CHARLTON MP Greg Combet will announce today that the federal government will put $7million towards the much-awaited Glendale transport interchange.
The money will allow work on the interchange to begin and could lead to a further $700million of investment in Cardiff and Glendale, officials say.
Mr Combet said the money showed Labor was ‘‘returning the benefits of the mining boom to regions like ours’’.
“This funding will be used to complete major roadworks in preparation for the construction of the Pennant Street bridge and rail overpass,” Mr Combet told the Newcastle Herald last night.
“It is the first step to resolving the traffic issues in and around Glendale and Cardiff, which will unleash the potential for jobs and growth in the Cardiff industrial estate.”
Mr Combet said the money would finally bring the project to life.
“When complete, the interchange will further reduce traffic congestion and produce a more effective public transport system,’’ he said.
The federal money adds to a state government commitment of $15million and $10million from Lake Macquarie City Council.
The council estimates the interchange project will unlock 6000 jobs and $700million of investment, including an expansion of Stockland Glendale.
Initial stages of the interchange, the roadworks and Pennant Street bridge, are estimated to cost $50million.
Lake Macquarie council applied for the $7million grant through the second round of the Regional Development Australia Fund.
The council’s application had the support of Hunter Councils, the fund’s Hunter board and Hunter business groups.
The council had lobbied for years and made unsuccessful applications to the federal government.
Many consider the interchange the region’s highest-priority transport initiative.
Mr Combet said the interchange would provide a ‘‘significant benefit to the region economically, socially and environmentally’’.
Lake Macquarie council is expected to make another application to the federal government for more money for the interchange.
The council hopes to secure a total of $25million in federal regional development funds.
Future stages of the project include a railway station and bus interchange.
Mr Combet said the fund had last year provided $7million for the Newcastle Art Gallery expansion and $700,000 to the Hunter Valley Research Foundation.
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