By Lewis Donaldson

Member for Tamworth, Kevin Anderson has provided his reaction to the new state budget unveiled on Tuesday and what it means for Gunnedah.

The Labor government renewed its commitment to the $53 million Gunnedah Hospital redevelopment, but there has been no additional funding announced to meet the original master plan.

“But the $53 million is locked in … the work will continue, which is good news for Gunnedah,” Mr Anderson said.

“While it’s good to see significant funding delivered for Gunnedah Hospital following strong advocacy for the local community, we would have hoped to see more.”

RELATED CONTENT:  Meeting planned on Gunnedah Hospital funding after project scaled back

Mr Anderson also expressed his dissatisfaction with the government’s plans to scale back funding to regional areas.

“Gunnedah needs strong investment from the NSW government to enable it to continue to grow … investing in projects like the koala sanctuary, the saleyards, Rangari Road, Grain Valley Road and much more,” Mr Anderson said.

“This is a budget that lacks vision.

“The difference between this budget and the last one is a lack of vision absolutely.”

The Member for Tamworth said that programs like the Stronger Country Communities Fund which has provided $660 million for more than 2530 regional projects, has been cut.

“One of the biggest disappointments in this budget is that there has been little reprieve for community groups and not-for-profits who rely on government grants to offer programs and upgrade their facilities,” Mr Anderson said.

“The government is trying to claw back money to cover the cost of inflation.

“The former government offered a range of grant opportunities which empowered local groups, allowing them to grow and give back to the community.

“This is a government with no vision for Gunnedah, and that is reflected in a lack of investment in the future of Gunnedah.”

Regarding cost-of-living relief, the government has announced $8.7 billion dollars over the 2024/2025 period to counter rising costs in households across the state.

This includes $435.4 million for energy rebates and concessions which is in addition to the Australian government’s $300 energy bill relief payment.

Concerning biosecurity, the new budget commits $945.7 million over four years to continue scientific research, prevention, protection and to maintain good land management practices. This includes $13.1 million for the continuation of the Feral Pig and Other Pest Management Control program.

This also includes $10.4 million for the Weeds Action Program to reduce the impact of weeds and the appointment of an Independent Biosecurity Commissioner to help confront the harm and impacts of pests and weeds.

To order photos from this page click here