LABOR TO FUND WALLSEND BRIDGE REBUILD

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A Shorten Labor Government will fund the rebuilding of Boscawen Street Bridge at Wallsend to protect against future flooding.

This election is a choice between Labor’s plan to invest in local infrastructure or the LNP’s bigger tax loopholes for the top end of town.

Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon said Federal Labor had agreed to Newcastle City Council’s $3 million funding request for the rebuild.

“This will drive business confidence in the region and bring peace of mind to the whole community,” Ms Claydon said

“While 12 years have passed since the terrible superstorm that wrought a trail of destruction through Wallsend, residents and business owners still brace themselves every time it rains hard.”

City of Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes welcomed the funding, saying it was a priority under the Wallsend Flood Mitigation Strategy.

"Boscawen is one of the three Wallsend bridges that need rebuilding, along with Tyrell Street and Nelson Street, in Wallsend," Cr Nelmes said.

“Council is delivering the new Tyrell Street Bridge and has asked the NSW Government to provide funding for the Nelson Street Bridge, so Federal Labor’s support for the re-construction of the Boscawen Street Bridge will make a big difference to flood mitigation in Wallsend.”

State Member for Wallsend, Sonia Hornery, who has been a long-time advocate of the project, said it would resolve some serious flooding risks.

“A number of issues have been identified, including the low clearance on the bridge, the handrails and the intermediate piers, which pose a high risk of trapping materials in extreme weather conditions, causing blockages and leading to severe flooding,” Ms Hornery said.

“Removing the intermediate piers and creating a single-span structure will improve the flow capacity in large flood events for Hunter Water to undertake channel-widening in the future.” 

Ms Claydon called on the Liberals to match the funding commitment.

“I wrote to the Deputy Prime Minister requesting Government support and was directed to a program that Boscawen Street Bridge isn’t even eligible for,” Ms Claydon.

“The Liberals need to show their support for the people of Wallsend by committing to investing in the Boscawen Street Bridge rebuild.”

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Authorised by Sharon Claydon MP, 427 Hunter Street Newcastle