22 C
Byron Shire
January 22, 2022

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

Latest News

Boat people we are

We here in this country, now called Australia, need to be reminded that we started off as ‘boat people’. The...

Other News

Mullumbimby Indian Restaurant

The Mullum Indian Restaurant is situated, conveniently, a short drive from town, at the Mullumbimby Golf Club and...

The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai eruption: what comes next?

The powerful volcanic eruption was captured in amazing detail, yet remains shrouded in mystery. The eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga...

Boat people we are

We here in this country, now called Australia, need to be reminded that we started off as ‘boat people’. The...

BoM tsunami warning for the NSW Coastline

The State Emergency Service (SES) has issued a tsunami warning as a result of an eruption of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apa in the Tongan Islands at 3.10pm AEDT yesterday, Saturday, January 15.

January 21 National Cabinet on Omicron, RATs, vax and treatments

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has issued a media release about yesterday's meeting of the National Cabinet.

No supply shortage at Byron Farmers Market!

While supermarket shelves around the country are running bare, there’s no shortage of fresh produce at our local farmers’...

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


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

Israel and Palestine

As an apologist for Israel, Michael Burd (Letters, 12 January) conveniently ignores the harsh truth of Israel’s brutal oppression, while claiming there are two...

Greens Mandy Nolan to hold community forum in support of nurses and paramedics

Locally and across the state nurses, and paramedics are struggling in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as they are being asked to do double shifts and manage effectively in health system that is struggling to cope. This has led to an increasing number of nurses and paramedics resigning.

NSW COVID update on COVID deaths – vax stats and comorbidities

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet again opened his COVID update with condolences to families who have lost loved ones, and thanks to the  ‘inspirational work of our health workers'.

January 21 National Cabinet on Omicron, RATs, vax and treatments

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has issued a media release about yesterday's meeting of the National Cabinet.