Wheels roll on more funding
NORTHERN Rivers councils are to boost their contribution to the Integrated Regional Transport Plan from $40,000 to $70,000 in a bid to attract other funding from the Federal and State governments.
The move by the region’s NOROC councils group comes after the Federal Member for Page, Janelle Saffin, called for the NSW and Queensland governments and local councils to contribute to the plan, which she said ‘identifies transport needs on both sides of the border for now and the next half-century’.
A united regional approach was the only way to convince governments to support major projects that redress an historic neglect of rail, road, air and public transport in the region, she said.
Regional Development Australia (RDA) – Northern Rivers has committed $50,000 to the project.
At her first meeting with the RDA board yesterday, Ms Saffin said a plan had to be developed that was ‘more creative’.
RDA is a joint Commonwealth and NSW government initiative to provide a strategic framework for economic growth in each region throughout Australia.
Ms Saffin also highlighted several projects as areas where she and the RDA would be able to co-operate to maximum effect:
Broadband rollout: Ms Saffin said if the region wanted to be the first mainland cab off the rank it was important for it to position itself as being ready.
Trade: She said that 27pc of jobs in the area related to exports and that Australia was a trading nation. How could a rural and regional area make the most of trade, she asked, including the export of education and legal services.
The football project: Ms Saffin said 5000 people were involved in soccer in the region and it was her vision to turn Lismore into an Asia-Pacific centre of excellence.