Goulburn electorate ‘benefits from big state budget’: Tuckerman | Goulburn Post

news, local-news, Goulburn, Wendy Tuckerman, state budget, Goulburn Base Hospital redevelopment, Police Academy, Wombeyan Caves, social housing

The state budget doesn’t contain any major new announcements for the Goulburn electorate. But MP Wendy Tuckerman said one of the biggest budgets in NSW’ history includes some sweeteners and continues vital infrastructure and stimulus spending amid the coronavirus pandemic. “It is about job creation and supporting those who are struggling the most,” she said. “We are very mindful that (the federal government’s) JobKeeper will run out in March and that it will be a big whack. We will need to continue supporting jobs.” READ MORE: Tax cuts, food vouchers in virus budget NSW budget pushes national tax reform Treasurer Damien Perrottet handed down the budget at midday Tuesday. He revealed a $6.9 billion deficit in 2019/20 and forecast a $16bn deficit by 2020/21. However he predicted a return to surplus by 2024/25. Mr Perottet said borrowings would be about five times that of 2010 levels but argued it was necessary for the times. The budget contains $29 billion in health and economic stimulus measures. Ms Tuckerman said although announced last week, the $60 million allocation to upgrade the Goulburn Police Academy was a “huge win.” A total $1.5m has been allocated this financial year. The money will be used to refurbish teaching areas, classrooms, accommodation areas and the pistol range. Work is expected to be completed by 2023. The budget also confirms $60.7m in 2020/21 as part of Goulburn Base Hospital’s $150m redevelopment. Work started in late 2019 and recently reached maximum height on the main clinical services building. Construction is expected to be completed in late 2021/early 2022. READ MORE: Goulburn Hospital redevelopment reaches maximum height Asked whether an MRI machine had received funding, Ms Tuckerman said it was “very much on (her) radar” but was not part of the budget. “The Health Department is working through how we would deliver that, whether they do it themselves or by tender,” she said. The MP told The Post that work was underway in the background to secure an MRI licence from the federal government. She hoped this would be finalised by the time the build was completed. Bathurst Hospital scored $4m in state money for an MRI service in this budget. READ MORE: Goulburn seeks MRI machine under full Medicare rebate to combat stats Goulburn misses out on MRI licence Tuesday’s budget also allocated $700,000 towards a $9.6m upgrade of Wombeyan Caves tourist park and $8m to improve Wombeyan Caves Road. Both projects were announced previously. In the southern part of the electorate, $24m is set aside to begin the $100m Barton Highway’s duplication from the ACT towards Murrumbateman. This money will also fund other safety improvements. “You will see shovels in the ground very shortly,” Ms Tuckerman said. Also in that neck of the woods, Murrumbateman Primary School won $3m for a previously announced new primary school. ALSO READ: Council puts hard word on owners of overgrown properties The MP said the electorate would share in $6.7 billion for upgraded and new schools over the next four years. A total $8.5m has been spent on STEM facilities at Yass High School. More broadly, the electorate would benefit from a $300m increase in the Regional Growth Fund to $2bn. “Goulburn has received some big wins from that program,” Ms Tuckerman said. Likewise, $4.4bn has been allocated to bushfire recovery support and $4.5bn to drought assistance and water security. On the social housing front, $1.8m has been set aside for new and upgraded social housing in the Goulburn electorate. Ms Tuckerman said some of this was already underway and it was “absolutely needed.” She also welcomed a $500m stimulus measure which would see each adult resident given four $25 digital vouchers to spend at eateries and on arts across the state. It will begin with a pilot in Sydney’s CBD and then roll out statewide. We care about what you think. Have your say in the form below and if you love local news don’t forget to subscribe


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