Ballot boxes at Lismore Public School
Ballot boxes at Lismore Public School Cathy Adams

Election promises pile up for North Coast

VOTERS have a fortnight to decide who will lead New South Wales for the coming four years and election promises for the North Coast are piling up.

Both major parties are opening their war chests to the north - a hospital upgrade here, a new school there - and more drip-fed pledges can be expected as the countdown nears its end.

The Coalition has earmarked $6 billion over a decade to double Labor's regional NSW spend.

Its $180 million Lismore Hospital upgrade plan dwarfs the Opposition's $20 million outlay.

Premier Mike Baird's assurance of up to $50 million for rail trail projects along disused stretches of the Casino to Murwillumbah and Rosewood to Tumbarumba rail corridors has blown Labor's $9 million plan out of the water.

But the figures hinge on the Coalition's ability to get its electricity asset sale plan through the upper house.

There have been whispers that Mr Baird may offer Legislative Council presidency to a major thorn in his side, Christian Democratic leader Fred Nile.

Mr Nile said the tactic would fail.

He vowed to block any sale unless he was sure power prices would drop and workers would keep their jobs and entitlements.

"I can assure families, pensioners and the people of NSW that I will continue to demand lower power prices," he said.

For its part, Labor has set aside $211 million to upgrade Tweed Hospital - more than four times more than the Coalition.

It has also promised to keep Ballina's Southern Cross School open, whereas the Liberals and Nationals plan to amalgamate it into Ballina High School to create a "super school".

Finally, and famously, Opposition leader Luke Foley has promised coal seam gas would be permanently banned from the Northern Rivers.

Labor

-$177 million to build new Grafton Bridge

-$9 million for rail trails strategy

-$30 million to upgrade Ballina High School and Southern Cross School

-Keep Southern Cross School open 

-$211 million to redevelop Tweed Hospital

-$20 million for the redevelopment of Lismore Hospital

-$40 million to build new high school in Pottsville 

-$7 million for ambulatory care centre at Grafton Hospital

-$7.3 million for new operating theatre and emergency department upgrade at Ballina Hospital

-Keep Byron Central Hospital in public hands -Ban CSG in the Northern Rivers

-New pediatric nurses for Lismore and Tweed hospitals -Add northern NSW rainforests to World Heritage list  

Coalition

-$177 million to build new Grafton Bridge -Up to $50 million for rail trails projects

-$40 million "super school" upgrade of Ballina High School -Southern Cross School to be shut down and merged

-$48 million upgrade Tweed Hospital

-$180 million to finish redevelopment of Lismore Hospital -$5 million upgrade of Pottsville State School

-$7 million ambulatory care centre for Grafton Hospital -$5m upgrade Pottsville Beach Public School 

-$5.9 million ambulance station for Pottsville 

-$120,000 to build 40 new car parks at Murwillumbah Hospital -$4 million to build HealthOne centre, Coraki  


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