Inverell projects were awarded more than $36 million in the NSW 2020/21 Budget including a further $19.8 million for the $60 million Inverell Hospital redevelopment, $3.6 million extra for to upgrade the Copeton Dam northern foreshore, $3.7 million to upgrade Yetman Road and $2.2 million to construct a new Gwydir Highway roundabout at Inverell. Another $7.42 million has been provided to complete the construction of the new 24-hour Police Station in Inverell early next year.
Hospital upgrades and major road improvements have dominated the 2020-21 NSW Budget locally this week, with Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall ecstatic about the level of funding provided to progress major projects and create jobs in his electorate.
The record capital spend of more than $315.7 million over the next seven months, surpasses last year's record spend of $304.3 million in the region.
Inverell Shire Council (along with others in the electorate) will also have the pressure eased on its contribution to road works with almost $29.398 million to be provided through grants for maintenance and upgrades. This has more than doubled from last year's budget.And there is $102.8 million in new roads and bridges funding for the Northern Tablelands, surpassing last year's record allocation of $85 million.
"Inverell Shire Council welcomes the news that there will be commitment to regional roads, which are vital to our shire's economy and the safe movement of freight," said Inverell Mayor Paul Harmon.
Taking last year's Payroll Tax relief to a new level, the Payroll Tax threshold will be increased from $1 million to $1.2 million and the rate will be reduced to the lowest in Australia at 4.85 per cent.
Mr Harmon said council has worked alongside Inverell Chamber of Commerce in their efforts to address the Payroll Tax burden on small business.
"The announcement to wind back Payroll Tax thresholds is a step in the right direction for small business growth," he said.
Mr Harmon said along with many councils across the state, Inverell Shire Council has asked the NSW Government to provide further investment in recycling.
"The NSW Budget's announcement of $96m towards the Waste Less Recycle More program is a major step forward and will also support jobs in this sector," he said.
There was also a total of $3.61 million allocated for new and upgraded social housing in Inverell, Moree, and Armidale.
Mr Marshall said the delivery of the COVID-19 budget built on the millions of dollars already injected by the State Government into local communities, to fast-track road works, improve health services and upgrade public facilities.
"This is record-breaking funding - never before has the Northern Tablelands experienced a funding package like this," Mr Marshall said.
"While this budget reflects the tough economic times caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, bushfires and drought, the State Government has still provided the money we need to better our hospitals, invest in schools and continue to aid our small economies to recover.
This is all due to our proactive local councils and their communities."