NSW BUDGET: SWANSEA MISSES OUT… AGAIN
In addition, not a single dollar has been provided to fund vital community projects for the Swansea Electorate, which the Member for Swansea Yasmin Catley has been campaigning alongside the local community for.
Permanent dredge for Swansea Channel
The NSW Government has missed an opportunity to fund a permanent dredging solution for Lake Macquarie in today’s State Budget.
In a Budget Submission to the Minister for Primary Industries, Lands and Water, the Member for Swansea Yasmin Catley called on the NSW Government to fund a permanent dredge for Lake Macquarie.
The Budget Submission was supported by local representatives including the Member for Charlestown and Mayor of Lake Macquarie Jodie Harrison and Independent Member for Lake Macquarie Greg Piper, as well as local boating organisations including the Lake Macquarie Yacht Club.
In 2015, the NSW Government spent $2.5 million on dredging the Swansea Channel only to have it shoal up again by October. By November 2015, Marine Rescue Lake Macquarie was rendering assistance to an average of one vessel per day.
Tourism in Lake Macquarie provides a substantial economic benefit to the region and previous research estimated that a Channel dredge of 60 metres would increase visitors from outside Lake Macquarie by 150 per cent.
Marine Rescue Radio Base
Once again, funding towards the construction of a new Marine Rescue Lake Macquarie Radio Base at Swansea Heads has been left out of the NSW Budget.
The Member for Swansea Yasmin Catley has expressed disappointment that the NSW Government have been unable to make a contribution towards the new Radio Base, despite boasting of a surplus of over $3 billion.
Marine Rescue Lake Macquarie have been requesting funding to replace the Radio Base for a number of years, and the NSW Liberal Government is well aware of the need for this upgrade.
Ms Catley had previously written to the Minister for Emergency Services formally requesting funding for an upgrade to the Marine Rescue Radio Base at Swansea Heads in today’s Budget.
Ms Catley’s Budget submission contained letters of support from local State and Federal MP’s including Member for Charlestown Jodie Harrison, Labor Candidate for Shortland Pat Conroy and Independent Member for Lake Macquarie Greg Piper.
Carters Road, Lake Munmorah Education Precinct
The NSW Budget has failed to provide funding for a solution to the congestion and safety concerns surrounding Carters Road, Lake Munmorah.
In a pre-Budget submission, the Member for Swansea Yasmin Catley called on the NSW Minister for Roads, Duncan Gay, to make funds available to create a second access point to Carters Road.
Carters Road is currently a single-access road that is home to two Primary Schools, two High Schools and an Early Childhood Centre which have been forced to stagger their start and finish times to account for the high level of traffic.
Not funding an upgrade to Carters Road is a missed opportunity to provide more safe and efficient access to the Lake Munmorah Education precinct.
Quotes attributable to the Member for Swansea, Yasmin Catley MP:
“I’m disappointed that the Government will not be funding a permanent dredge for Swansea Channel in this year’s Budget.
“It looks like the Government will continue to throw good money after bad when addressing the continued shoaling of Swansea Channel.
“It makes good economic sense to provide a permanent dredge for Swansea Channel, with the benefits to local tourism well documented.
“Tourism in Lake Macquarie provides a substantial economic benefit to the region and previous research estimated that a Channel dredge of 60 metres would increase visitors from outside Lake Macquarie by 150 per cent - this translates to added local economic benefit of $3.3 to $3.7 million per year.”
“Despite boasting of a Budget surplus in excess of $3 billion, the Government have decided to not make a contribution towards an upgraded Radio Base at Swansea Heads.
“The NSW Liberal Government are aware of the dire need to replace the ageing Swansea Radio Base, and they have been for some time.
“In the big scheme of things, Marine Rescue Lake Macquarie has requested $950,000, a drop in the ocean compared to some of the Government’s big ticket Budget items.
“The new Radio Base is shovel ready, with Marine Rescue Lake Macquarie already putting in the hard yards to get their plans up to scratch – all they need now is funding from the Government.
“The Roads Minister and the Treasurer have completely ignored my request for funding to improve safety and alleviate congestion on Carters Road.
“Providing alternative access to the Education Precinct on Carters Road is seen as a priority by many key stakeholders – including the former Wyong Shire Council.
“The Government gloats about a Budget surplus, but is failing to deliver on important infrastructure in regional New South Wales, places like the Central Coast and the Hunter.”