Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson has shut down claims the Gunnedah Police Station has been underfunded in the 2017 Budget.
In Gunnedah last week, Labor spokesperson for Tamworth, Daniel Mookhey, said regional towns were “missing out”, with the project spend in 2016-17 period “49 per cent short of what was committed”.
“The Liberal-Nationals are spending billions on a tunnel to Sydney’s North Shore, but can’t find $877,000 for Gunnedah’s police – they have the wrong priorities,” he said.
“Rather than re-announcing old commitments, Kevin Anderson should get on with the job.”
Mr Anderson said Mr Mookhey was “obviously not familiar” with the process government projects followed.
“Mr Mookhey has clearly highlighted that he does not understand how projects are delivered in regional NSW. And he thinks that one size fits all and it doesn’t,” he said.
”The $1.8 million, as a part of a $5.5 million spend, is in
line with project planning.
“How projects are funded and delivered in regional NSW, is that as key milestones are achieved, more money is released. So $1.8 million has been allocated to the project so far, and planning is on track and as soon as construction is due to start, the funding will be released.”
Mr Anderson said his understanding was that construction would start in September.
“I’m delighted to think that Gunnedah is getting a brand new police station,” he said.
“It wasn’t even on the radar but we pushed for it to happen and we’re going to get one, which is fantastic.
“It’s more investment for Gunnedah. A strong Gunnedah is good for Tamworth and good for our region.”
The development application for the upgrade was passed through council in January and should see Gunnedah’s police officers working in a state-of-the-art facility by the end of 2018.
The proposal originally included alterations and additions to existing buildings, however, major structural damage has called for a complete rebuild.
The new station will be built in an adjoining car park and housing area, with the current station to be demolished and a cell block built in its place.
In June, police minister Troy Grant said the new facility would improve the capabilities of police in the Oxley Local Area Command.