A STATE Labor government would put $270,000 towards helping Newcastle City Council seek a long-term solution to the Stockton erosion crisis, the NSW Opposition has announced.
Shadow Environment Minister Penny Sharpe and Member for Newcastle Tim Crakanthorp on Wednesday pledged funding for the council’s Coastal Management Program.
Councils are required to have a coastal management plan before works can begin.
Parliament is expected to debate Stockton’s erosion on Thursday, with a bus of residents headed south.
Newcastle MP Tim Crakanthorp called on the state government to match his party’s funding pledge.
“The fact that we have been able to collect 10,000 signatures on the petition highlights the significance of this issue to the Newcastle community – the government must act now and match this funding,” Mr Crakanthorp said.
Newcastle lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes welcomed the Labor funding promise.
“We will continue to work closely with the state member to resolve this complex issue,” she said.
Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton argued a plan submitted in 2016 was not up to scratch. A revised plan was resubmitted two weeks ago, she said, and has already been signed off by the Office of Environment and Heritage. She invited the council to seek funding for works.
“If their draft Coastal Zone Management Plan had been to scratch … the council may well have been eligible for funding by now and well on its way to fixing the problem,” Ms Upton said.
“So the ball is now back in the court of Newcastle City Council and I invite it to make a grant application, because the NSW government is always happy to help the community of Stockton.”
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