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Wins and losses for Barwon in NSW budget

Roy Butler told 2WEB’s Rod Corfe that the NSW budget was positive for the people of the Barwon electorate. Photo TWH

The NSW Labor government has handed down its first budget in more than a decade and independent member for Barwon Roy Butler said he was happy to see his electorate receive close to the same amount of funding as it did during the last government’s budget.

There were concerns that the Minns Labor government was not tuned into the bush and the purse strings would be tightened, but Mr Butler said he was happy with the funding allocations, particularly for road infrastructure.

“It’s a tough budget year so to be funded at almost the record level of last year is good for Barwon,” he said.

“There is $78 million in new money for emergency road repairs for all councils in the electorate, and that’s a big bucket of money.

“Some councils have upwards of $7 million for roads, and councils across Barwon have done an incredible job getting them fixed.

“The allocation of funds is based on the number of kilometres of roads within any given local government area, so it’s based on a straightforward calculation.

“That funding is definitely going to keep us pretty busy over the next 12 months - and that’s a good thing,” he said.

Mr Butler said fears that the Department of Regional NSW would be scrapped were unfounded, but admitted the department would see some changes to make it more efficient and responsive to the needs of rural communities.

The department’s role was to work with local businesses and communities to improve employment opportunities, develop public works infrastructure, support primary industries, and boost rural housing.

“Labor had questioned whether we needed the department, and we do, but we need to define its role,” Mr Butler said. […]

Read more in the printed edition of The Western Herald.

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