In a bid to up the ante prior to next Tuesday’s Budget, Shadow Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, Jodi McKay and Member for Charlestown, Jodie Harrison today met with residents of Hillsborough in yet another attempt to force the Government into providing funds for the road upgrades recommended in the Lake Macquarie Transport Study.
Of major concern to the people of the small suburb of Hillsborough is the accessibility to their residences via the entrances from Hillsborough Road to Chadwick Street and Higham Road.
Around 15 locals met with the Minister and local MP in what Ms Harrison said was a last ditch effort to convince the Roads Minister to make a commitment to erect traffic lights at the busy intersection of Hillsborough Road and Chadwick Street.
Ms McKay applauded the efforts of local residents in their ongoing campaign to have access and safety issues associated with the heavily congested Hillsborough Road fixed by the Government.
Ms Harrison obtained a copy of the draft Lake Macquarie Transport Study under the Government Information Public Access (GIPA) Act.
Ms McKay said it was now time for the Government to come to the party and commit serious dollars to pay for the works recommended in the transport study.
“We have made a standing commitment that after the state election next year we will fund this project. In the meantime, we only have three or four days to get a firm commitment from the current Government.
“The residents of Charlestown know that when it comes to NSW roads, the Berejiklian Government will spend billions on WestConnex in Sydney but leave areas like the Hunter waiting years in the dark.
“The Government has an opportunity to restore some faith in the community, and end years of grief and frustration, by finally committing to the recommendations of the study,” said Ms McKay.
Ms Harrison said, “I was pleased to be able to tell the people of Hillsborough at their community meeting that the intersection of Hillsborough Road and Chadwick Street was a short term priority to be upgraded to a signalised intersection.
“The other short term priority is to upgrade the Hillsborough and Macquarie Road roundabout to traffic signals.
“After four years demanding that the Government fix Hillsborough Road, it appears as though we finally have some solutions.”
Hillsborough Community leader Michael Nolan said some acknowledgement from the Minister for Roads would be better than nothing. “We have delivered a petition signed by 1800 people, we have sent over 400 signed postcards and made numerous attempts to contact Minister Pavey, but all to no avail.
“She was elected as a Minister for all roads, not this road, or that road, but our road here in Hillsborough as well,” he said.
“If they aren’t going to fund the project, well and good, but tell us, don’t just ignore us.”
Footnote: LakeMac Today spoke with the Roads Minister’s office yesterday (Wednesday, June 13) seeking confirmation, or otherwise, that funding for the Hillsborough Road project would be forthcoming in the Budget but our request went unanswered.