NSW Budget 2019: Port Stephens' winners and losers

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet handing down his third state budget at NSW Parliament House, Sydney, on Tuesday, June 18, 2019. Picture: AAP Image/Dean Lewins
NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet handing down his third state budget at NSW Parliament House, Sydney, on Tuesday, June 18, 2019. Picture: AAP Image/Dean Lewins

Nelson Bay Road improvements worth $37.3 million and the Nelson Bay TAFE (connected learning centre) were the big winners for Port Stephens residents from the NSW Budget handed down on Tuesday.

There was no funding, however, for the controversial $188 million Fingal Bay link road which was the cause of much debate post-election when NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian was forced to publicly commit to the project after MLC Catherine Cusack had indicated it would not go ahead.

The $205 million full duplication of Nelson Bay Road will also have to wait, while key stakeholders were still holding the government on its promise to "an immediate review of the Port Stephens-Great Lakes Marine Park".

Liberal Party MLC Taylor Martin said that the budget had delivered significant transport, health and education infrastructure for the region while taking action to lower the cost of living.

"On Nelson Bay Road, the government has committed $205 million to duplicate the road in addition to $70 million previously allocated for the road's improvements," he said.

"Our budget includes $37.3 million to continue to deliver improvements and planning for the duplication between Williamtown and Bobs Farm."

"With the marine park, preparatory works are underway for the review. The government is committed to delivering it as was promised prior to the election."

The government released $37.3 million in the next financial year to start meeting its $275 million election commitment to duplicate Nelson Bay Road from Williamtown to Bobs Farm, a project which rated a mention in Treasurer Dominic Perrottet's budget speech to Parliament.

The budget papers list the Fingal Bay link road as a pre-election promise, but the project did not receive funding this financial year.

The M1 Pacific Motorway extension to Raymond Terrace received $5.99 million, adding to the $33 million already spent on planning.

The government announced before the election that it would plan significant upgrades for two Raymond Terrace high schools, Hunter River and Irrawang, but neither project received funding on Tuesday.

The budget contained no funding for Newcastle Airport's proposed terminal and runway expansion.

Mr Perrottet told a media conference in Sydney on Tuesday morning that the government was "absolutely committed" to its election promises and funding would flow to some of these projects in subsequent years.

Labor MP Kate Washington described the budget as "disappointing" and "full of disappearing promises".

"Unbelievably, the duplication of Nelson Bay Road has been delayed yet again. Instead of the two year completion date promised by the Premier, it's likely to take another seven or eight years," Ms Washington said.

"As foreshadowed by Ms Cusack, and later denied by the Premier, the Fingal Bay link road seems to have disappeared entirely. It's received no money at all.

"The planned police station upgrades in Karuah and Lemon Tree Passage received just six per cent of the money promised before the election.

"The major upgrades to the high schools in Raymond Terrace were mentioned - but received zero dollars."

Comments