THIS year’s budget came with caveat weeks in advance.
NSW Nationals’ leader and deputy premier John Barilaro boasted about his billion dollar plan to “turbo-charge” the regions.
Perhaps he meant literally turbo-charge.
Bathurst was a major beneficiary this year, with funding a second race track in the town from the state government.
Road projects in Orange and Dubbo were next cabs off the rank with NSW money for respective highway projects.
In Barilaro’s bold budget prologue, he mentioned Tamworth being in-line to become an international airport freight centre.
While mayor Col Murray was hopeful of seeing some state money to help get the city’s plan for an intermodal freight hub chugging along.
The intermodal freight hub idea has been widely encouraged in the community, but the backing from the state has yet to be delivered.
Bringing international freight directly to Tamworth could see the region soar to new heights.
However, in the funding race, the project is trailing behind turbo-charged projects in Bathurst, Orange and Dubbo.
Mr Barilaro will be in Tamworth on Friday to meet with local NSW Farmers and Tamworth Regional Council, perhaps there is more news to come.
While Tamworth is experiencing some delays with its rail and air projects, the champagne was being popped in Werris Creek with the town edging closer to water security with its ageing treatment plant shortlisted for state funding in the budget.
It’s not quite over the line, but the Liverpool Plains Shire mayor, Andrew Hope said the news represented a pay-off, of sorts, for 14 years of lobbying from the plains.
It appears it has taken a long time, but the planets are closer to alignment for the project and hopefully it’s not far off being resolved.
While some projects might not have gotten off the ground just yet, there’s some gems in the budget for Tamworth.
A new fire station in West Tamworth and confirmed funding for several road projects is welcome news.
The government has laid its budget cards on the table, for now, but where all of the chips will fall from the state’s big funding programs will be where the Tamworth region could be in the pole position for some bigger wins.