22.1 C
Byron Shire
April 19, 2021

ALP makes $247m pledge to upgrade region’s roads

Latest News

No accountability for proven police misconduct

On Australia Day in 1998, I was the legal observer for the ‘Nude Ain’t Rude’ rally at Belongil Beach.

Other News

Upgrades for Lighthouse Parade in Ballina

One of the showcase areas of Ballina is about to get a safety and aesthetic upgrade, with the Lighthouse Parade Pedestrian Precinct and Road Safety Project commencing soon.

Local girls go big at Oz grom cup

Byron Bay’s Leihani Kaloha Zoric won her second Billabong Oz Grom Cup title, taking out the 10-and-under girls division at Park beach in Coffs Harbour last weekend.

Common courtesy

Anonymous, Byron Bay First of all, thank you to those customers who did the right thing and wore their masks in...

Poor Council drains

Kate Anderson, Mullumbimby In response to and support of Kerry Gray’s and Robin Gracie’s letters Echo 31 March). The McGoughans Lane...

Midwife quits

Deb Walsh, Fernleigh It’s become untenable for me to continue working in hospitals. I have quit. I will be deregistered soon...

SCU named as partner in two national drought hubs

Southern Cross University has been announced as playing a crucial partnership role in two new Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs.

Ballina mayor David Wright, Lismore candidate Isaac Smith, deputy Opposition leader Linda Burney, Tweed candidate Ron Goodman and Ballina candidate Paul Spooner at this morning's announcement. (supplied)
Ballina mayor David Wright, Lismore candidate Isaac Smith, deputy Opposition leader Linda Burney, Tweed candidate Ron Goodman and Ballina candidate Paul Spooner at this morning’s announcement. (supplied)

Northern rivers councils would have access to $247 million to upgrade roads throughout the region if the Labor party wins Saturday’s election.

Deputy Opposition leader Linda Burney made the promise in Lismore this morning, flanked by ALP candidates for Lismore, Ballina and Tweed.

Lismore’s mayor Jenny Dowell described the announcement as ‘brilliant’, and urged candidates from other parties to match it.

‘Councils need this money,’ she said.

Ms Burney made it clear that the money was in addition to the $177 million already promised for a new bridge at Grafton.

She also said the $247 would be set aside without privatising the electricity network.

The fund would be available to member councils of the Northern Rivers Regional Organisation of Councils (NOROC), with grants for local road projects determined by RMS.

Eligible councils include Tweed, Byron, Ballina, Lismore, Kyogle and Richmond Valley.

Deputy Labor Leader Linda Burney said the $247 million fund would be reserved out of Labor’s infrastructure plan A Better Way.

In total, Labor’s statewide infrastructure plan unlocks $10.055 billion of additional investment.

She said the independent Parliamentary Budget office affirmed the costings on Monday.

‘By contrast, UBS – the Baird Government’s own consultants – say only $11 billion will be raised from the privatisation of the electricity network, not the $13 billion the premier is claiming,’ she said.

‘This is a $2 billion black hole in the Liberals’ and Nationals’ costings.

‘Labor’s $247 million fund is also in addition to the money already in the state budget for northern rivers roads every year, including the Pacific Highway duplication.

Ms Burney said councils across the region face a major infrastructure backlog when it comes to roads and bridges. This is a result of growing populations and the wear and tear caused by resident, visitor and freight traffic.

Lismore council is understood to have a roads backlog of $84 million while Byron shire council’s backlog is $70 million. Kyogle Council requires an additional $25 million just to upgrade timber bridges.

‘Roads and bridges on the northern rivers are in urgent need of upgrade and repair – and a vote for a Country Labor candidate on Saturday will ensure that they receive the vital investment they need.

‘Unlike the Nationals, we will not make any road upgrades conditional on selling electricity assets.

‘My message is clear – if you don’t want electricity privatisation or coal seam gas, it is vital to number every box and put the Nationals last when voting on Saturday.”

Lismore candidate Isaac Smith said it was a great package.

‘Our local roads are in desperate need of this additional funding.

‘There is a huge backlog of works in Lismore relating to safety upgrades, bridge maintenance and general wear and tear.

‘These projects are too important to be made hostage to electricity privatisation. ‘Now that UBS has exposed a $2 billion hole in the Coalition’s costings, projects promised by the Nationals may never be delivered.”’

Ballina candidate Paul Spooner said the Nationals were trying to blackmail the people of Ballina.

‘The Nationals are telling the people of Ballina – cop the privatisation of electricity and we’ll buy you off. That’s blackmail.

‘Our community shouldn’t have to rely on a risky asset sale plan down in Sydney to fund road upgrades.

‘Under Labor, funding for Northern Rivers roads has been reserved and the Parliamentary Budget Office has given the costings a big tick.”

Tweed candidate Ron Goodman said the key drivers of the local economy, including tourism, agriculture and industrial freight, required roads.

All NSW Election 2015 Articles

More NSW Election 2015 news and articles

Animal Justice Party brings home the bacon

The results are in for the final seat in the NSW upper house, and just about everyone is breathing a sigh of relief. Here’s why.

0

Bangalow voters shun rail trail

Jens Krause, Byron Bay. The Nationals candidate for Ballina received 355 primary votes out of 1,333 counted at the Bangalow polling booth. That is 27 per cent or roughly one quarter. The heartland of the rail trail lobby is Bangalow.

8

Final nail in the coffin for TAFE

Greens NSW MP John Kaye. Premier Mike Baird's decision to move TAFE out of Education and into the Industry portfolio will be the last straw for TAFE as a public education institution.

1

Report shows hit to land values from CSG

Land values across the NSW north coast and elsewhere will be hit hard if the coal-seam gas (CSG) industry is allowed to develop, a new Productivity Commission report has warned.

0

New govt must support fairer and more caring society

Jan Barham, MLC. The re-elected coalition government must adopt a more caring and strategic approach with a priority focus on housing and community services for areas of high vulnerability and disadvantage such as the north coast.

0


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

2 COMMENTS

  1. As a resident of Australia’s Pothole Capital, Byron Bay, I know we need that money throughout our Shire. When a road is pocked marked with potholes it means the roads’ rock compound under the bitumen needs replacing. And the cost for a standard two lane 6.5 metre wide road, like most of ours, is around $750,000 per kilometre. And its heavy rain (we’ve the highest in NSW), and heavy vehicles (200 coaches and heavy delivery trucks a week through Byron Bay), not cars, that destroy the under-base. Fixing our roads requires many times Council’s annual budget.
    Our 14,000 rate payers can’t support infrastructure for 1.5 million tourists. And our conservative majority on Council plan to spend massive sums from our Council’s tiny budget on rock walls to protect Belongil millionaire homes from climate change!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Pottsville policing forum asks the hard questions

Members of the Pottsville and Tweed Coast community say that in response to an increase in criminal activity in the area and their request for increased police presence, they were hosting a police presentation at Pottsville.

Coalition ‘hellbent’

Mat Morris, Bangalow The NSW coalition seems to be hellbent on outdoing their federal counterparts when it comes to the denigration of women and protection of...

An insult, Poppa

From what I can understand, Poppa Veet Mayo’s letter seems to imply that this latest COVID scare is a government conspiracy (yes, another one). To...

Upgrades for Lighthouse Parade in Ballina

One of the showcase areas of Ballina is about to get a safety and aesthetic upgrade, with the Lighthouse Parade Pedestrian Precinct and Road Safety Project commencing soon.