Rangari Rd upgrade flounders with funding shortfall of almost $4 million
Updated: Oct 12, 2020
Nine million dollars has been announced to upgrade a 19km section of Rangari Road between Manilla and Boggabri however Gunnedah Shire Council said they were 'surprised' and 'disappointed' the amount falls short of meeting Member for Tamworth Kevin Andersons's election promise from 2019.
Gunnedah Mayor Jaime Chaffey said the funding announced last week is very welcomed, however, it's not enough to complete the entire project.
"It's the understanding of the Gunnedah Shire Council that the Member for Tamworth's election commitment back in 2019 was to seal Ranagari Road, and to seal Rangari Road the cost is $12.9million dollars, not $9 million," said Mayor Chaffey.
The Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson yesterday doubled down that the $9 million announced on Friday does, in fact, meet his election commitments and said Transport NSW has offered support for extra funding.
Gunnedah's Mayor Jaime Chaffey said the council looks forward to working with the Member for Tamworth and state government to secure additional funding.
"If it means putting an application into a state agency for the remaining funds, the council are very prepared to so with the understanding that if there is a co-contribution requirement that the Gunnedah Shire Council will not be making that, " said Mayor Chaffey.
Rangari Road is an important regional link road as well as a daily transport route for people in the area and the upgrades will improve safety and conditions on the road.
The original application for funding was made in a joint submission by Tamworth Regional and Gunnedah Shire Couincils's 18 months ago, however, the application was withdrawn after Kevin Anderson MP's election commitment in 2019.
The road works will begin from the Manilla end of Rangari Road in the Tamworth Regional Council area and Gunnedah Mayor Mr Chaffey said if the extra funding is not found the works would stop in the Gunnedah Shire.
Mayor Chaffey said it should not be left to residents in Gunnedah to foot the bill.
"This was an election commitment by the state government and it's not the responsibility of the residents of the Gunnedah Shire Council local government area to financially contribute to the sealing of Ranagari Road," said Mayor Chaffey.
Image: Kevin Anderson MP, Tamworth Mayor Col Murray and Gunnedah Mayor Jaime Chaffey with members of the community along Rangari Road, Provided by Kevin Anderson MP.