Tamworth punches above its weight. It is a city and regional centre that has a plan for its future with the services and amenities in place to cater for stable and sustainable growth. As the State MP, I am totally committed to our region and our people ensuring we have the best opportunities in funding applications and having a seat at the table.
In the 2015-16 year our population increased by 1.1 per cent or 643 people. This is amongst the best recorded growth rates in regional NSW, our population in Tamworth is close to 62,000 people; 10,000 more people than Albury and Dubbo and almost 20,000 more than Bathurst and Orange in the same calendar period.
There are so many aspects that contributes to Tamworth’s growth that gives us such a strong foundation. Continued investment in Health, Education, Roads, Bridges, Police, Fire and Rescue, emergency Services, and other community infrastructure. as well as the infrastructure we are the Regional Headquarters and offices for many government departments. Department of Primary Industries, Correctional Services, Department of Education, Emergency Services, RMS, Family and Community Services, Housing, Crown, TAFE, State Training Services and many others.
The $211 million redevelopment of the Tamworth Rural Referral Hospital, the construction of the North West Cancer Centre and the opening of a School of Rural Health ensures not only the most modern of facilities, but trained staff to work within these buildings. Education is always a priority. Record spending injected into school upgrades maintenance programmes ensures facilities are up to scratch. Transport and Freight is a key priority with the development of a $7.4m intermodal designed to get our incredible produce from paddock to port as quickly and efficiently as possible. Manilla road is progressing, so far we have invested $11m with more to come, there is also the $8m Tangarratta Creek bridge while appropriate access to the industrial heart of the city is ensured with the $4.3 million upgrading of Appleby Lane.
Plans are progressing for a $5 million brand new fire station on the back of the 2017 staffing announcement of 11 new jobs. The push is on to upgrade the Tamworth police Station, and I know that we need to start work on a new ambulance station. I am also looking at options for tertiary education in our city. I am firmly of the belief that you build it first, then they will come.
Kevin Anderson is the State Member for Tamworth.