Transport access can have a big impact on commercial property development patterns and influence investment performance. But Sydney has suffered from clogged and incomplete road networks for decades. This is part of the reason the NSW economy has lagged others for at least a decade and caused low levels of investor confidence in the so-called Premier State.

The recent release of the Infrastructure NSW report setting out recommended spending priorities for future infrastructure had been much anticipated by the property industry and business community in general. It provides some optimism for long-awaited improvements in road transport access and has the potential to stimulate change in property development and land-use patterns in Sydney.

But when it comes to NSW transport plans, it's once bitten, twice shy, with so many other well-intentioned plans of previous state governments ending up gathering dust on shelves.

This new strategy, ''First Things First'', is more than just another set of vague ideas and lines on maps. What makes the 200-plus-page report different is the detailed work that supported its preparation and the speed with which the government has endorsed it with real funding by backing some of the short-term priorities.

But whether they can move priority projects swiftly into construction will be the real test of this plan. It's essential not just for the state government's political credibility, but for reviving the long-underperforming Sydney and NSW economies as well.

Given funding constraints, the plan sensibly divides priorities into five-year, 10-year and 20-year time horizons. For the property industry, the most immediate implication is that shorter-term recommendations would improve road transport access within the Sydney metropolitan area, rather than push the boundary of the metropolitan area further out.

The high-priority WestConnex road project will have such a consolidating impact, feeding industrial occupational demand to existing properties and zoned land in the central west, south-west and outer-west regions.

It will also hasten the redevelopment of the industrial areas around the airport and sea port for more intensive commercial and non-commercial uses. This is great news for existing owners of industrial land and property in metropolitan Sydney, particularly the AREITs and the larger private landholders.

In the long term, this connection will support the growth of industrial land values, the improvement in capital values in prime industrial locations and the redevelopment of secondary industrial areas.

First Things First is just what Sydney and NSW need. If handled with determination and urgency, it could bring the renewed sense of confidence desperately needed. Future growth in the economy, the population and employment is at stake. Let's hope it doesn't end up as just another dust collector.

Kevin Stanley is an independent real estate analyst.