Tuesday, 20 June 2017

$120 million to upgrade our hospitals and schools

SCHOOLS, hospitals, and roads will see unprecedented levels of funding across the Northern Tablelands thanks to a huge 2017-18 NSW Budget package announced today in State Parliament.

The unprecedented package funds big ticket items like the $30 million Inverell Hospital redevelopment, $65 million Armidale super-secondary school, with the $29.5 million remainder of funding for Armidale’s Hospital also provided. These major transformative works, plus dozens of smaller projects, see $220 million in funding invested in the Northern Tablelands.

“Every single person across the region is a winner in today’s budget,” an ecstatic Member for Northern Tablelands said today.

“From our largest towns to our smallest villages, this budget will fund projects that will build and renew infrastructure, provide new and enhanced services and make life easier for residents across the Northern Tablelands.

“This budget will build the region of tomorrow. We have enough funding to finish two hospitals, build the best high school in regional NSW and improve

“Armidale will see a brand new $65 million high school. Housing up to 1,500 students, a school of this size and type has never been seen before in regional NSW.  It will give students in-person access to an expanded curriculum, with specialized classrooms to better cater for young people with disabilities.

“Inverell will finally get the hospital that it deserves, after a decade of waiting, petitions and designs. With $30 million of funding locked in, the project will get underway soon. I was pushing for enough funding to get the Inverell Hospital underway – it’s fantastic to see the entire figure confirmed.

“Armidale Hospital will get the money it needs to finish the refurbishment of the new building, and with this money locked in, I hope to be officially opening the building early next year.

“In addition to these big ticket items, dozens of projects identified by communities, council and the government as a priority will get the money they need to get underway.

 “More than $46 million will be spent on major projects and upgrades on the Newell, Carnavon and Gwydir Highways and Waterfall Way, including major works to increase vehicle weight limits around Moree and Boggabilla and provide additional overtaking lanes,” he said.

“While repairing roads in regional NSW is a never-ending task, this budget will help replace old and outdated bridges, rework hazardous sections of road and provide additional overtaking lanes to improve safety for all drivers.

“This huge amount of funding has come after extensive consultation with communities and councils, and acknowledges the Northern Tablelands as a vital arterial route for transport in NSW.

“Local councils will also see $10million to ensure that roads are renewed, freshly surfaced and that the extensive maintenance back log is addressed.”

Commenting on the overall budget, Mr Marshall said the budget acknowledged the vital role NSW has on the economy of the nation.

“This budget proves that NSW leads the nation in developing infrastructure and responsible spending. With a budget surplus, our state has the financial security necessary to encourage business growth and push major projects forward.

“The Northern Tablelands is a vital driver of the state’s cultural and economic landscape. This record $220 million budget will help move our region forward – and I’ll ensure we keep that momentum going across the next 12 months.”

Some of the budget highlights for the Northern Tablelands include:

  • $65 million to build a 1,500 student school in Armidale;
  • $30 million to fully fund Inverell Hospital and fast-track construction;
  • $29.5 million to complete the fit-out of Armidale Hospital;
  • New Service NSW centres to be built in Glen Innes and Moree;
  • $1.23 million to upgrade Aboriginal Housing across the Northern Tablelands
  • $1.84 million to upgrade social housing across the Northern Tablelands
  • $46 million to fund roadworks across the Northern Tablelands, including:
    • $23 million to continue planning and commence construction of the Newell Highway heavy duty pavement upgrade between Mungle Back Creek and Boggabilla;
    • $2.5 million for Newell Highway overtaking lanes;
    • $1.4 million for pavement repair on Waterfall Way in Wollomombi (east of Armidale);
    • $940,000 to upgrade pavement on the Newell Highway south of Moree
    • $4 million to replace the bridge over Nee Nee Creek north of Moree;
    • $1.6 million in pavement repairs on the New England Highway south of Armidale;
    • $100,000 for upgrades to pavement on the Carnavon Highway, west of Moree;
    • $100,000 for upgrades to pavement on the Newell Highway, north of Moree;
    • $800,000 for slope remediation on the Gibraltar Range, east of Glen Innes;
    • $519,000 to upgrade drainage lining on the Gwydir Highway, east of Glen Innes
    • $70,000 for pavement repair at Stonehenge south of Glen Innes;
  • $40.79 million in Restart NSW funding for the Northern Tablelands;
  • $396,000 to provide community transport to aged people and those with disabilities;
  • $2.89 million to Inverell Shire Council for road maintenance;
  • $1.87 million to Moree Plains Shire Council for road maintenance;
  • $1.89 million to Gwydir Shire Council for road maintenance;
  • $1.42 million to Armidale Shire Council for road maintenance;
  • $1.17 million to Uralla Shire Council for road maintenance;
  • $694,000 to Glen Innes Severn Council for road maintenance;
  • $425,000 to upgrade government buildings, including
    • $50,000 to upgrade the Moree SES building;
    • $54,000 to upgrade the Armidale Department of Environment building;
    • $20,000 to upgrade the old Inverell RMS building

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