Labor candidate for Paterson, Meryl Swanson, and Member for Hunter the Hon. Joel Fitzgibbon MP, visited Athel D’ombrain Drive, Maitland, with the Mayor of Maitland Mr Peter Blackmore recently, to discuss the Government’s inflexibility with Maitland City Council over the extension of a funding deadline which will see millions of dollars and hundreds of jobs ripped out of Maitland.
Mr Fitzgibbon says, “In 2012, the Labor Government delivered an $11.3million grant to Maitland City Council for the provision of services and infrastructure to support the construction of affordable housing in Central Maitland.
“Following a number of delays which were out of Council’s control, construction work is still ongoing and will not be complete by the Government-imposed deadline of 30 June 2016. It is a very easy decision for the Government to come out and extend the deadline for this project by 12 months.
“Unfortunately this kind of arrogance and poor community engagement is all too common with the Turnbull Government. Communities will languish as long as hard-line stances are taken on considering the extension of deadlines for important projects such as Central Maitland’s affordable housing project.
Ms Swanson says, “Maitland Mayor Peter Blackmore told Joel and I that he is shocked at the Government’s inflexibility on this matter. The people of Maitland are crying out for affordable housing in the centre of town, along with the services and infrastructure to support it, and this project will deliver exactly that.
“Around $7million and hundreds of jobs will be pulled out of Maitland as a result of this funding stream deadline being reached. It is vital for our local community and economy that local jobs are kept, so that families have an income and so that our small businesses also have an income stream.
“If elected I will continue to meet with Council and other stakeholders to work towards keeping this funding in Maitland. It is essential that the Turnbull Government hears us loud and clear on this: the people of Maitland will not accept losing around $7million and hundreds of jobs as a result of an inconsequential and irrelevant delay in delivery, which was out of Council’s control in the first place”, Ms Swanson concluded.
TUESDAY 21 JUNE 2016
JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
THE HON. JOEL FITZGIBBON MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES AND FORESTRY
SHADOW MINISTER FOR RURAL AFFAIRS
MEMBER FOR HUNTER
LABOR CANDIDATE FOR PATERSON