An Albanese Labor Government will work with Lake Macquarie City Council and the NSW Government to unlock the region’s economic future by investing $20 million to establish a permanent dredge for the Swansea Channel and extend the Newcastle Mines Grouting Fund to the Lake Macquarie Local Government area (including Charlestown, Cardiff, Morisset, Glendale and West Wallsend).

Following on from Labor’s already announced $500 million investment in the first stage of High Speed Rail from Newcastle to Sydney, the $30 million upgrade to Mandalong Road in Morisset and our continued backing of the Glendale Transport Interchange, this is another vote of confidence in the economic potential of this great region.

These announcements have been worked up in close consultation with local government, who have identified the costs of mine subsidisation and the silting of Swansea Channel as major barriers to future economic growth.

By permanently establishing a dredge to be based in Lake Macquarie, an Albanese Labor Government will provide a long-term, cost-effective solution to constantly reoccurring silting.

At the same time, by expanding the Newcastle Mines Grouting Fund to new areas, Labor will enable businesses and the private sector to invest in new developments with confidence, creating secure local jobs and a better future for working families across the Hunter, while also helping to address the region’s crippling housing crisis.

Economic analysis prepared by Lake Macquarie’s economic development corporation estimates that in Charlestown alone, $453 million of investment in eligible DAs could be accelerated, or project scope increased, through risk mitigation if the proponents had access to the grout fund.

A continuous dredging program for the Swansea Channel has also been identified by Council as a key project to unlock boating, tourism and water sporting activities on Lake Macquarie, with pre-COVID boating events generating significant tourist visits and economic output.

These are exactly the kinds of investments that an Albanese Labor Government will make, unleashing private enterprise and working closely with all levels of government to deliver a better future for regions across Australia.

Attributable to Catherine King, Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development

“One of the primary roles of a government is to invest in local communities and remove barriers to future economic growth.

“That is exactly what these investments will do, enabling the next generation of secure local jobs to be created across the Hunter region.”

Attributable to Pat Conroy, Member for Shortland

“This Lake Macquarie Economic Development Package from an Albanese Labor Government will unlock over $1.8 billion of economic benefits for this region, helping create over 12,000 jobs.

“Lake Macquarie has been neglected by the Morrison-Joyce Government, but Labor will put it back on the map, stimulate the economy, boost local jobs, and help address the local housing crisis.”