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Newcastle
Thursday, March 4, 2021

‘Next to nothing’ given back to locals: Harrison

Charlestown MP Jodie Harrison has the NSW Government in her sights after a glaring anomaly highlighted the imbalance between Sydney and regional areas.

Figures recently revealed tens of millions of dollars in stamp duty have been collected from the electorate’s taxpayers with “next to nothing” reinvested back into the community.

Since 2011, the 2290 postcode, which covers Newcastle suburbs such as Charlestown, Dudley, Hillsborough, Kahibah, Mount Hutton, Redhead, Tingira Heights and Whitebridge, contributed almost $134 million to the state’s treasury.

However, government investment on infrastructure in the region hasn’t kept pace despite significant issues, including along Hillsborough Road.

Now, the local member is asking NSW Premier Gladys Berijiklian and her colleagues for a “fair go”.

“In the 2019-2020 financial year alone, the government collected nearly $13 million in stamp duty from residents of the 2290 postcode,” Ms Harrison said.

“Despite this, in the 2020-2021 Budget, only $2.7 million was allocated for planning and pre-construction on Hillsborough Road.

“That thoroughfare is not fit for purpose, poses a safety risk and is a major source of traffic disruption for whole area.

“Freedom of Information requests for the stamp duty figures were originally denied by Revenue NSW in mid-2019, because the government doesn’t want locals to see that they’re paying so much in return for so little.”

Ms Harrison admitted she’d been raising the matter of Hillsborough Road with the NSW Government continually since she was elected as the member for Charlestown.

“While we’ve seen some minor repairs, they have just kept ignoring the underlying issue,” she said.

“They’ve got no excuse.

“Local taxpayers are contributing to the state’s coffers, but they’re getting next to nothing back.”