A Shorten Labor Government would boost productivity and improve road safety around Kyogle by contributing $9 million to the local council’s program to replace ageing timber bridges.
Over the past 15 years Kyogle Council has replaced more than 150 bridges that were unable to bear heavy loads or provide guaranteed access for emergency services.
Federal Labor’s $9 million investment, to be matched by NSW Labor, will allow the Council to fast-track work on at least a dozen projects and over time to fully replace all the outstanding old bridges.
The Council will be contributing a further $18 million to the replacement program.
Better bridges will mean greater productivity for the region’s important timber, dairy and livestock industries as well as easier movement for school buses.
Shadow Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said the prosperity of rural and regional communities depended on good, reliable road and rail infrastructure.
“This work is about removing impediments to productivity to drive jobs growth,’’ Mr Albanese said.
“It will also improve safety for motorists and allow ambulance and fire services to move more quickly through the region in times of emergency.’’
Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Joel Fitzgibbon said the work would create jobs and economic activity in the short-term, while building a platform for future economic growth.
“We’ve got great rural and regional businesses right across the country, but in too many cases they have been held back because of under-investment by the Coalition,’’ Mr Fitzgibbon said.
“It’s time we got behind them so they can get on with the business of creating new jobs.’’
Federal Labor candidate for Page Patrick Deegan said today’s announcement was another great example of State and Federal Labor working together for our local community.
“I grew up in Bonalbo and went to Bonalbo Central School. The bridges were an issue in our community then. It’s an issue that’s close to my heart,” Mr Deegan said.
“This is a great commitment from Labor. It’s in stark contrast to the Nationals, who have neglected the bridges of Kyogle Shire for far too long.
“Mayor Danielle Mulholland and Kyogle Council have been great at advocating for this issue. Working with them is why we have this commitment today.”