THE first tranche of funding for the $60 million upgrade of Armidale Rural Referral Hospital was delivered in the state budget yesterday.
More than $26 million has been earmarked over the next year, allowing construction of the redevelopment to begin.
“With this budget, the redevelopment is no longer a promise; it’s a bricks-and-mortar reality,” Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall said. The next step in the redevelopment is the awarding of tenders.
Another big winner for Armidale was a multi-million dollar upgrade of the New England Highway.
More than $2 million has been set aside to fix sections of the highway north and south of Armidale and north of Uralla.
Also, there will be $500,000 for an upgrade of Waterfall Way seven kilometres west of Ebor and $50,000 for a new roundabout in Donnelly Street. “The scope of works to be undertaken across Northern Tablelands roads ... will be welcomed by the community and longstanding problem areas start to be addressed,” Mr Marshall said.
The NRMA welcomed investment into the state’s rural and regional road network, including $64 million for the Bridges to the Bush program.
The McCarthy building in Faulkner Street will receive a $128,000 refurbishment.
Elsewhere, a new $100 million Smart, Skilled and Hired initiative will target the state’s highest areas of youth unemployment, including the New England.
There is also a 5.4 per cent increase in TAFE funding to $1.8 billion in the coming financial year.
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