Piper issues pre-Budget wish list

14th March 2018

Source: The Lakes Mail | By: David Stewart | Posted: March 14, 2018

THE Lake Macquarie Transport Interchange and upgrades to Wyee and Dora Creek train stations top the list of Lake Macquarie infrastructure projects that could be funded by the Snowy Hydro sale.

Lake Macquarie and the Central Coast have been promised a share of the $4.1 billion the state government will reap from the sale of its portion of Snowy Hydro to the federal government.

The state government said regional communities would receive $4.154 billion for infrastructure as part of the Snowy Hydro transaction.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast, Scot MacDonald, said the announcement was a “huge win” for the Hunter and Central Coast.

“This will create an investment bonanza in regional NSW with every cent of the proceeds going to rural and regional NSW,” Mr MacDonald said.

“The Hunter is the largest regional economy in NSW. I look forward to working with councils, Regional Development Australia, the business sector and community organisations to continue the record infrastructure in the Hunter including the new injection of capital works funding from this transaction.”

Independent member for Lake Macquarie, Greg Piper, said there were plenty of infrastructure projects locals wanted to see come to fruition.

“The transport interchange at Glendale is the standout,” Mr Piper said.

“If they funded it, including the Pennant Street bridge and associated road projects, we could have an incredible residential and job-creation hub that would carry enormous benefits right across the region, especially in the Lake Macquarie, Charlestown and Wallsend electorates.

“We now have an opportunity to do it all properly and drive the local economy towards its full potential. It would create jobs, build new homes and communities, provide better and more efficient public transport services and fix road congestion.”

Mr Piper said he’d also like to see state government funding directed to.-

“These other things on my list shouldn’t be contingent on the sale of Snowy Hydro – they should all be budgeted for because the state government has the money to do it,” Mr Piper said.

The Central Coast’s state Labor MPs bristled at Mr MacDonald’s promise to consult with council and stakeholders to determine priority projects in the region. They said if the government didn’t know what projects needed funding on the Central Coast “then they haven’t been listening”.

They said the list of projects the community had long been calling for at the northern end of the Central Coast included.-

“This is a rare opportunity to fund key projects that will move our whole region forward, we don’t need to waste time and money talking and planning, it’s time to get building,” member for Wyong, David Harris, said.

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