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Budget allocation boost

Millions of dollars promised to Wagga Wagga during the by-election last year and the following state election in March were confirmed in the state budget last month.

At first look, the funding allocations for capital works across the electorate could be close to a record spend, with Treasurer Dominic Perrottet’s budget reflecting the NSW Premier’s commitment to honour the project announcements made between September 2018 and March this year. 

This funding will help see our region grow responsibly and ensure residents feel they are safe and supported. I would have liked to have seen a specific figure allocated to the Estella Primary School build; however, the project has been mentioned in the budget paper and I understand the project has been put to tender, so it’s encouraging to know it’s making progress. 

We’re entering a time of great opportunity for growth across the region and it is definitely positive to see millions of dollars going towards projects and initiatives that will upgrade, maintain and develop the electorate. 

There are some real income pressures on the government at the moment, but I think it has responded appropriately and carefully, and it has preserved infrastructure spending across the state - in particular our electorate.

In addition to this, Lockhart Shire Council will benefit from $667,000 to upgrade The Rock Road and almost $4 million to upgrade to the Urana-Lockhart Road. 

Wagga Wagga’s Cycling Towns dream is set to become a reality this financial year, with almost $11.5 million allocated to the infrastructure build. This comes in addition to the promised $739,000 Botanic Gardens upgrade, a $5 million riverside precinct rejuvenation and $1 million for the second stage of the CSU Riverina Equestrian Centre. 

Projects and programs supported by the Restart NSW fund have totalled with more than $51.5 million, with close to $14.4 million allocated to the promised Riverina Intermodal Freight and Logistics Hub.

In addition to this, the Wagga Wagga electorate is set to benefit from a number of regional transport initiatives, including additional rural and regional bus services, upgraded rail fleet, as well as a number of road safety and improvement programs, and more than $3.3 million has been allocated for state road maintenance repairs and resurfacing. 

Almost $19 million is set to be spent on transport projects and maintenance, with a $414,000 boost will see the final stages of the Kapooka Bridge replacement words completed and $8 million has been put towards planned intersection upgrades and bridge widening over Marshall’s Creek. 

Even though the hospital car park won’t be built until the completion of the Wagga Wagga Base Hospital upgrade in 2023, it was good to see $250,000 allocated, for what I assume will be planning, in 2019-2020.

At the top of the wish-list items was a kick-start to the $50 million Tumut Hospital redevelopment, with $3.5 million set to get work underway in 2019-2020. The continued support for stage-three of the Wagga Wagga Base Hospital Redevelopment was also welcome, with more than $71.3 million set to keep the project ticking along in the next financial year.