How the West’s been done

THE gall of John Beach (Letters 22/6), formerly of Newcastle East now of Bonshaw, who has apparently turned his attention away from Supercars and on to Wallsend. As a councillor representing Newcastle’s western suburbs, including Wallsend where I live with my family, I find nothing more offensive than inner-city elites talking on our behalf. I'm proud of the level of investment that my Ward 4 colleague Jason Dunn and I have been able to negotiate and secure for our constituents.

We've kept the entry fees to Beresfield Pool the lowest across the city as well as secured more funding to create additional shade and upgrade amenities.

The $2.4 million Beresfield Local Centre upgrade, the first local centre works undertaken by council,  is underway and is looking fantastic. The plans to completely overhaul the Wallsend town centre have also recently been approved - both of these projects would not have gone through without support of this current council.

This is not to mention the $8 million investment into the construction of the region's largest solar farm at Summerhill Waste Management Facility which will save the city millions in electricity bills and will sit in our western suburbs.

On Wallsend flood mitigation, the council is taking strong action. Our draft budget, which the council is set to adopt next Tuesday, allocates a further $2 million to be invested in lifting the Tyrrell Street bridge at Wallsend, the first of three bridges that will be raised after supporting columns are removed, as the first stage of a plan to address flooding that regularly affects the Wallsend CBD. This is on top of the detailed and complex concept design works and costings undertaken by council. We very much look forward to the support of both the state and federal governments to expedite the delivery of this important project. The council continues to offer the flash flood alert system.

As a touch footy player, I'm also stoked about Council's $500,000 upgrade to Upper Reserve, and I've had great feedback from a number of community groups who use Pioneer Hall at Cowper Street, which had a makeover funded by the council.

Is Mr Beach also seriously suggesting the council should wear the $30-$40 million cost of addressing coastal erosion at Stockton when this has always been the responsibility of state government? Talk about irresponsible spending of ratepayer money.

I'd happily take Mr Beach on a tour of the western suburbs to point out all of our upgrades.  We could finish our tour with a schooner of Sneaky One, produced by a local Newcastle brewer, or grab a coffee in downtown Wallsend where some of our city's finest coffees are made.

Sometimes it’s healthy to stop the constant whinging Mr Beach and start appreciating what our town has to offer.

Councillor Matthew Byrne, Ward 4, Newcastle City Council  


Steven Moore