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Dollar-for-dollar funding offer for Williamtown airport road



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Ά Bob BrownMinister for Land Transport 99/91 22 March 1991

DOLLAR-FOR-DOLLAR FUNDING OFFER FOR WILLIAMTOWN AIRPORT ROAD

The Federal Government today offered to allocate up to $2 million on a dollar-for-dollar basis to substantially improve Cabbage Tree Road to Williamtown Airport and the resort town of Nelson Bay.

The Member for Charlton and Federal Land Transport Minister, Bob Brown, said the offer resulted from a meeting he had had recently with David Le Merchant, Scott Derwin, Graham Jefferies and Barry Goldstiver of the Newcastle Chamber of Commerce, and also from the strong

representations of the State Member for Port Stephens, Bob Martin, in whose electorate the road was located.

Mr Brown said the New South Wales Government should now seize the opportunity to strengthen Newcastle's tourism industry and regional infrastructure by accepting the

Commonwealth's funding offer on a dollar-for-dollar basis.

"Cabbage Tree Road is a State Government responsibility, but the Federal Government is prepared to meet part of the upgrading cost if the NSW Government contributes a similar amount," he said.

"The Commonwealth offer is made in support of a community- based Hunter regional development concept that calls for the upgrading of Cabbage Tree Road to improve access to Williamtown Airport.

"I applaud the efforts of the Newcastle Chamber of Commerce in developing the airport study, and would like to express my thanks to the State Member for Port Stephens, Bob Martin, for his representations on this matter."

Mr Brown said the Cabbage Tree Road-Tomago Road from the Pacific Highway to Williamtown was used by employee vehicles and commercial traffic serving the Tomago Aluminium Smelter.

"The completion of the Sydney-Newcastle Freeway to Minmi by 1993-94 will create the need for more direct access from the Pacific Highway to the tourist destinations on the Tomaree Peninsula, placing more pressure on the road," he

said.

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"This situation will become worse as the population of Port Stephens Shire grows by an estimated 30,000 during the next 25 years.

"The people of Maitland, Kurri Kurri and Cessnock also rely upon Cabbage Tree Road for access to Williamtown Airport.

"This demand will grow as the effects of airline deregulation take hold and airlines examine the benefits of operating more flights through Williamtown.

"Governments at all levels have a responsibility to plan for the future, and I hope the NSW Roads Minister, Wal Murray, accepts my offer in a spirit of genuine cooperation for the welfare and prosperity of the people of the Hunter Valley.

"This is particularly so in the light of population growth statistics for Port Stephens Shire released this week by the NSW Government's Department of Planning.

"As the joint funding program for the Pacific Highway has shown, a pooling of limited Federal and State financial resources can achieve quick and substantial results much faster than if one level of government has sole responsibility for funding.

"Nonetheless, Cabbage Tree Road remains a NSW Government responsibility. It is not my intention that the Federal Government assumes responsibility for it.

"We are prepared to help New South Wales if it is repared to help itself."

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Media inquiries: Brian Hill (06) 277 7440