Federal Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie has launched his re-election campaign, with a plan for major projects, including bridges for Pappinbarra and Rollands Plains.
Dr Gillespie told 200 supporters from across his electorate that Australia is at a crossroads and this is the most important election since the Second World War.
"We have finally got our economy back on track after the mess we inherited from Labor, the Greens and Independents," he said.
"The idea that Bill Shorten, Richard Di Natale and a string of independents could be in charge of the Treasury benches - entrusted with your money is quite frankly frightening."
Dr Gillespie said the coalition had achieved record funding for roads and aged care services during the Federal Nationals term in office.
"I know there is still more to be done. That is why we have got our budget back into balance and grown the economy, which is allowing us to invest more in a whole range of local projects, including Bago Road and Wauchope's main street," he said.
His announcements included:
- Federal funding towards 32 new aged care places for Laurieton Lakeside Residence worth $2.1-million.
- 42 apprenticeships created in the Lyne electorate under this year's regional apprenticeship wage subsidy program.
- $352,774 to the Dungog Shire Council towards a $705,548 replacement of the Summerhill timber bridge with a new concrete bridge.
- $1,047,220 to the Dungog Shire Council towards a $2,094,440 replacement of the Tillegra timber bridge with a new concrete bridge.
- $614,000 to Mid-Coast Council towards a $1,228,000 replacement of the Browns Creek single-lane timber bridge at Firefly with a new two lane concrete structure.
- $662,500 to Mid-Coast Council towards a $1,325,000 replacement of the Deep Creek single lane timber bridge at Wherrol Flat with a new two lane concrete structure.
- $455,000 to Port Macquarie Hastings Council towards a $910,000 Scrubby Creek timber bridge at Pappinbarra with a new two lane concrete bridge.
- $415,000 to Port Macquarie Hastings Council towards the $830,000 replacement of Thompson's timber bridge at Upper Rollands Plains with a new two lane concrete bridge.
- The Clarence Town area will get a further boost in mobile coverage with funding for a new 4G tower on Ebsworth Fire Road under round 4 of the mobile blackspot program.
Dr Gillespie said that he had received feedback from more than 3,000 households to his Vision 2030.
"I was very pleased with the feedback we received. There were many ideas put forward about a whole range of projects that all levels of government should support over the next decade from the Hunter to the Hastings," Dr Gillespie said.
"I have begun discussions with my state colleagues and local council representatives in relation to some of those projects - including how we might progress them further."
Dr Gillespie said it was time a Very Fast Train from Melbourne to Brisbane was put back on the agenda.
"The Nationals in Government have made no secret of the fact that we support investment in rail and we have announced funding to pursue major rail upgrades. But the technology and infrastructure we need to be seriously looking at is Very Fast Rail - not just Faster Rail," Dr Gillespie said.
"The Australian Government has previous commissioned extensive work in this - and it now time to bite the bullet."
Dr Gillespie said there was a realistic way of reducing carbon emissions while allowing Australia to maintain a competitive advantage as an energy producer.
"We could get both environmental outcomes - and maintain our economy and standard of living - if we simply replaced dirty old power stations with modern highly efficient ones that have up to 40% lower carbon emissions. Wouldn't that be the responsible thing to do? Wouldn't that be common sense?"
Dr Gillespie said while the Coalition had made some significant steps in further reforming the tax system, there was still more to be done, including tackling reform of Australia's Federation and clamping down on anti-competitive practices as part of further competition policy reform.
He also outlined one of the projects in the Vision 2030 Plan which highlighted the need to improve the entrance to the Manning River at Harrington.
"We need to get this fixed. If we are to open up the Manning to larger boats and build the new marina along the Fig Trees on the Manning Precinct Development which will open up further economic opportunities - then all levels of government must take a serious look at this project," he added.
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