Letter | I’m in, but the federal pie’s shrinking

NUMBERS GAME: West Bathurst residents Dianne and Kent McNab with their list of councillors they trust to deliver a Mitre-Lambert-Suttor roundabout.
NUMBERS GAME: West Bathurst residents Dianne and Kent McNab with their list of councillors they trust to deliver a Mitre-Lambert-Suttor roundabout.

I WAS a bit surprised to see my name with a question mark over support for the Mitre-Lambert-Suttor streets roundabout on the front page of the Advocate (March 29).

Perhaps the conversation has been forgotten, but I recall bumping into Mr McNab on council election day last September at the Bathurst West Public School polling booth where he rightly put me on the spot and asked if I supported the project or not.

My answer then was the same as it is now: Yes.

But however disappointing, it is actually not surprising that our Federal Government has refused to fund this project when you look at the bigger policy picture.

What the new (and old) Deputy Prime Minister and National Party members of all walks are keeping secret from country voters is the shameful fact that federal infrastructure funding has been savagely slashed by the Liberal-National Coalition government since its election in 2013.

But by how much, you ask?

In its first four Budgets (2014-15 to 2017-18), the Government’s actual investment was $4.8 billion less than its own commitments in its own Budget. And no area of the infrastructure budget has been spared.

Indeed, at the very time the national road toll has been increasing after decades of decline, they have even cut funding for important road safety programs. 

For example, a third of the $305 million they promised to spend on the Black Spot Program over the past four years was never actually invested in fixing dangerous black spots on local roads.

Less federal money means fewer projects on the ground. So much for supporting the bush, so much for building our nation.

Cr Jess Jennings, The Lagoon