THE Keneally Government’s claims of funding for emergency departments at Maclean and Manning hospitals are ‘fraudulent’, according to Member for Clarence Steve Cansdell.

Health Minister and Deputy Premier Carmel Tebbutt announced after the State Budget yesterday that $1.1 million had been provided to complete $14.2 million of upgrades to the two hospitals’ emergency departments.

But Mr Cansdell said none of the money for Maclean had come from the Government – it had all come from a deceased estate.

“The only thing the State Government has paid for is the electrical work,” he said.

“It is disgusting to claim it.”

Mr Cansdell was equally critical of announced funding of $10.5 million to complete the $19.7 million upgrade of the Grafton Base Hospital.

“That is federal money,” he said.

And government claims of additional money for mental health services meant nothing for the Clarence.

“The $20 million extra is all for Sydney,” Mr Cansdell said.

“There is nothing for the country and in Clarence they are crying out for it.”

Labor MLC Greg Donnelly said the budget included $8.5 million for planning the upgrade of the Pacific Highway between Woolgoolga and Ballina, $2 million for the upgrade of McFarlane Bridge across the Clarence River at Maclean, and, $1.2 million for the operation and maintenance of the water supply and sewerage at the Baryulgil Square, Box Ridge Reserve, Cabbage Tree Island, Corindi, Maclean, Pippi Beach and Malabugilmah Aboriginal communities.

“I’m working hard with Premier Kristina Keneally to deliver a better future for the families of Clarence,” Mr Donnelly said.

“Clarence is a big winner out of the NSW budget, which invests in important local infrastructure and services so we can build for our future.”

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