The state government’s new $3 billion Infrastructure and Job Acceleration Fund is on track to “fire up” the economy, the state Premier believes, by creating extra jobs and upping the infrastructure pipeline to $100 billion.
The NSW government confirmed over the weekend it has scrapped the ANZ Stadium refurbishment project, following a lack of public support, instead redirecting some $800 million towards the new fund meant to spark job-creating infrastructure projects.
“This guaranteed pipeline of $100 billion will be our best chance supporting the hundreds of thousands of people who have already lost their jobs in NSW,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.
“We are now not only guaranteeing our infrastructure pipeline, we will be looking for opportunities to fast-track projects to provide jobs as early as we can.”
Although calling the ANZ rebuild a “sensible project”, the NSW government admitted that in the current health and economic climate, “it no longer makes sense”.
Speaking on the occasion, Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said NSW is following the clear advice from the Reserve Bank of Australia: do everything to create jobs and stimulate the economy as it emerges from the shadow of COVID-19.
“With around 500,000 people out of work in NSW, we are focused on creating as many jobs as possible to shorten the lines outside of Centrelink,” Mr Perrottet said.
“NSW was an infrastructure-led economy heading into the pandemic, and now we will help drive the state forward by creating more jobs for the people who have been hit hardest with an infrastructure-led recovery coming out.”
Also addressing the issue, Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the fast-tracking of projects would support jobs across the entire state and the government was in the process of identifying them.
“The communities of NSW have been through an incredibly tough period with continued drought, horrific bushfires and now COVID-19, and the best path to recovery is creating jobs,” Mr Barilaro said.
“An unprecedented crisis calls for an unprecedented recovery, and redirecting funding from Stadium Australia to job-creating infrastructure builds is the right thing to do for the people of NSW.”