Mixed bag budget


Today as the New South Wales Budget is handed down by the Labor Government, Tamara Smith MP, Member for Ballina, welcomes some positive outcomes for her community in an otherwise challenged budget.

Of particular note for the community is the announcement of $8 million for a new purpose-built Fire and Rescue Station in Byron Bay.

“Huge congratulations to Zone Commander Greg Lewis and the team at Byron Fire and Rescue, and all our firies for their advocacy, and for the Byron crew delivering unwavering service in a substandard station for years. This much needed, purpose-built facility also includes additional staffing and I look forward to seeing the end results, including safer communities and better equipped firefighters. It is important that the Emergency Services Minister speak to our Zone Commander and local fire fighters to understand staffing needs for Byron Bay” Ms Smith said.

“I welcome the investment in social housing for the electorate of Ballina with $10.6 million being invested into new social housing projects and $1.5 million for upgrading the current housing stock”

This budget sees $5.5 million for safety improvements to the Bruxner Highway, $1.4 million for Ballina Hospital redevelopment, and $13 million for the Community Transport Program.

“This is all welcome news and I congratulate the community for their pressure on government to ensure these vital projects were funded.”

“It is pleasing to see $26.9 million specifically set aside for the Ballina electorate in the Resilient Homes and Resilient Lands Programs which will hopefully translate to a significant number of house raises and retrofits.” Said Ms Smith.

Ms Smith expressed her disappointment that the promised recurrent funding for vital social service supports in the community have not been funded.

Tamara Smith said : "It is with great concern that I note the NSW Budget does not prioritise funding for frontline community services that are doing the daily work of supporting rough sleepers and people facing homelessness in our area,"

Included for the Ballina Electorate:

· $10.4 million for the Ballina electorate under the Resilient Lands program

· $5.5 million for safety improvements on Bruxner highway

· $1.4 million additional for the Ballina District Hospital redevelopment

· $1.5 million for Social Housing upgrades in the Ballina electorate

· 13 new school crossing supervisors for Ballina electorate

· $79 million under the Fixing Country Bridges program (out of a total of $500 million)

· $50 million under the Fixing Local Roads program (out of a total of $500 million)

· $13 million for the Community Transport Program