F6 extension ‘imperative’

A Roads and Maritime Services crew conducting drilling as part of the exploratory work into SouthConnex - previously known as the F6 extension. Picture: Jane Dyson

A Roads and Maritime Services crew conducting drilling as part of the exploratory work into SouthConnex – previously known as the F6 extension. Picture: Jane Dyson

The NSW government will spend a further $20 million on the F6 extension in 2017, said Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra Gareth Ward.

“In 2017 we will be spending an additional $20 million to progress and continue the detailed investigations and refine the design solutions for the F6,” Mr Ward said.

“This announcement means that more of the work that needs to be done for this project can be gotten on with.”

The news comes as Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery stated the F6 extension – now known as SouthConnex was  “imperative” for the future of the Illawarra.

Cr Bradbery’s comments came after an NRMA survey of its members who live along the motorway corridor found found 74 per cent supported the completion of SouthConnex, previously referred to as the F6 extension.

“The Illawarra is likely to be home to around half a million people by 2050,” Cr Bradbery said.

“Wollongong city is at the heart of the region and will drive the economic growth, employment and diversification of the region’s economy.

“SouthConnex is imperative to the ongoing support of this projected growth, ensuring transport corridors into Sydney are safe and reliable for commuters, visitors, trade and logistics.”

Roads and Maritime Services have been conducting geotechnical surveys along the road corridor since June.

The results of these surveys will form part of a business case put to the NSW government.

NRMA chairman Kyle Loades said the benefits of SouthConnex would be felt throughout the South Coast.

“It will open up South Coast and Illawarra tourism by enabling holidaymakers to bypass southern Sydney traffic,” Mr Loades said.

NRMA local director Marisa Mastroianni said it would also benefit Illawarra residents travelling out of the region.

“It will get our local members home to their families sooner by cutting the painful daily commute to Sydney that so many of us regularly make,” Ms Mastroianni said.

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