New South Wales Budget opens a $3.5 billion purse to climate change and energy

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The New South Wales Budget has delivered a $3.5 billion (USD 2.3 billion) on climate change and energy and $3.1 billion for the Central-West Orana and New England Renewable Energy Zones (REZ), and Hunter Transmission project.

A $128 million commitment will fund the upgrade to roads and infrastructure between the Port of Newcastle and the statutory authority Energy Corporation of NSW (EnergyCo)’s Hunter and Central-West Orana REZs.

The road upgrades will enable transportation of large-scale wind turbine blades, batteries and transformers required for the construction of new renewable infrastructure.

The funding also supports preliminary planning for a logistics precinct at the Port of Newcastle, where large and heavy components will be stored and then loaded for delivery to project construction sites.

NSW Climate Change and Energy Minister Penny Sharpe said the investment is a win-win.

“The $128.5 million in the 2024-25 Budget will not only improve the roads we drive on, but also ensure the construction of more renewable energy projects which will drive down power bills,” Sharpe said.

“To build solar and wind farms and our new transmission network we’ll need trucks to carry their components to sites. Upgrading the roads ensures deliver can happen quickly and safely.”

NSW Hunter region Minister Yasmin Catley said the Hunter is central to the transformation of the state’s energy system and investments like these will ensure the Hunter region continues to prosper into the future.

“Transforming our energy market is a challenge but it’s one the NSW government takes seriously. We are investing in significant infrastructure and programs to ensure the Hunter remains an energy powerhouse,” Catley said.

The Budget also boosts the state’s strategy to increase electric vehicle (EV) sales to more than 50% of new cars sold in NSW by 2030, with $149 million to co-fund EV fast chargers, $105 million to support business and local government fleets to procure EVs and charging infrastructure and $20 million to co-fund EV chargers at regional tourist destinations in NSW.

A further $10 million will co-fund EV kerbside chargers in metropolitan NSW to support EV drivers without access to off street parking and $10 million to co-fund EV ready buildings to retrofit EV infrastructure in apartment buildings.

To underpin the rollout of an updated NSW EV Strategy, the government is committing a further $263.5 million to underpin the rollout of an updated NSW EV Strategy.

The transition of the state’s 8,000 diesel and compressed methane gas bus fleet to electric or alternative clean fuels, were not forgotten in the budget with the government injecting $1.9 billion into its $3 billion zero emission bus fleet program, to be completed by 2047.

For energy consumers, the budget committed $435.4 million in energy rebates and concessions.

Other investments include $238 million for the upcoming Consumer Energy Strategy, $87 million for energy saving upgrades to social housing, $435 million for energy bill rebates and $39 million for more workers to conduct biodiversity assessments for renewable energy projects.

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