‘We could have ended up with nothing’

SHOALHAVEN Business Chamber transport spokesman Tony Emery has echoed Shoalhaven Mayor Joanna Gash’s disappointment with the allocation of Restart funds.

However, he said people needed to remember Shoalhaven could have ended up with nothing.

“Given the parameters put on Infrastructure NSW and those who made the judgment call I think they’ve done a pretty good job.

“There were 124 projects and 51 were accepted, from that 20 made the final cut and out of those 12 were selected.

“From that 12 Shoalhaven got two.”

He said Shoalhaven City Council put in a lot of what he believed were worthy projects.

“Why most of them got cut I don’t know. It was disappointing that Shoalhaven was cut so badly in the first round.

“But the Flinders Road realignment funding is fantastic because it’s going to allow this road work to happen now and it will allow the establishment of a high-quality truck stop,” he said.

Kiama MP Gareth Ward said the Shoalhaven had done “pretty well” out of the leasing of Port Kembla port facilities, which is where the Restart Illawarra funds came from. 

“It was made quite clear to me by the Treasurer if we didn’t lease Port Kembla, we would not be able to pay for the upgrade of the Princes Highway through Berry.

“Shoalhaven received $170 million before a single cent from Restart was allocated today.

“The Shoalhaven was well and truly ahead already.

“I can appreciate that any mayor or MP would want every cent spent in their area, I’m no different.

“But it was an independent decision making process done at arm’s length from the government.”

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