MP Templeman welcomes Northo Bridge announcement but... “hope the government delivers”
Macquarie MP Susan Templeman says the announcement of more funding to increase the flood resilience of a new bridge at North Richmond is a win for the community after more than a decade of unrelenting pressure.
The Federal and State Governments today (June 7) announced additional funding would be provided for the project, which began 11 years ago with an initial $2 million investment by then Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese.
“The Federal and State Governments have followed my lead on Richmond Bridge, and I am so pleased for the community that they have finally recognised that a budget bridge would solve nothing,” Ms Templeman said.
“The feedback I provided to Government based on a survey of thousands of people was that residents wanted three things – a traffic solution, a flood-resilient option and a bypass of both North Richmond and historic Richmond.
“It’s good to see that after a one in 50 flood event, the Federal Government has now shifted into gear and acknowledged what locals know – that the bridge needs to be higher and bypass our town centres so we didn’t simply create another traffic bottleneck.
“To do it right required more funding than had been allocated, and this appears to be much closer to what I have called for.
“Of course, big questions still remain about what this will mean for development across the river, for people affected by the new roads on the Richmond side of the bridge, and for people whose land is to be acquired.
“NSW Transport and Roads Minister, Andrew Constance, has said there are 21 partial or full property acquisitions involved in this process, and I know residents will be extremely anxious about what that involves and how they will be treated.
“My requests to both the State and Federal Governments for briefings to date have been refused, but I do hope that I will now be allowed to engage in the next part of the process to finalise the route.
“Make no mistake; this latest announcement is the result of years of lobbying by members of the community and myself.
“I went to the 2010 election with a $2 million commitment to kick off this project, and the then-Labor government delivered on that funding for the people of the Hawkesbury.
“I certainly hope the government delivers on this announcement, works side-by-side with the local community, and just gets the job done.”