan will identify and prioritise the region?s strategic road, rail, port, energy and water needs over the next two decades.
Importantly, the Plan will build on the work that?s already been done, including the 2009 Lower Hunter Transport Needs Study, as well as complement the State Infrastructure Strategy, the NSW Long Term Transport Master Plan and the RDA Regional Plan, which are all due to be released in coming months.
A draft version of the plan is expected by April 2013.
As well as planning for the future, the Federal Government is also making an investment in more immediate infrastructure needs, particularly the construction of the Hunter Expressway, as well as accelerated work on the Bulahdelah Bypass and an upgrade of the region?s rail network.
These projects alone represent more than a $3 billion investment in the Hunter?s future.
As Australia?s sixth largest regional centre, the Hunter is home to the world?s largest coal export port, produces a third of Australia?s aluminium output and supplies two-thirds of NSW?s electricity needs.
Altogether almost $6 billion from the Minerals Resource Rent Tax (MRRT) will go into the Regional Infrastructure Fund.
Source: Federal Department of Infrastructure and Transport