NSW Labor has demanded the Liberal-National Government comes clean about its promise to build the Singleton bypass, amid growing doubts about its ability to deliver the desperately needed road.
Around one per cent of the project’s estimated cost has been allocated in the 2019-20 budget. That’s despite record investment in Sydney’s infrastructure as Singleton’s road network struggles to cope with growing traffic.
Labor’s call for answers comes as the Liberal infrastructure most recent blowout bill edges over $13 billion in Sydney– enough to cover the cost of around 20 bypasses.
Speaking ahead of Labor’s second regional Shadow Cabinet meeting in Singleton today, Labor Leader Jodi McKay declared regional NSW deserves better.
“When I became the Leader of the Labor Party I promised that Labor would be a party for regional and rural NSW. Communities like Singleton cannot be after-thoughts. That is why I have brought Shadow Cabinet to regional NSW,” Ms McKay said.
“As someone who grew up in the Hunter region, I understand the importance of this project. There is no time to waste with traffic volumes already increasing in Singleton.
“The Labor Party is today calling on the Government to speed up the Singleton bypass, which includes allocating the appropriate funding and releasing a construction timeline.”
The State Government has previously admitted the construction timeline for the Singleton bypass relies on funding availability. But Upper Hunter MP Michael Johnsen continues to pass the buck onto the Federal Government to cover the bulk of the project cost, raising serious questions about whether the Singleton Bypass will ever be fully funded.
Labor spokesperson for Upper Hunter and Shadow Minister for Roads John Graham slammed the Liberal-National Government for falling short on its election promise.
“There is scarce detail about the Singleton bypass simply because of a lack of funding. It’s not good enough to only commit to 20 per cent of the total cost and then only allocate 2 percent of that. The community is waiting, it’s been waiting for a long time. The Premier claimed we could have it all, she clearly lied. It’s a disgrace,” Mr Graham said.
Labor Shadow Minister for Rural Roads Mick Veitch called for Singleton to be made a priority.
“The divide between city and country is only getting wider under this Liberal-National Government. This bypass is critical and it’s absolutely ridiculous to not even have a construction timeline,” Mr Veitch said.
Labor Shadow Minister for the Hunter Clayton Barr said the Singleton community can’t wait any longer.
“The bypass will remove up to 15,000 vehicles a day from the CBD. This will completely transform Singleton for the better. You know that when there is no timeline that the Government is not serious and that is a slap in the face for Singleton and the people of the Hunter,” Mr Barr said.
THE PREMIER’S RECENT BLOWOUT BILL
- $3.5 billion Sydney metro budget blow-out
- $1.3 billion Sydney light rail budget blow-out for a $2.9 billion total
- $6.8 billion Westconnex budget blow out for a $16.8 billion total
- $225 million Parramatta high-rise school blow-out for a $325 million total
- $100 million Sydney Football Stadium budget blow-out for an $828 million total
- $1.5 billion unnecessary Powerhouse relocation
TOTAL: $13.3 billion EQUALS: 20 equivalent bypasses