NSW BUDGET: Disappointing for Albury, Mack says

ALBURY has missed out on money for key projects in the NSW budget, leaving mayor Kevin Mack “extremely disappointed”.

Cr Mack had hoped yesterday’s budget would have money to upgrade the Riverina Highway near Lake Hume and to undertake major works on Wagga Road.

He also hoped the Albury Art Gallery redevelopment would receive funding in the budget, which it did not.

“To say I’m disappointed is probably understating the fact,” he said.

“But I won’t be as disappointed as the electorate of Albury.

“This is what you get when you’ve got a safe Liberal seat.”

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Cr Mack said the Riverina Highway posed a serious risk to cyclists, runners and motorists and was in urgent need of repair.

“It’s fairly important and it’s disappointing to see no money for that project,” he said.

“I don’t think we’ve really secured much in the way of a decent amount of funding for anything in particular.”

Cr Mack said he would have further discussions with the member for Albury Greg Aplin over the projects but questioned what else could be done or where other funding could be sourced.

Mr Aplin said the budget had $1 million to continue planning for a replacement bridge between Yarrawonga and Mulwala, $4.5 million in road grants for councils, and funds for road planning, investigations and acquisitions.

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Money has also been allocated to maintain the new Wymah ferry, $1 million to complete two disability facilities in Albury, and funding for the new Albury Brain Health Centre was confirmed.

Mr Aplin said money from the sale of the state’s electricity wires and poles could be spent on projects like the Riverina Highway upgrades.

“Kevin Mack is not in charge of the Riverina Highway, he can look after local roads,” he said.

“There is $4.513 million in grants to councils for regional roads.

“I don’t really need the mayor to make comments when I’ve been talking about this for a long time.

“There has been extensive work done on the Riverina Highway in parts.

“We’re looking at the last two kilometres which requires attention.”

Mr Aplin described the budget as “responsible”.

“It’s a budget which the Treasurer described as the government being in charge of, rather than the budget being in charge of the government, which is the situation we inherited just over three years ago,” he said.

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