Budget money allocated to Barwon must be spent in Barwon
Member for Barwon Roy Butler has described the budget spend in his electorate as ‘big spending on essentials’.
“For Barwon it’s a largely unsexy budget that focuses on essentials like local road upgrades and town water supply infrastructure. While I welcome the funding, the Government has more to do in Barwon and Regional NSW,” said Mr Butler.
One of the key features of the 2020 Budget for the Barwon electorate is the spending on local road upgrades, freight links and bridges.
“The electorate will benefit from over $150 million in roads funding across the forward estimates. This funding will go to upgrades such as the Newell Highway upgrade at Coonabarabran, the Tullibigeal Road upgrade for Road Trains, the sealing of the Pooncarie Road and several bridge replacements including the Birrie, Dumbel and Muckerawa Bridges. Some of this funding we already knew about through pre-Budget announcements,” said Mr Butler.
“Given this is a Budget geared towards getting NSW people back into jobs and kick starting the economy post COVID-19, my priority will be to ensure the Government contracts locals to undertake these projects.
“We saw the Government take a huge misstep when they contracted businesses from interstate and from Sydney to undertake ‘Drought Stimulus work’ in our regional towns – this program really fell short of stimulating economic activity in many towns in my electorate.
“For any project that’s funded in the Barwon electorate it will be my number one priority to ensure as much of the money as possible stays local be that through the contracting of local businesses, the purchase of materials or employing locals to undertake the work.
“Money allocated to Barwon, must stay in Barwon if our communities are going to reap the full benefits of this spending.”
In addition to the roads spending Government has funded over 50 water infrastructure projects ranging from new bore water supplies, piping domestic water, to sewerage treatment plants and new town storages.
“The recent Auditor General’s report on the Government’s management of domestic supply in regional towns highlighted how exposed people and towns in the west were to drought. The report has led to some soul searching by Government and today’s funding,” said Mr Butler.
“The years of record drought really exposed the extreme underspend by the Government on maintaining town water supply infrastructure. Today the Government is starting to catch up on this underspend.”