Unions pledge to act on local roads and investigate road tunnel options | Blue Mountains Gazette


Macquarie MP Susan Templeman has promised that a Labor government will look into the possibility of extending the Blue Mountains road tunnel project to Medlow Bath.

Susan Templeman, Labor MP for Macquarie, with Catherine King, Labor spokesperson for infrastructure, transport and regional development, in Hawkesbury Heights late last year.

“Works on the Great Western Highway in the High Mountains are already being planned, and the New South Wales Government’s investigation into the upgrade of the road tunnel from Hartley to the east side of Blackheath has raised concerns among the people of Medlow Bath,” the Labor MP said.

“The workforce would seek to ensure that all options for this project – including the potential for a continuous tunnel under Medlow Bath – are properly considered and the environmental impacts of all options are carefully assessed.”

The state government announced its preferred option for an 11 kilometer tunnel between Blackheath and Little Hartley on May 15. Although this was welcomed by the people of Blackheath, residents of Medlow Bath lobbied for the tunnel to start in their village.

Federal Labor has also pledged to provide funds to councils to improve local roads ahead of Saturday’s election [May 21].

“We will expand the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure (LRCI) program to fund more priority projects and improve more local roads,” Ms. Templeman said.

Based on a scheme introduced by Labor during the global financial crisis, the LRCI scheme provides funds directly to councils to undertake local priority projects, upgrade infrastructure and support job growth in communities.

“Councils are doing a great job, but many simply don’t have the resources to upgrade the assets they are responsible for,” Ms Templeman said.

“That’s why an Albanian Labor government will give them the support they need, partnering with councils across the country to improve local roads.”

Ms Templeman said the policy would also be removed from infrastructure planning in Western Sydney under a Labor government by setting up an expert panel to review the needs of the area and report ahead of the 2023 budget.

“The panel will bring together all three levels of government in Western Sydney – South West to North West – and plan appropriately for future transport and infrastructure needs,” she said. .

“It will also bring together community representatives and local businesses to provide feedback, so that local people have a greater voice.”

Ms Templeman said a much-needed improvement to pedestrian access in the Lower Mountains, ‘which residents have been asking for for many years, would be provided by Labour’.

“An Albanian Labor government would bring safer access to Hawkesbury Heights by investing $1.8 million to build a fully paved shared path for pedestrians, cyclists and families adjacent to Hawkesbury Road between Hawkesbury Heights Lookout and Winmalee High School .

“The local community is crying out for a better solution, but has been ignored for almost a decade by this tired old Liberal government,” she said.

In other Labor election pledges, an Albanian Labor government would provide $15,000 to establish a Blue Mountains toy library.

Funding would be used to purchase safe and fun age-appropriate toys and equipment that can be loaned to families to vary the weekly play routine.

“We are very pleased that Belong Blue Mountains Neighborhood Services has agreed to lead the rollout of the toy library service and are committed to resourcing staff and infrastructure for the long term,” Ms Templeman said.

Toy library commitment: Susan Templeman, MP for Macquarie

Toy library commitment: Susan Templeman, MP for Macquarie

“Belong Blue Mountains has the geographic distribution of access points with neighborhood centers in Blaxland, Lawson and Katoomba that will ensure accessibility for the community. Belong will invite community service organizations working with families and children across the mountains to explore toy library delivery in partnership to increase reach for families.”

Ms Templeman said that “although commitments like this seem small, they can make a big difference in the services that can be offered to local families to help them with day-to-day expenses”.

Belong CEO Kath Harrison said they were “very grateful for this support from our local member”.

“This is such important work and Belong Blue Mountains is keen for this to be a community asset that enhances existing work with families and children throughout the area.”

Belong’s Family, Child and Youth Community Manager, Danielle Wilding-Forbes, said the team is “so excited to embark on this deployment that we are keen to involve parents and guardians in the conception of the service and in particular in the purchase of toys”.


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