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Thursday, 21 June 2012
Page: 7537

Mr COMBET (CharltonMinister for Industry and Innovation and Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency) (09:33): I am pleased to report that Labor has delivered $7 million to get work underway on a major infrastructure project in my electorate of Charlton, the Glendale transport interchange. It is part of a total of around $17 million that this government has now provided to Lake Macquarie City Council, which covers a large part of my electorate for local infrastructure projects. That amount of money, $17 million, is on top of the tens of millions of dollars of funding that has been provided for priority road projects and black spots.

The Glendale transport interchange is the most important infrastructure priority in the electorate at the moment. So that $7 million in funding is very important. It will be used by the council to complete major roadworks in preparation for the construction of the Pennant Street bridge and rail overpass. That is just the first step to resolving traffic issues in and around Glendale and Cardiff which will unlock the potential for jobs and growth in the Cardiff industrial estate, where currently about 10,000 people work and there is only one main road in and one main road out creating significant congestion.

The funding has been delivered through the Regional Development Australia Fund, which is a key element of the government's support for regional Australia. When complete, it will mean greater access to the major retail, residential and industrial precincts as well as sporting and leisure areas. Importantly for commuters and people shopping in the major areas, it will also reduce traffic congestion and encourage a more effective public transport system. It is a big project and as such the overall development will be completed in stages. The first stage is the major roadworks that I described a moment ago. Further stages will include the construction of a bridge at Pennant Street and a new railway station and interchange to link all modes of transport.

I have supported the council in its efforts to secure funding for the Glendale interchange for a very long time and I am certainly proud to be part of the Labor government that has delivered the funding to get it going in this and what is the fastest growing demographic area in the lower Hunter region, where there is a great need for increased infrastructure funding. It is certainly very good news for the area that the transport interchange will soon be coming to life.