Gillespie says get cracking on infrastructure projects

NSW Nationals

Federal Nationals Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie has called on State Governments and Local Councils to get on and build projects where funds have been allocated.

Dr Gillespie said he had several meetings with Federal Minister for Infrastructure Catherine King requesting that funds previously allocated to local projects by the former Nationals Government continue to remain in place.

“While the Albanese Government’s review of Infrastructure project funding has been unwelcome, delaying several key projects across the country even further. I am disappointed some projects announced across our region as far back as 2019 are still not underway,” Dr Gillespie said.

“There are several projects across our region where I was able to secure Federal funding to assist state and local government fast track them, and yet years on, some or none of the funding allocated has been spent.”

Projects caught up in Labor’s Infrastructure Review in Lyne (and just outside the electorate) included:

• Bucketts Way – $20 million

• Clarence Town Road – Raymond Terrace to Dungog – $20 million

• Lorne Road – Kew to Comboyne – $5 million

• Pacific Highway – Harrington Rd Intersection Upgrade, Coopernook – $48 million

• Pacific Highway – Raymond Terrace to Karuah Upgrade – Planning (formerly the Italia Road Intersection Upgrade – Planning – $7.2 million

• M1 Pacific Motorway Extension to Raymond Terrace – $1.7 billion

The Albanese Government has axed:

• Oxley Highway Stage 2 – Planning (Billabong Drive, Sancrox to Lake Road, Port Macquarie) – $4 million

Dr Gillespie said the Brig O’Johnston Bridge project at Clarence Town had previously been allocated $8.8 million in Federal funding and $5.5 million in funding by the State Government.

“I announced the Federal Coalition would commit funds to this way back in 2019 and a funding agreement was put in place the following year. The NSW Government was supposed to match this contribution. I’m pleased that following my formal representations and discussions with Minister King, she has announced a further $781,000 towards the project,” Dr Gillespie said.

“In relation to the Clarence Town Road and Bucketts Way upgrade, works are well underway.

“Port Macquarie-Hastings Council has agreed to match the $5 million allocated towards Lorne Road upgrade, and with detailed designs just about complete, I would encourage them to get this project started as soon as possible,” Dr Gillespie said.

“Works have now finally started on the M1 to Raymond Terrace upgrade that the former Federal Coalition Government allocated funding for five years ago and continued to allocate in every budget after that.

“Funding still remains in place for the Italia Road Interchange project, and with nearly three years having passed since funding was announced for the Harrington Road overpass at Coopernook, funding continues to remain in place despite the State Government progressing this project at a snail’s pace.

“The NSW Government clearly has to speed up its planning and design processes. They take far too long. Many of these projects should have been completed by now,” he added.

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