Byron mayor cries poor during election cash splash
AS the federal election campaign trail heats up, the funding promises are being dangled left, right and centre but Byron seems to have become the 'Forgotten Bay'.
Byron Shire Council Mayor Simon Richardson said "you could be forgiven for thinking that the Byron Shire had been excised from the Richmond electorate."
He says they have 10 shovel ready projects.
Ranging in value from $250,000 to $2.6 million, some of the key projects include the Byron Arts and Industrial Estate Revitalisation, Ocean Shores Community Hall extensions, Belongil Creek Bridge, Clifford Street Suffolk park intersection, Sandhills wetland walk and the Bangalow and Byron Bay town centre rail corridors.
Mayor Richardson said Byron had been forgotten, while other areas had received funding promises.
"In the past six months we've seen $9.8 million for the Kingscliff foreshore upgrade, $4 million at Ballina Airport and $3 million over at Lismore Oakes Oval.
"Whilst they are all very worthy projects, over here at Byron we can't help but wonder if our voters are being taken for granted as part of the electoral boundary adjustments.
"We too desperately need funding support but despite having provided our top ten shovel projects and applying for grants, Byron has been forgotten," he said.
Mayor Richardson said on to recognise that federal and state funding was essential to local councils.
"Grant funding programs are highly competitive as council pitches against council for a limited funding pool.
"The past year has seen Byron overlooked for crucial bridge funding and twice for the National Stronger Regions Fund.
"We know we are recognised as a key regional economy with our ability to draw visitors from around the globe.
"But we need increased help with capital upgrade projects as demands on our infrastructure grows," Mayor Richardson urged.