NSW Budget 2017: Hits and misses for Tamworth region in funding stakes

COMING SOON: Col Murray reckons there'll be a intermodal announcement soon. Photo: Gareth Gardner

COMING SOON: Col Murray reckons there'll be a intermodal announcement soon. Photo: Gareth Gardner

ALL of Tamworth’s budget wishes haven’t come true, with funding for a significant rail upgrade yet to appear.

Tamworth Regional Council has been pushing for an upgrade to a small stretch of rail-line near the Glen Artney estate as it works toward esatblishing an intermodal freight hub.

Council had been hopeful of a funding announcement with the NSW Budget on Tuesday, but it will have to wait a little bit longer.

Mayor Col Murray believes funding for the project, which is slated to bring in a number of new jobs to the region, is imminent.

Cr Murray said Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson has indicated the project could be funded as party of the Fixing Country Rail program.

“Kevin Anderson has indicated he’s hopeful of an announcement in coming months,” Cr Murray told The Leader.

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Mr Anderson said council hasn’t submitted an application for the program yet, but he said there was a good feeling the project would stack up.

Meanwhile, the Liverpool Plains shire claimed a big win in the Budget with its long-fought push for state funding to upgrade Werris Creek’s water treatment plant.

EXCITED: Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson says a number of key projects were funded in the budget.

EXCITED: Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson says a number of key projects were funded in the budget.

The project has been shortlisted for funding in the safe and secure water program, which was welcomed news for mayor Andrew Hope.

“We recognised we needed to do something about 14 years ago,” he said.

“It’s taken this long for all of the planets to line up and funding to come through at each level.”

There is a process to go through before the project is given approval for state funding, but Cr Hope thanked Upper Hunter MP Michael Johnsen and Mr Anderson for their work to get the project shortlisted.

Mr Anderson’s electorate has landed $37 million of funding in the budget for a bevy of road projects.

He was buoyed by the announcement, and said he was “very excited the major projects we have been chasing have been funded”, including $4.8 million for a new West Tamworth fire station.

Business chamber president Jye Segboer said Tamworth was in the pole position for government spending before the next state election.

“Tamworth is in a prime position to reap well from it because of our progressive council,” he said.

"Initial plans are already in place for the international freight hub at the airport and the inland rail link, so hopefully that puts us ahead of the game because the government will be looking to spend this money before the next election."

FUNDING FOR THE REGION

  • $8 million to commence the Gunnedah Overpass
  • $5.5 million for the new Gunnedah Police Station
  • $4 million for intersection improvements on the Oxley Highway
  • $4.8 million for a new West Tamworth Fire Station
  • $3.5 million to continue upgrades on Manilla Road
  • Continued redevelopment of Gunnedah Hospital
  • Multi-million dollar upgrades to Farrer High School and Tamworth Public School
  • $1.958 million towards social housing upgrades
  • $9.9 million for continued upgrades to Keepit Dam
  • $298,000 for Community Transport assisting vulnerable people
  • $15,000 for a Kamilaroi Highway Corridor Strategy
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