Ocean Drive and Maria River Road big funding winners for the Hastings in 2019 NSW Budget

Winner: $50 million has been allocated to the duplication of Ocean Drive in Port Macquarie.
Winner: $50 million has been allocated to the duplication of Ocean Drive in Port Macquarie.

Long-suffering users of Ocean Drive and Maria River Road will breathe a sigh of relief with both major arterial roads receiving funding for upgrades in the state budget handed down on June 18.

Fifty million dollars, promised pre-election, has been allocated for the long-awaited duplication of Ocean Drive in Port Macquarie.

Another pre-election promise has been made good with $17 million going towards the sealing Maria River Road between Port Macquarie and Crescent Head.

"We know Ocean Drive has been a project that has been in the planning stage for some time," State MP for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams said.

"We have growing conditions in Lake Cathie and Bonny Hills areas which means more traffic and we need to support those communities with upgrades to our local roads."

Three million dollars has also been allocated to the upgrade of Waitui Road south of Port Macquarie.

"That road is well used by locals that rely on it," Mrs Williams said.

OVER AND OUT:: A truck rollover on Maria River Road in 2018 highlighted the poor condition. Photo Peter Daniels.

OVER AND OUT:: A truck rollover on Maria River Road in 2018 highlighted the poor condition. Photo Peter Daniels.

"We very keen to support our local councils with funding road maintenance and upgrades, new pedestrian facilities and footpaths and new and improved boating facilities."

Motoring organisation NRMA in February this year released its Funding Local Roads Report which found Port Macquarie-Hastings Council had an $80 million roads maintenance backlog.

Local schools in the area also received a boost in the state budget.

There is money for a major upgrade to Lake Cathie Public School which includes 17 new state-of-the-art classrooms.

"We are saying we are prepared to respond to growth and certainly Lake Cathie-Bonny Hills is one of those areas," Mrs Williams said.

State of the art: An artistic impression shows a view to the PCYC entry from Owen Street. Image: Allen Jack+Cottier Architects.

State of the art: An artistic impression shows a view to the PCYC entry from Owen Street. Image: Allen Jack+Cottier Architects.

There is also money in the budget for an upgrade to Hastings Secondary College Port Macquarie campus.

"Some of that money will go towards the PCYC which will go on the school land and be there for both school and community use and there will be more major works for that school," Mrs Williams said.

The exact figure for Lake Cathie Public School and Hastings Secondary College Port Macquarie campus has not been specified as the projects still have to go through a tender process.

Wauchope Public School received just over $6.5 million dollars for an upgrade too.

Oxley MP Melinda Pavey said she was delighted to see the money allocated to the school.

"It will see the completion of the project to add new classrooms which is something the school community knows was long overdue," Mrs Pavey said.

"I'm also delighted that Kempsey based Lahey Constructions are overseeing the work."

I know it will be a popular community facility once completed.

Leslie Williams

Another big winner was the Oxley Vale Lifelong Learning Centre project. A total of $3.4 million has been set aside for a new building to combine Hastings Men's Shed and the Port Macquarie Arts and Craft Centre in the one location on the Oxley Highway adjacent to the Douglas Vale Historic Homestead.

"I know it will be a popular community facility once completed," Mrs Williams said.

Other winners included Charles Sturt University which received $15 million for its expansion, Port Macquarie Maritime Facility which received $1.8 million, the Port Macquarie Hospital car park which received $6.1 million and the Port Macquarie Mental Health Unit expansion which received $180,000 for completion.

There is also money in the budget for an upgrade of Laurieton Police Station.

The State Government has allocated $70 million over four years to provide 35 new more mobile dental clinics for primary school children in Western Sydney, the Mid-North Coast and the Central Coast.

Mrs Williams was unable to say whether one of those clinics will be based in Port Macquarie.

Between 2000-3000 public service jobs are set to go across the state according to the budget.

It is unclear where those job cuts will come from but the Premier Gladys Berejiklian said in Question Time on June 18 the axe to the public service will not hit regional areas.

Mrs Williams said Port Macquarie would have "more teachers, police and nurses" under a Liberal/National Government.

FAIR SHARE: NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet says in many ways this state budget is for the bush.

FAIR SHARE: NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet says in many ways this state budget is for the bush.

Budget snapshot for the Hastings

  • $50 million for the duplication of Ocean Drive
  • $17 million for the sealing of Maria River Road between Port Macquarie and Crescent Head
  • $3 million for the upgrade of Waitui Road
  • $6.7 million for Wauchope Public School
  • Funding for Lake Cathie Public School and Hastings Secondary College Port Macquarie campus upgrade
  • $15 million for Charles Sturt University expansion
  • $3.4 million for Oxley Vale Lifelong Learning Centre
  • Funding for new works at Laurieton Police Station
  • $7.1 million toward a $12 million upgrade of Port Macquarie's Essential Energy building
  • $1.8 million to the Port Macquarie Maritime facility
  • $6.1 million for work to continue on the Port Macquaire Hospital car park
  • $180,000 for the completion of the Port Macquarie Mental Health expansion

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