Official Media Release

Strong Budget Provides For Upper Hunter Electorate And For NSW

Michael Johnsen MP, Member for Upper Hunter and Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, has welcomed the Coalition Government’s 2019-2020 NSW Budget, noting that it delivers both directly and indirectly for many communities in Upper Hunter.

Mr Johnsen said he was pleased to see that the Liberals & Nationals Coalition election commitments had been carried through in this budget.

“I was committed to delivering the promises made to our Upper Hunter Electorate communities in the recent state election, and am proud to be a Member of a government that keeps its word, both locally and across NSW,” Mr Johnsen said.

Highlights from the 2019-20 Budget for regional NSW include:

  • Regional families will receive even more support with the Nationals in Government announcing a further round of funding for Early Childhood and Education services – part of a $755 million boost to support regional areas experiencing the State’s worst drought on record;
  • $400 million over the next four years to improve mobile phone and internet services;
  • $500 million to repair and replace worn-out wooden bridges;
  • $500 million to repair, maintain and seal local roads;
  • $100 million expansion of the Stronger Country Communities fund;
  • $170 million to fast track critical water and infrastructure projects.

“The town of Muswellbrook has been a winner, with $266 million for the Muswellbrook Bypass, including an immediate $4 million for detailed planning of the bypass.

“Muswellbrook will receive a further $550,000 for a new fire station.

“Before the election a commitment was made for major work to be undertaken at Muswellbrook South Public School, to get rid of demountable classrooms and install air-conditioning in every classroom, and that commitment will be honoured.

“Dungog will also receive $550,000 for a new fire station, and $10.2 million will go to the upgrade of Dungog wastewater treatment works.

“Scone will receive $7 million for Kelly Street upgrades, with another $28.7 million for continued construction of the bypass.

“Across the Upper Hunter Electorate we will also see just under a million dollars allocated for social housing in our communities.

“Just under $78 million has been budgeted for road upgrades and safety enhancements in the seat of Upper Hunter, on roads varying from the New England Highway across to  Bucketts Way, and from Limeburners Creek Road to the Golden Highway.

“As a former local dairy farmer myself, and in my role as Parliamentary Secretary, I am delighted that the Government has budgeted $3.5 million to establish a Dairy Business Advisory Unit to continue industry support services and identify immediate and necessary actions for the sector.

“I am also delighted to be a Member of the government which has kept its word and introduced no new taxes in its budget measures.

“This is a budget when money flows from the Government to the community, not the other way round.

“It is the proven track record of The Liberals and Nationals in Government for responsible spending, combined with ongoing and innovative economic policies for the state, that has once again allowed for the delivery of a progressive budget for all the people of NSW,” Mr Johnsen concluded.