The Hunter has been largely left out of Labor’s first state budge in over a decade.
Locals who were hoping for movement on the extension of Newcastle’s light rail or the multi-billion dollar Hunter Park precinct, will find the document a little lackluster, with not a cent set aside for either. That is despite the region having a contingent of local MP’s who are now in government, who have long advocated the two projects.
The only other projects to receive some cash, include the M1 extension to Raymond Terrace, Newcastle Inner City Bypass, Maitland Hospital and school upgrades at Hunter River High School and Irrawang High School, as well as at Newcastle High School. All of those are not new announcements.
The new high school at Medowie received a mention, but has had no funding allocated to it.
The region is set to benefit from a number of statewide funding pools including a $350 million Regional Development Trust Fund, which has replaced the Resources for Regions Fund, a $2.2 billion Housing and Infrastructure Plan which will see thousands of new homes built, with 30 per cent of those to be affordable housing, and an increase to coal royalties, which will see mines forced to pay more to export coal, improving the state’s budget position by about $2.7 billion.