Tweed flush with Budget funding
MONEY rained down on the Tweed Shire yesterday as details of the NSW Budget were revealed.
Tweed Heads police, Murwillumbah ambulance and the Banora Point Pacific Highway upgrade was where some of the big bucks were splashed, with a total of more than $127 million promised for the shire.
The Banora upgrade was the biggest winner, receiving $110 million to continue construction of the dual carriageway.
Meanwhile, Tweed Heads police gained $4.5 million for planning and construction of an already-announced new station.
Tweed Heads Police Inspector Greg Jago said the funding for the new station was welcomed.
“They are looking into building a new station somewhere in the shire,” Insp Jago said.
“It's still in the planning stages, but it's good to hear about the funding in the Budget.”
Surprises included $470,000 to refurbish the Murwillumbah Ambulance Station while Murwillumbah TAFE would get a share in $19 million for new facilities.
Tweed MP Geoff Provest said there was a surprising amount of funds going to Tweed services.
“There is some encouraging signs in that modest, if vague, funding has been for several projects, but we are still a long way from seeing these up and running,” Mr Provest said.
“We've been calling on a lot of these things for up to four years now.
“The Government has promised many things in the past and just hasn't delivered. I'm a believer in reality when I can go out and touch it.”
Despite the splash of cash on Tweed services, Mr Provest said he was disappointed in the lack of funding for the Tweed Hospital.
“There was no extra money for health services. Tweed hospital is already busting at the seams. I was surprised no money was given to them,” he said.
“There also doesn't seem to be anything for homeless youths or the youth issues in the shire. These have been significant matters for us.”
Funds announced for the already proposed HealthOne Centre at Pottsville have been allocated in the budget for three years, including this year. Construction is yet to begin.
“They've putting this money into it but they've yet to put a spade in the ground,” Mr Provest said.
Lismore MP Thomas George, whose electorate includes Murwillumbah, labelled the budget a disappointment.
“It's typical of the Keneally Government facing an election,” Mr George said.
“They've concentrated spending and allocation of funds on marginals seats, and as always Newcastle, Wollongong and Sydney.”
He said he was disappointed to see Murwillum- bah District Hospital miss out on additional funding.
“It's something we will need to look into more locally,” he said. “We are also still looking for more police and police hours in Murwillumbah.”
NSW treasurer Eric Roozendaal handed down the Budget, boasting it would see the return of a $773 million surplus.
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Find more detail on the NSW Government Budget 2010-11 official site.