The Illawarra Business Chamber welcomes the reported announcement of the NSW Government to commit $15 million to a planning study for the M6/F6 extension, expected to be included in the NSW Budget.
Illawarra Business Chamber Executive Director, Chris Lamont, said the construction of the M6/F6 extension through to Wollongong is essential to help address significant safety and productivity concerns for over 42,000 passenger and freight vehicles that travel between the Illawarra and Sydney each day.
The Chamber maintains improved transport connectivity is necessary for the region to realise its economic potential.
Upgrades to the existing road network connecting the Illawarra to Sydney is essential to improve road safety, increase State productivity, stimulate investment and reduce commuter and freight travel times.
“Proposed funding from the NSW Government is a welcome first step in making SouthConnex a reality. However, any funds directed at a planning study should ensure proposed road infrastructure links Wollongong with greater Sydney and does not terminate at the outer suburbs of Sydney,” said Chris Lamont.
Investing in transport connectivity between the Illawarra and Australia’s largest and third largest economies (Sydney and Western Sydney) is critical to unlocking productivity gains, increasing job opportunities, helping address skill shortages and leveraging the competitive advantages of the region.
An NRMA member survey in December 2016 found that 82 per cent of residents living on the F6 corridor believed local traffic congestion had worsened since 2016 and that they had to spend more time in traffic each day.
Currently, only a quarter of the journey between the Illawarra and Sydney is on an expressway.
“There is an opportunity following the receipt of funds from the lease of polls and wires to fund improved transport connectivity for the Illawarra region. We welcome a commitment of funds for the reported planning study and urge the NSW Government to identify a timeline for the construction of this critical piece of road infrastructure,” said Chris Lamont.
Source: NSW Business Chamber