Claimed Urban Congestion Fund rorts partially explained

Emma McBride, Federal Member for Dobell addressing parliamentEmma McBride, Federal Member for Dobell in addressing parliament

Controversy rages over roadworks expenditure on the Central Coast pledged prior to the 2019 Federal Election, with Member for Dobell, Emma McBride, claiming residents in the north of the region were “shortchanged” and Member for Robertson, Lucy Wicks, maintaining that there was an even distribution of roadworks between the two electorates.

McBride said the marginal Liberal held seat of Robertson took over 94% of the $105M available for the Central Coast.
“On February 24 in Question Time, I asked the Prime Minister why 94% of roads funding on the Central Coast went to the Liberal held seat of Robertson,” McBride said.
“Does the Prime Minister think the Central Coast’s traffic congestion stops at Wamberal?
“Residents, commuters and business owners in the northern areas of the Coast will tell him otherwise.”
McBride said the Labor party had written to the Auditor-General requesting an audit into the design, management and politicisation of the Urban Congestion Fund, through which the money was made available.
But Wicks said a total of $105M investment was pledged on the Central Coast, $35M of which was for additional commuter car parking at Gosford and Woy Woy train stations, with the rest to be spent on upgrades to 29 Central Coast roads.
“The $70M Central Coast Roads Package is being delivered in partnership with Central Coast Council, who routinely identify priority roads requiring upgrades,” she said.
“Of the 29 Central Coast streets that were funded as an election commitment, 14 were in Dobell.
“The funding allocation of Urban Congestion Fund projects are decisions of the Federal Government and are not conducted through a competitive grants process.”
An examination of the full table of roadworks approved, confirms that of the 29 projects earmarked, 14 are in Dobell, 14 in Robertson and 1 in the electorate of Swansea.
A comparison of the cost of the works shows that in total $98.84M was pledged to projects in Robertson (including $35M for carpark upgrades); $5.92M was pledged to projects in Dobell and $236,000 was pledged to the Shortland project.
A breakdown of approved works follows.
In Robertson: Ocean Beach Rd and Rawson Rd, Woy Woy, $16,500,000; Steyne Rd, Saratoga, $11,310,000; Lushington St, East Gosford, $6,650,000; Shelly Beach Rd, Empire Bay, $3,025,000; Del Monte Pl, Copacabana, $10,000,000; Ridgeway Rd, Avoca Beach, $7,380,000; Mutu St, Woy Woy, $725,000; Glenrock Pde, Tascott, $1,500,000; St Huberts Island Bridge, $900,000; Everglades catchment, Umina Beach, $2,050,000; Gem Rd, Pearl Beach, $420,000; Springfield Rd, Springfield, $194,000; Racecourse Rd, West Gosford, $487,000; Springwood St, Blackwall, $2,700,000. Total: $63,841,000
In Dobell: Cresthaven Ave, Bateau Bay, $529,000; Bayview Ave, The Entrance, $311,000; Kerry Cres, Berkeley Vale, $443,000; Maidens Brush Rd, Wyoming, $536,000; Shirley St, Ourimbah, $340,000; Sturt St, Killarney Vale, $304,000; Tuggerawong Rd, Tuggerawong $407,000; Woodbury Park Dr, Mardi, $306,000; Craigie Ave, Kanwal, $425,000; Fravent St, Toukley, $374,000; Oleander St, Noraville, $530,000; Hibbard St, Canton Beach, $428,000; Albert Warner Dr, Warnervale, $436,000; The Corso, Gorokan, $554,000. Total: $5,923,000.
In Shortland: Richardson Rd, San Remo, $236,000.

Agenda item 3.15
Central Coast Council Meeting, Nov 25
Media release, Feb 24
Member for Dobell, Emma McBride
Media release, Feb 26
Member for Robertson, Lucy Wicks