Social housing for Blue Mountains overlooked in budget: Labor MP

Blue Mountains Labor MP Trish Doyle has expressed her disappointment with last week's state budget, saying it was a missed opportunity to improve social housing in the Blue Mountains.

Highlighting the spiralling waiting list for social housing and the lack of affordable rentals in the Blue Mountains, Ms Doyle said the budget should have been used to bolster social and affordable housing stocks west of the Nepean River.

"This budget does nothing to address the social housing shortage we have in the Blue Mountains," she said. "There are members of our community, women and children escaping domestic violence, the elderly and those living with a disability, some of whom have been waiting for housing for years and this budget gives them nothing."

The state budget has also failed to allocate substantive funding to the construction of the Great Western highway duplication project, she said.

The budget allocated $15.3 million in 2020-2021 to continue "planning and development" for the project.

"The government is throwing some loose change towards the tunnel they've promised for Blackheath but what's in the 2020 budget won't see this project come to fruition. There's still no business case and still no funding commitment from the federal government for the actual construction. Without that, this project will never happen," said Ms Doyle.

Blackheath Highway Action Group spokesman Michael Paag noted an overall commitment of $220 million towards the highway duplication between Katoomba and Lithgow.

"That's why is so important that people have their say on which tunnel option they prefer for Blackheath. Submissions close midnight Saturday, November 28 and we are calling on everyone to support the long tunnel option to save local homes and the iconic Sutton Park," he said.

Ms Doyle said local services were left wanting by the budget, with only one Blue Mountains fire station earmarked for funding.

"We live in the most fire prone area in the country. Every one of our stations needs to be fit-for-purpose so to learn that only one of them gets a mention is a kick in the guts for our community."

In response to the Blue Mountains MP's criticisms, Upper House Liberal MP Shayne Mallard said Ms Doyle "hasn't been in government so she can be forgiven for not understanding how the state budget works".

"The state budget is for the state, not just the Blue Mountains, and if you look at the whole budget you will see" many benefits, he said.

The budget included almost $900 million that will be invested to build thousands of new homes, he said.

"This is on top of the NSW Government's $22 billion Communities Plus program and $1.1 billion Social and Affordable Housing Fund which continue to deliver new and better social housing across the state."

Mr Mallard said the budget will deliver a total of $1.8 billion for the NSW Rural Fire Service, Fire and Rescue NSW, NSW State Emergency Service and Marine Rescue NSW, including an additional $237 million to boost the state's preparedness and response to bushfires.

The Blue Mountains SES Unit will also receive two new medium storm vehicles in the coming months, a "further investment of $449,000 into the Blue Mountains Unit", he said.