STATE BUDGET: What's in it for Cooma?

MEMBER for Monaro John Barilaro has described the NSW Budget as a 'once in a generation' outcome for the Monaro, yet the majority of regional funding will be spent outside of Cooma.

The only guaranteed funding for Cooma is $2.4 million to upgrade Cooma TAFE's carpentry and joinery workshop and $600,000 to upgrade Cooma Creek bridge on the Monaro Highway. The money for the TAFE is a continuation of funding previously announced.

Other areas across the Monaro electorate fared much better than Cooma, with more than $11 million to be spent on road projects across the Snowy River Shire Council's local government area.

Country Labor Candidate for Monaro and State Member of the Legislative Council, Steve Whan, has labelled the budget as "uninspiring."

"There is nothing we didn't already know in this budget and unfortunately yet again we're not getting our fair share in Monaro," Mr Whan said.

"We have seen run of the mill maintenance projects announced.

"Cooma has missed out in this budget, the only education project is TAFE carpentry, a project I announced before the last election."

Mr Barilaro said the budget delivered a once in a generation opportunity for the region to set in stone key projects that will transform the road network for many generations to come.

"The Monaro will also benefit from a share in $37.5 million allocated for the Fixing Country Roads program.

"This is designed to improve regional roads managed by local government, especially roads to allow higher mass vehicle to operate."

The Monaro Highway will receive $2.5 million for pavement rebuilding and resurfacing. At this stage it is unclear whereabouts the resurfacing will occur, but the pavement rebuilding will take place 3km south of the Snowy Mountains Highway near Holts Flat.

Cooma pensioners will benefit from the budget handed down by State Treasurer Andrew Constance, with $107 million to fill the gap left in the recent Federal Budget.

"We are plugging the gap left to us by Canberra," Mr Constance said.

"We can do that because we've got our budget settings right and our spending is in check.

"We are now in control of the NSW Budget, it is no longer controlling us."

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