THE Australian Government’s $1.75 billion five-year funding extension of the Roads to Recovery Programme is at risk of being blocked in the Senate, Federal Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce warned today.
Legislation to extend Roads to Recovery funding for the next five years (from 2014-15 to 2018-19) passed the House of Representatives yesterday but was opposed by Labor and the Greens.
“If Labor and the Greens vote against the legislation in the Senate, the Programme will terminate,” Mr Joyce said.
“Given Labor and the Green’s position on this Bill our local councils of Tamworth Regional Council, Armidale Dumaresq, Tenterfield, Inverell, Glen Innes Severn, Guyra, Uralla, Walcha, Liverpool Plains, Gunnedah stand to lose a total of $9,472,157.
“That’s a lot of bitumen for a lot of much-needed work on our local roads and streets. Our communities cannot afford to lose this vital investment.
“Labor is playing the basest of political games and it is local councils and local roads users who will pay the price.
“Our $1.75 billion commitment is designed to help local governments to address the backlog of local road maintenance, to improve safety and transport efficiency, and stimulate economic development across the country.
“Local Governments are desperate for Roads to Recovery funding, but now Labor and the Greens are threatening the very future of the Programme.”
“Across NSW, local roads will lose a staggering $114,629,824 if Labor doesn’t get out of the way.
“Our local community, our businesses and our entire economy desperately need this $1.75 billion injection of funding for local roads now.
“I urge local councils to petition Labor and the Greens to allow this funding to be passed.”