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Gillard promises new freight route for Sydney

Julia Gillard has promised $1 billion worth of funding to start building the western Sydney motorway network, claiming the project is now a national priority.

Under the plans, the existing M4 motorway is to remain toll-free, a freight link to Port Botany will be included, and a tunnel will connect the west to the CBD, The Australian reported.

"This is a big project, obviously the federal government would be prepared to make a contribution. That contribution would have billion associated with it, not million associated with it," Gillard said.

"The estimates are that, of the new jobs created in the coming years, one out of every three of them will be created along the corridors this WestConnex services.

Gillard said the project was now of national significance in getting freight from western Sydney to Port Botany.

The total cost of the project is expected to come in at around $13 billion.

The WestConnex has become a political battleground, as both Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott campaign in Western Sydney this week.

Image: Wikipedia.com

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