Road upgrades, a major sport and recreation centre, dredging, parking and housing are a few of the items in last week’s NSW budget that local MP Greg Piper says are pleasing for Lake Macquarie.
But, quite simply, it’s not enough.
Accepting the Minns government budget is tight, and admitting the commitment to progress key infrastructure projects for Lake Macquarie is positive, Mr Piper says the funding is unlikely to keep up with the region’s growing population.
The lakeside LGA has been promised $12.94 million in funding for projects.
“With the financial challenges the government claim they have inherited, it is not surprising the Government has chosen to rein in spending in its first budget,” he said.
“It will be interesting to see what the government deliver when they bring the budget back into black, as they forecast, next year.”
Key highlights for the Lake Macquarie electorate include:
- $1 million for planning for the Speers Point Roundabout upgrades in 2023/2024 with further funding for this project announced for coming years
- $1.54 million for 2023/2024 planning for the new Lake Macquarie Sport and Recreation Centre Project at the old Morisset Hospital site. The estimated total cost of this project is $40 million with $32.3 million planned expenditure in the four years to 2026-2027
- $4.8 million in funding for planning in 2023/2024 for the Mandalong Road upgrade
- $1.8 million for the continued planning for the Hillsborough Road upgrade
- $1.6 million in funding to fix the Owens Bridge Road in Martinsville
- $2.2 million in grants to Lake Macquarie Council as part of the Regional Roads Repair Fund
“I am pleased that the government has confirmed its commitment to a number of key infrastructure projects in the Lake Macquarie including fixing congestion around Speers Point roundabout, the Mandalong Road upgrade and the Lake Macquarie Sport and Recreation Centre,” Mr Piper added.
“I am looking forward to seeing work begin on these projects as soon as possible.”
Lake Macquarie should also benefit from its share in statewide funding including;
- $54.6 million to continue to deliver additional commuter car parking spaces at interchanges across Greater Sydney and the NSW Central Coast
- $2.4 million to the NSW Land and Housing Corporation for social housing upgrades and improvements.
“While I understand the financial position the government is in, I am disappointed that it has not committed a greater investment in planning for needs of the growing Lake Macquarie population,” Mr Piper said.
“Morisset and its surrounding suburbs have experienced huge growth in recent years but infrastructure projects and services in the area, particularly health services, are not keeping pace.
“Lake Macquarie cannot continue to grow without these vital road infrastructure projects getting off the ground.
“We also need to urgently start the planning to meet the health needs of our growing and ageing population.”