THE state government has “dropped the ball” on many proposed road upgrades in the electorate, and only hands out funding when an election is around the corner, independent candidate Mark Rodda says.
However, Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson hosed down the claim, pointing to numerous road projects across the region.
Cr Rodda said the government had eight years to plan and deliver road funding for Goonoo Goonoo Rd, Werris Creek Rd, Rangari Rd and Port Stephens Cutting.
“But only now have they been nominated as ‘on the radar’ or ‘works in progress’, as we approach the 2019 state election,” the Tamworth councillor said.
“It is quite disingenuous behaviour.”
Cr Rodda pointed to the $3.85m the state government committed to sealing Grain Valley Rd, between Mullaley and Boggabri, in mid-November.
“I applaud the decision, however the announcement was made less than four months from an election,” he said.
“The government knew this road was an issue for residents in 2011, but made them wait almost eight years – and a few months from a crucial election, which will see the Coalition struggle to hang onto power.
“Our electorate needs a genuine community voice and advocate keeping government ministers on their toes from the start of their parliamentary term, not at the end.”
However, Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson dismissed the claim funding was only granted close to an election, pointing to the millions of dollars that have been dished out over his term on upgrades to Manilla Rd, Tangaratta Creek bridge, the Oxley Highway and the Jewry St bridge duplication.
“It’s interesting to note Cr Rodda is on council, and these are council roads,” Mr Anderson said.
“Why hasn’t he prioritised these roads?
“I’ll continue to work with the state government and council to get roads priorities. There’s a long list to do, and if Mr Rodda doesn’t understand that process, that’s his problem.”