“It is enormously important as freight is worth nearly $60 billion each year to the NSW and national economies and employs half a million people in NSW either directly or indirectly,” Mr Gay said.
“We are also the ‘through state’ for road and rail freight for the eastern seaboard of Australia and this is the first time freight will be recognised in this way around the Cabinet table.
“With the freight task expected to double within 20 years, we released this state’s first ever Freight and Ports Strategy, last year including $277 million on maintenance and upgrade works to the state’s 996 kilometres of grain rail lines.
“As the Minister for Roads and Freight I will continue to deliver on the package of vital road, port and bridge projects underway right across NSW.
“Over the past 3 years, as Minister for Roads and Ports under the great leadership of Barry O’Farrell, I was particularly proud of our 3 successive record budgets with levels of roads funding never seen before in the state’s history.
“As a result of our efforts, construction is due to start next year on two projects critical for the growth of our city – WestConnex and NorthConnex. Along with the Pacific Highway duplication and the roads for Badgery’s Creek Airport, they will be hallmarks of this government.
“I am equally proud of other key projects delivered in the past 3 years including record country road funding including the Princes Highway, Great Western Highway, Bells Line of Road, Newell highway, Bridges for the Bush, Western Sydney, employment roads such as Erskine Park Link Road, the M5 West widening and the Sydney pinch points program.
“Projects in Ports included the new $57 million White Bay cruise terminal and the long overdue refurbishment of the Overseas Passenger Terminal to help ensure Sydney maintains its booming cruise industry record and give visitors the experience they deserve.
“In the area of road safety, NSW has become a world leader in heavy vehicle compliance and enforcement. We are delivering flashing lights to every single school in NSW by the end of next year and we have rolled out innovative new safety campaigns tackling issues such as driver fatigue and mobile phone use behind the wheel.
“My focus remains unchanged – it is ensuring this great State has the infrastructure it needs to grow and ease congestion, create jobs and connect communities.
“I congratulate Premier Mike Baird and my National Party colleague Andrew Stoner on the strong cabinet team they have brought together,” Mr Gay.