The NSW Deputy Premier has promised to provide $25 million to fix Byron’s roads and other basic infrastructure if his government is re-elected at the up-coming state election.
In a joint announcement on Thursday with Ben Franklin, the Nationals’ candidate for the seat of Ballina, John Barilaro pledged to set up a fund to help manage the impacts of tourism in the Shire.
‘Byron Bay … attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists every year, and while these visitors are great for the local economy, over time this has put added pressure on local roads and infrastructure,’ Mr Barilaro said.
‘If we want this area to continue to be a fantastic place for tourists, it also has to be a fantastic place for the locals and residents who call it home,’ he said.
The fund could be used for a mix of local infrastructure, including carparks, toilets and town centre upgrades, but 80 per cent of it would have to be spent on local roads and traffic.
Mr Franklin said the funding would be allocated ‘in close consultation with Byron Shire Council and the local community’.
However, neither he nor Mr Barilaro would be drawn on whether there would be any ongoing funding for roads beyond this year, saying only that the fund was a ‘pilot program’.