NSW budget must deliver promised funds: Ryan Park

Keira MP Ryan Park hopes to see the outstanding $80 million from the Port Kembla lease fund delivered in Tuesday's state budget.

Keira MP Ryan Park.

Keira MP Ryan Park.

The NSW government handed over only one-fifth - or $20 million - of the promised $100 million Illawarra infrastructure fund in last year's budget.

Despite the partial allocation, the government had said the full funds would be available as soon as projects were shovel-ready.

"I expect the remaining $80 million to be allocated in this year's budget," Mr Park said.

"If not, you've got to wonder whether this project had any justification at all given that everyone said it was about helping to stimulate the economy and support local jobs."

The fund has been in the works since the 2012-13 budget when the long-term lease of Port Kembla was announced by then treasurer Mike Baird.

Businesses and organisations were encouraged to apply for funding and the final list of 12 successful projects was announced in December.

Mr Park has been critical of the delay in getting projects started and recently submitted a question in Parliament for Minister for Illawarra John Ajaka to get some clarification on progress.

"I wanted to know how much of the $20 million allocated for this financial year had been spent as at May 1 - and which projects had received funding partial or otherwise by that date," Mr Park said.

"But two years after this fund was announced, the government still can't say how much has actually been allocated."

In his response, tabled last week, Mr Ajaka said that Infrastructure NSW was responsible for administering the Restart NSW Illawarra infrastructure fund project funding agreements.

"The agreements contain specific milestones that the successful applicants must meet in order to receive payment through the fund," he said.

"Payments are therefore made in accordance with the provisions of the funding agreements."

As well as the port fund allocation, the Keira MP and shadow minister for education also hopes to see investment in schools.

"There's a large number of ageing demountables and I'd like to see some money targeted for that as well as some upgrades to schools like Figtree High School and its library."

Mr Park said he would also like to see money go into the final extension of Memorial Drive.

Funding to complete the Albion Park Rail bypass was high on the budget wishlist for Shellharbour MP Anna Watson, who'd also like to see some money made available for the Shellharbour Hospital upgrade.

"We're such a fast-growing community and both these projects have been on the agenda for a long time," Ms Watson said.

Funds for the installation of lifts at Unanderra railway station and money to set up an investment fund to re-energise Port Kembla were the budget priorities for Wollongong MP Noreen Hay.


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