Major road upgrades, more nurses and a million-dollar fire station renovation have been earmarked for the Mountains as part of the O’Farrell Government’s second budget.
But the NSW Opposition said the budget was “built on broken promises” and did not deliver on pre-election commitments such as express train services for the area.
As reported in the Gazette earlier this month, the government has budgeted for the re-sealing of Springwood’s Macquarie Road between the highway and Hawkesbury Road in 2012/13 in line with a commitment made before last year’s state election.
“I am excited to see the election promise of rebuilding Macquarie Road from the Great Western Highway to Hawkesbury Road at Springwood funded in the budget this year,” Blue Mountains MP Roza Sage said in a statement.
“This was a promise made and now delivered after many residents contacted me complaining of the dilapidated state of the road.
“Along with further improvements and funds for the Great Western Highway I fully support the government’s focus on infrastructure renewal here in the Blue Mountains.”
Springwood fire station will be renovated to the tune of $1.35 million, while $884,000 will go towards upgrading Katoomba court house to improve security and disabled access.
More than $70 million has been earmarked for continued upgrades of the Great Western Highway.
But Blue Mountains Labor spokesperson Trish Doyle said the government had “failed to deliver” in the region.
“The premier [Barry O’Farrell] promised before the election that there would be no jobs cuts, no service cuts, no new speed cameras and no cuts to first home buyer grants,” she said in a statement. “He has broken every one of those promises.”
The government had reneged on protection of national parks from hunting, had not delivered more express train services to the city, and had not budgeted for more beds at Katoomba Hospital, she said.
“Barry O’Farrell promised in a pre-election article in the Gazette ‘they would invest in the public service’, but he has broken that promise and axed a total of 15,000 jobs — 5000 last budget and 10,000 in this budget,” Ms Doyle said.
“In opposition, Barry O’Farrell promised to rip out speed cameras and stop the revenue raising but the budget will see 148 new cameras rolled out and speeding fines increase by 12.5 per cent, gouging an extra $180 million a year from motorists.
“The people of Blue Mountains were promised greater investment in public services but the premier has announced $1.24 billion in service cuts, and will not identify where these cuts will be made.”
Penrith MP Stuart Ayres also welcomed budget commitments for his area, which included $18 million for the Nepean Hospital car park and $24 million for its Stage 3 and 3A redevelopment, $3.8 million to purchase land for accommodation for people with disabilities in Penrith, $2 million to continue the development of a new bridge crossing over the Nepean River, and improvements to the Penrith Lakes Precinct in preparation for the 2013 World Rowing Cup.
“The budget confirms $18 million towards the construction of a new multi-storey car park at Nepean Hospital and also includes $4 million to the creative and performing arts centre at Nepean High,” he said.