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Hartsuyker pushes for extension of federal road funding project for Bellingen Shire.



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Media Contact: Greg Pierce 02 66 52 62 33 0408 532 785 Email:greg.pierce@aph.gov.au Canberra: 62 77 4447

Luke Hartsuyker MP Federal Member for Cowper

MEDIA RELEASE

January 12, 2004

Hartsuyker pushes for extension of Federal road funding project for Bellingen Shire

The Nationals Federal Member for Cowper, Luke Hartsuyker, is pushing for the Federal Government’s Road to Recovery funding programme to be extended so further improvements can be made to local roads in the Bellingen shire.

Under the existing R2R scheme, which will expire in the next financial year, the Commonwealth provides local councils with funding for expenditure on local roads.

The Bellingen Shire Council then determines where that money is spent.

Mr Hartsuyker said by funding local government directly and cutting out the State Government from managing the funds, the Commonwealth was allowing local councils to focus spending on projects which are considered local priorities.

“Councils such as the Bellingen Shire, which has already been allotted $1.35 million, have put a very good case for the Roads to Recovery programme to be continued which is why I have again made representations to Federal Transport Minister John Anderson.

“While it is true that funding for the Roads to Recovery programme presently doesn’t extend past 2004/05, I believe the results that have been achieved to date highlight why it should be extended in some form.”

When the programme was launched in 2000 the Commonwealth committed $1.2 billion and set aside 70 per cent of that funding rural and regional councils.

“Bellingen shire has already put that funding to good use through upgrades on such projects at Hyde Creek Road, Gordonville Road and the Redeck’s Bridge,” Mr Hartsuyker said.

“I understand that projects at Pickett Hill, Repton Road and Mountain Top Road near Dorrigo are also ongoing.

“The Bellingen council has earmarked the Federal funds for at least 13 projects but I acknowledge that councils have endured a lot of cost-shifting from State Governments and that has meant that some local government areas have not been able to allocate the level of funds they would like for roads.

Media Contact: Greg Pierce 02 66 52 62 33. Mobile 0408 532 785 Email: greg.pierce@aph.gov.au Canberra: 6277 4447

“An extension of the Roads to Recovery programme would allow the Bellingen Shire Council to continue that work.”

END