Mayor says Singleton misses out again in aftermath

Mayor of Singleton, Cr Sue Moore has challenged the State Government to make the Singleton Bypass project a priority after a mere $2.7 million was included in yesterday’s 2019/2020 State Budget.                                             

Cr Moore said she had written to Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Treasurer Dominic Perrottet on Tuesday morning to highlight the needs of the Singleton community as outlined in the Singleton Advocacy Agenda 2019, with a view that Singleton was to be included in NSW’s program for the upcoming financial year. 

 “While yesterday’s budget saw a commitment to the agriculture industry via improved drought support, eradication of mobile blackspots and a commitment to thousands of additional healthcare staff for regional NSW— all of which were items on Council’s Advocacy Agenda — the promise of $2.7million towards the Singleton Bypass project is a mere drop in the ocean,” she said. 

 “Singleton is an integral economic powerhouse for NSW as a centre for mining, agriculture and tourism, and our LGA featured in the budget as contributing approximately $340million each year in mining royalties to allow the State Government to fund the delivery of infrastructure and services vital to maintaining NSW’s status as the premier state.

 “But while the Berejiklian government boasted yesterday that the people of NSW can “have it all”, it is clear that the people of Singleton, as well as the thousands of workers who travel in and out of our LGA each day, will not.

 “There should be no winners and losers when it comes to public safety on our roads, and we’ve seen the benefits of a bypass of the New England Highway in Branxton as further evidence that heavily trafficked highways no longer belong in modern towns.

 “While we are happy to see that planning will progress towards this major freight and commuter route, the $6.4million committed by the State Government in the last two budgets is not nearly close enough to what we need to see this project fully constructed by 2024.

 “The Berejiklian Government is on notice, and we will be looking for a significantly increased commitment next time around to ensure communities like ours flourish into the future.”

 Council has also contacted the Member for Upper Hunter, Michael Johnsen MP, to clarify how the $170 million set aside in the budget papers for a Drought Stimulus Package will apply to Singleton residents.