Michael Johnsen MP

Upper Hunter communities are at the centre of the 2020-21 NSW Budget with NSW Nationals Member for Upper Hunter Michael Johnsen confirming investment in roads and infrastructure across Upper Hunter.

Mr Johnsen said this Budget was delivering vital funding for several projects in Upper Hunter thanks to the community working together with the NSW Nationals in the state government to release funding and get these important projects over the line.

“Regional communities face unique challenges and we have had an incredibly tough few years with drought, bushfires and now COVID, but today’s Budget is Christmas come early,” Mr Johnsen said. “We are ensuring vital funding for this incredible electorate and its communities which make it the best place in the world to live, work and raise a family.”

Some highlights for Upper Hunter in this year’s Budget include:
• $6.7 million for the continued planning of the New England Highway Upgrade at the Golden Highway intersection;
• $9.4 million for the Muswellbrook Bypass;
• $11.2 million for the Singleton Bypass;
• $6.9 million for the Dungog Wastewater Treatment Work Upgrade.

As well as infrastructure projects, there will be state-wide programs to assist in job creation and assisting those who seek to return to work, with the NSW Nationals in the state government providing funding for women in the Upper Hunter Electorate to be able to apply for a grant of up to $5000 through the new $10 million Return to Work program, as part of this budget.

Deputy Premier and Leader of the NSW Nationals John Barilaro said the NSW Nationals in the state government were boosting the transformational Regional Growth Fund with a further $300 million, bringing the fund’s total to $2 billion, to continue delivering grass roots projects across the regions.

“To aid recovery and resilience across regional NSW we are also investing $639.2 million in bushfire recovery activities, $217.2 million in COVID-19 support and a further $88 million to help farmers rebound from drought,” Mr Barilaro said.

“Essential funding will also continue for programs with a dedicated focus on social, economic and industry recovery, to provide stimulus, restore destroyed structures, retain existing jobs, maintain production, strengthen supply chains and develop industry sustainability.

“Today’s budget is about bridging the city/bush divide and this record funding will deliver legacy projects and significant benefit to regional communities for generations to come, because we know that the regions are unparalleled and there is nowhere else we’d rather be.”

For more information about the NSW Government’s 2020-21 Budget, please go to budget.nsw.gov.au.