A Maitland councillor has criticised federal member Meryl Swanson for not doing more to fund road and transport infrastructure, but Ms Swanson said she's proud of what she's accomplished for the region.
Liberal councillor and deputy mayor Mitchell Griffin said the Federal Government is not doing enough to provide infrastructure which would allow council to approve more housing developments, particularly in Thornton.
"If the Federal Government wants regional cities like Maitland to come on board and deliver affordable housing, then the Albanese government needs to come on board and support councils through infrastructure and funding," Cr Griffin said.
"To date we have seen no assistance from Ms Swanson or the Federal Government to assist with the delivery of $50 million worth of road infrastructure. This is despite voters going to the polls in 2022 under the impression Ms Swanson would be providing this infrastructure."
Ms Swanson said once completed, the extension will ease traffic congestion in Thornton and across the region.
"I put the pressure on to get that started, it's something I've been banging on about since I got elected, it will be fundamentally the biggest piece of road infrastructure that our region has seen since the Hunter Expressway," she said.
"It will free up all of those back roads like Thornton, and I'm really proud of that."
Cr Griffin has expressed his disappointment that funding for Thornton roads has not been made available, calling back to a Newcastle Herald article from before the federal election in 2022, where Ms Swanson said she would upgrade roads at Heddon Greta and Thornton.
"All I'm asking for is for Ms Swanson and the Albanese Government to follow through with updating our roads in Thornton to allow sensible growth to take place," Cr Griffin said.
Ms Swanson told The Mercury in November 2022 this was a priority but not a commitment.
She said these upgrades are still a priority for her.
"I'm going to still keep pushing for that, whether it comes from the State Government funding which I think it will eventually, or the Federal Government, but it's still a priority for me," she said.
Cr Griffin said more road infrastructure means council can better address the housing crisis.
"Local Government is keen to play their part with providing affordable housing, but without either state or federal support to deliver roads, we are fighting with one hand behind our backs, with the residents losing out," he said.
Cr Griffin intends to raise the issue of lack of infrastructure in growth regions when he attends the Local Government NSW Annual Conference in Parramatta next week.
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