Wednesday, December 16, 2009

TD8: Meeting Outcome with Hon Mr Campbell

Tuesday 15th December - the day had finally arrived for TD8 to meet with the Minister for Roads, Hon Mr Campbell in Sydney. A contingent of 8 headed south comprising of

- TD8 - Ken Cameron, David Marks, Colin Hurrell & Sandra Kwa
- GTCC - Mayor Paul Hogan, Graham Schultz & John Stuckey
- Hastings Council - Geoff Sharpe (Director of Infrastructure)

Mayor Hogan opened the discussion by outlining GTCC position and the dollars required to fund two permanent bridges for Marlee and Duffs. Mayor Hogan confirmed that

- GTCC are borrowing up to $1M for the temporary bridges
- Contribution over two years of $2.6M towards two permanent bridges

This means a total of $3.6M contribution from GTCC, thus requiring an amount $2M from the State Government towards the two permanent bridges. Less than a $1 for $1 contribution from the State, and we think a real bargain!

Sandra Kwa followed this discussion with a presentation of the Tourist Drive 8 Road, highlighting the many businesses and local sights and attractions. The presentation was left with the Minister for his further reading. This then lead onto the topic of reclassification of TD8to a regional road with Geoff Sharpe supporting from Hastings Council.

There is a thought from the group in attendance that reclassification may be a tough sell and at the very least a long term proposition. However we are continuing our investigations and will exhaust all possibilities.

In brief Hon Mr Campbell advised

- there may be dollars left over from the Timber Bridges Partnership Program, as some Councils had not proceded with their projects
- he would like this money to be spent prior to reverting back to Treasury (ie as at 30th June 2010)
- he would write to the RTA to obtain clarification of the Timber Bridges Partnership Program in order to understand whether Marlee and Duffs bridges are legible (as it appears that they are currently not), this obviously being an issue to receipt of funding

Otherwise the Hon Mr Campbell was non committal, and it is unlikely that the request for $2M will be reviewed and acted upon quickly, particularly with Christmas and the New Year upon us. There is also the real possibility that this money will not be forthcoming at all.

Although TD8 left the meeting with no commitment we certainly feel it is worth noting that a meeting with the Minister was held prior to Christmas and our issues raised and discussed with the relevant parties to hand. A real win by any standards.

TD8 will follow up late January 2010 with a view to further lobbying of Hon Mr Campbell and other relevant politicians, together with maintaining communication with GTCC on the bridges progress.

We wish to thank all in the community for their support, thoughts and advice over the last few months and wish you all a very Happy Christmas and safe New Year.

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