The NSW Labor Government is lying to Regional communities when it comes to fixing roads, claiming it will outlay seven times the amount of funding than what it actually has allocated in the budget for the next four years.
Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Jenny Aitchison has contradicted the budget papers on numerous occasions in the past couple of days, including on the floor of Parliament.
Page 1-5 of Budget Paper No.3: Infrastructure Statement clearly states:
“$46.6 million over four years for the Regional Roads Fund (as part of a total $334.0 million investment).”
In Question Time yesterday Ms Aitchison said:
“That is part of our $334 million program, of which we are spending $46 million this year, and then we will do more in the forward estimates. The $390 million for road repairs goes all out the door this year.”
In Question Time today Ms Aitchison said:
“That $334 million is over four years, that fund, and we have got this here in black and white $46.6m is in the budget, we’ve got the $334 million fund, I don’t know what is so difficult to understand.”
Nationals Leader Dugald Saunders said country communities have had enough.
“The Labor Government has been caught out in its lies. Today I asked the Minister in Question Time, is she right or is the budget paper right?” Mr Saunders said.
“The budget paper clearly states it is actually only $46.6 million that is allocated over four years not the $334 million she is claiming. In fact, for the 23/24 financial year only $8.5 million is allocated.
“We need Labor to come clean about exactly what its budget means for regional NSW because all we have seen so far is cuts, cuts, and more cuts which is leaving our country families and businesses worse off.”
The NSW Opposition is also demanding Labor give back the $1.8 billion saving it made by axing the Great Western Highway to the bush.
Shadow Minister for Regional Roads Sam Farraway said there are real concerns the funding cut from the Great Western Highway project will be spent on Western Sydney roads instead of being used to repair our regional road network.
“The NSW Labor Government wants a pat on the back for spending less than a billion dollars in new money on regional road infrastructure and cutting almost 5000 jobs in the Central West by axing the Great Western Highway,” Mr Farraway said.
“During our time in government, the Liberals and Nationals delivered a $19.4 billion regional road and transport infrastructure pipeline, while building legacy road infrastructure to transform travel in the regions, as well as working to repair roads after the devastating floods.
“Only $46.6 million of the $334 million Regional Roads Fund will be given to councils across the State to fix their roads, compared to the $280 million fast tracked by the former NSW Coalition Government in February.
“There’s no point in having a surplus if it’s not being invested into the community. The people of regional NSW deserve better than what mean Minns and his Labor Government is delivering in this budget.”