TAX RELIEF FOR SOME

By ZOE SATHERLEY

THE NSW State Budget yesterday delivered a showbag of goodies for the Northern Rivers region.

But the big ticket items ? the Ballina and Alstonville bypasses and stage three of the Lismore Base Hospital redevelopment ? were missing.

There was not even a whisper of funding for a local commuter rail service, or the upgrade of the Casino-to-Murwillumbah rail line to carry freight.

But Lismore councillor Jenny Dowell was delighted with the funding for local roads, sewerage, water, electricity, breast screening, community housing, TAFE and mental health.

Lismore MP Thomas George was disappointed to see no fresh money for the promised $93 million hospital upgrade.

Ballina MP Don Page was angry that promised funding for the bypasses and the Pacific Highway upgrade was missing.

His sentiments were echoed by Bob Wilson, spokesman for the Alstonville Bypass Action Group, who said Bob Carr had 'totally deceived the electorate'.

The Budget was good news for Cr Dowell, who said said projects for her electorate included Richmond Clinic ($10.4m); a child and adolescent health unit ($2m); an electricity substation ($2.5m); the Lismore police station ($1.6m planning money); and public housing ($2.8m).

There were also funds for the Bonalbo and Mulli Mulli water supply, Clunes sewerage scheme, Nimbin Road, a Goonellabah cycleway, a new roundabout at Dawson and Leycester streets, a TAFE refurbishment, a Women's Health Centre and dam maintenance.



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