THE state government has allocated $7 million to begin construction on the new Windsor bridge, however Community Action for Windsor Bridge member, Peter Reynolds, said the sum would only “pay for tea and cake for the RMS to build the bridge.”
“We know the bridge is going to cost about $100 million - what’s $7 million? It’s only 7 per cent of the total amount,” Mr Reynolds told the Gazette.
The $7 million allocation is part of the 2017-18 budget, and was delivered by Member for Hawkesbury and NSW Treasurer, Dominic Perrottet, on Tuesday.
“How can they go to tender without a budget allocation? They can’t call for people like Lendlease or other contractors to put in tenders without a budget allocation - and $7 million isn’t enough to go to tender,” said Mr Reynolds.
“If you’re a company [tendering for work on the bridge] and have to buy materials and employ people - it doesn’t make sense.”
Mr Reynolds said the figure was enough to do some pre-construction work, “but that’s it”.
“It just goes to show the government is treading water again. If they’re indecisive, this is an indication,” he said.
“If they are going to construct the bridge, an allocation of $7 million for a $100 million project doesn’t make sense.”
Mr Reynolds said he didn’t understand why the government said the traffic passing over Windsor bridge (currently 22,500 vehicles per day) wasn’t enough to warrant a bypass, when a four-lane bypass catering for 19,400 vehicles per day recently opened in the township of Berry.
He said despite the budget allocation, CAWB would keep fighting to keep the existing bridge and build a bypass bridge down the river – away from Windsor’s heritage precinct.
"We're going to keep on keeping on,” he said.
“We’re the third-oldest town in the country, and the oldest country town. The place is a heritage jewellery box.”