SYDNEY, NSW, Australia - Australia's most-populated state is to throw another $3 billion at infrastructure projects to boost employment prospects in the post-coronavirus period.
The announcement on Sunday will see the New South Wales (NSW) infrastructure pipeline blow out to $100 billion.
The new $3 billion creation will be known as the Infrastructure and Job Acceleration Fund and will be used for smaller, shovel-ready projects touching each corner of the state.
The government says it will result in an additional 20,000 jobs being added to the state's recently badly-depleted workforce.
The government, in Sunday's announcement, said that it was canning the refurbishment of ANZ Stadium, a multi-purpose stadium located in the Sydney Olympic Park which was the main venue for the Sydney 2000 Olympics. The $810 million earmarked for the refurbishment will now be diverted to the new fund.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said infrastructure would provide a path to employment, and economic recovery, firing up the economy.
"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," Berejiklian said Sunday.
"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."
The government said the ANZ Stadium rebuild was a sensible project backed by the people of NSW at last year's election, but in the current health and economic climate it no longer makes sense.
The promised Parramatta Powerhouse museum will still be delivered through the infrastructure pipeline. This project alone will create more than 1,100 construction jobs in Western Sydney, 2,400 indirect jobs, and keep hundreds employed once it opens. The government says it is also looking at options to support the arts community at Ultimo.
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," Barilaro said Sunday.
"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."
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the clear advice from the Reserve Bank of Australia was that governments should do everything they can to create jobs and stimulate the economy as the country 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," Perrottet said Sunday.
"NSW was an infrastructure led economy heading in to 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."