LABOR ABANDONS NORTH COAST INFRASTRUCTURE
Yesterday’s announcement by Labor to dump vital infrastructure projects on the North Coast has been condemned by North Coast Nationals MP’s and candidates from Lismore, Clarence, Ballina and Tweed.
,br> Projects at risk include the $177 million second Grafton Bridge, $80 million for the Byron hospital, $48 million for the Tweed hospital, $40 million for the Ballina High School and $50 million for the North Coast Rail Trail amongst other vital projects.
The North Coast Nationals today stood united against Labor’s ‘infrastructure’ plan that ignores the North Coast in favour of Sydney and leaves this region hundreds of millions of dollars short in funding for vital infrastructure.
Lismore MP Thomas George said Labor has revealed its true colours.
“Labor’s infrastructure plan would see $2.345 million ripped from vital road upgrades in the Tenterfield Shire and Kyogle Shire, among many other projects,” Mr George said.
“This is the same old Sydney centric Labor; taking money that the Nationals fought hard for to improve the ageing infrastructure on the North Coast and spending it in Sydney.
“The choice on March 28 is now very clear for North Coast voters. If you want better roads, health care, and schools, Vote 1 The Nationals,” Mr George said.
Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis said Labor’s plan to cut the funding for the second Grafton Bridge was a slap in the face to the residents of the Clarence Valley.
“Luke Foley and Labor opposed the privatisation of Port Botany and now they want to take the money from Restart NSW, the funds from the lease of Port Botany that The Nationals had allocated to the second Grafton Bridge, and spend them in Sydney.
“First they come up with a koala plan that would decimate the timber industry and result in thousands of job losses on the North Coast, and now they’ve come up with an infrastructure plan that rips millions of dollars from vital infrastructure projects on the North Coast so they can spend the money in Sydney. There is no end to their shame,” Mr Gulaptis said.
Nationals Candidate for Ballina, Kris Beavis said plans for projects he and former member Don Page fought hard for would be scrapped under Labor’s infrastructure plan.
“The Rail Trail, Byron Central Hospital, Ballina High School and the Byron by-pass all disappear under Labor’s Sydney-centric infrastructure plan,” Mr Beavis said.
“It's time for the North Coast Labor candidates to speak up for their communities and not just be puppets of Sussex Street.”
Tweed MP Geoff Provest said Labor pretended for 16 years in government that regional NSW didn’t exist.
"I fought hard to secure the $48 million for the Tweed Hospital and Labor has just pulled the rug out from under us," Mr Provest said.
North Coast projects under threat if Labor wins government are:
- $177m Grafton Bridge
- $50m Rail Trail
- $40m Ballina High School
- $48m Tweed Hospital
- $80m Byron Central Hospital
- $10.5m Byron by-pass
- $2.3m Kyogle and Tenterfield Country Roads Projects
- $1.8m Kyogle Flood Mitigation Works.