In 2011, the NSW Government established the Restart NSW Fund to enable a range of high priority infrastructure projects to be funded and delivered. Infrastructure NSW is responsible for assessing and making recommendations to the Government for use of the Restart NSW Fund.
The purpose of the Restart NSW Fund is to improve economic growth and productivity by investing in major projects that will improve public transport, roads and the competitiveness of the State, as well as local infrastructure in regional areas that are affected by mining operations, health facilities, and workplaces for frontline government staff. Restart NSW funds are used for major projects that will improve the productivity and competitiveness of the State across all sectors. They also support investment in local infrastructure in regional areas.
By the end of 2015-16, $16.5 billion had been deposited in the Restart NSW Fund. Use of these funds is focused on accelerating priority projects, including the Rebuilding NSW commitments in the State Infrastructure Strategy Update 2014. These commitments were based on the NSW Governments decision to invest $20 billion in new infrastructure funded by the lease of 49 per cent of the State’s electricity network businesses and Australian Government Asset Recycling Incentive payments.
Thirty percent of Restart NSW funds are committed to projects in regional NSW (outside Newcastle, Sydney and Wollongong). This includes an allocation of three percent to the Resources for Regions program, to address infrastructure constraints in communities affected by mining.
The regional programs supported by Restart NSW include:
Infrastructure NSW has sole responsibility for making recommendations to the NSW Government for use of the funds. Funds can only be spent on projects that are recommended by Infrastructure NSW, and then approved by the Treasurer.
Infrastructure NSW’s independent assessment process ensures that funds are only allocated to projects that have proven strategic and economic merit through cost benefit analyses and objective assessment.
Proceeds from the poles and wires transaction will also be deposited into the Restart NSW fund for use on the NSW Government's Rebuilding NSW program, based on the priorities identified in the State Infrastructure Strategy Update 2014.