Region’s projects put off to future

Tayler NealeAlbany Advertiser

Planned upgrades to William Bay National Park worth $10.5 million were not included in the State Budget handed down by Labor last Thursday.

The revitalisation project, announced by the previous government in November, included purpose-built trails, sealed roads and carparks, and visitor amenities. Member for Warren-Blackwood Terry Redman said the upgrades would have been a significant boost for tourism in the region.

“When summer comes and we’ve got cars banked right up to the highway and you’ve got little kids that are going to be walking a couple of kilometres to get down to the water — that is totally unacceptable,” he said. South West Region MLC Sally Talbot said the Budget had to strike a balance to ensure the burden of repairing the financial deficit was shared fairly.

“We have to get the Budget back on track,” Dr Talbot said.

“While it’s disappointing to see ... the William Bay upgrades put on hold, I think people will understand.”

Albany had its election promises honoured but most of the spending in the region has been allocated to later years.

The State Government will spend $9.7 million on upgrades to Albany Wastewater Treatment Plant this year as part of $17.6 million works announced in May. Other major spending in Albany this year includes $3 million for the completion of the Centennial Park Sporting Precinct, with the final $3.9 million being allocated to next financial year.

The Government plans to spend $1 million on Albany ring road this year with $34 million to be paid in the following three years. Of the $30 million promised for South Coast Highway upgrades, $1 million will be spent this year while $250,000 will be spent annually for four years on the Albany Oyster Reef Restoration project.

The Great Southern Motorplex will receive $250,000 in 2017-18 with the remaining $5.5 million of promised funding forecast to be spent in 2020-21.

A million dollars will be spent on minor works at the Port of Albany this financial year. Member for Albany Peter Watson said the Budget delivered on the election promises in Albany.

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