Port Macquarie-Hastings Council is continuing to develop its business case in relation to sourcing state government funding for the Ocean Drive duplication works.
Council discussed the dilemma around funding the project at its December meeting.
Final costs of the project have been put at around $65 million.
In October 2017, Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams arranged meetings in Sydney between council representatives and state government ministers, including roads minister Melinda Pavey.
Funding for the Ocean Drive duplication project formed part of those discussions.
At that meeting Ms Pavey told council to develop the business case to seek the funding required to undertake the project.
"My understanding is the council is still working on the business case," Mrs Williams said.
Some $1.83 million was spent on the design and pre-construction approvals, as of July 2017.
The balance of the $10 million allocation is available for construction but more funds are needed due to the project’s complexity.
Earlier this year council moved a motion to allocate around $5.5 million towards the upgrade. Those funds were reallocated from the regional sporting fields project destined for Wauchope.
Cr Mike Cusato seized on the shortfall in progressing the Ocean Drive works at the December meeting.
"If we can't move the (Ocean Drive) project along, then we need to transfer that $5.5m in funds back to the regional sporting fields," he said.
At $60m to $65m, I don't think the Ocean Drive project is going to go ahead without the state government funding.Cr Mike Cusato
"At $60m to $65m, I don't think the Ocean Drive project is going to go ahead without the state government funding.
"This project has been on the books for many years. We have seen the final draft designs; it has taken a lot of cooperation with the Roads and Maritime Service.
"The duplication work was originally an election promise by our local member (Mrs Williams) prior to the 2011 election.
"If we don't receive this substantial funding (from the state government) I don't see how this project can go ahead."
Cr Cusato noted the $10m in state funding and the reallocation of the $5.5m from the regional sporting fields as part of the work.
He also called for council "to get that regional sporting fields project rolling along".
Cr Cusato said he was raising the issue as a clarification for the community and to say that the duplication works were an election promise and that council was committed to the project but required "a concrete result from the state government".
Mayor Peta Pinson saw the matter differently.
"You are asking the state government to pay up for the entire project?"
Cr Cusato said the community needs to know that it is not a priority of the council to take on a $60 to $65m project.
"If they don't give us the money, we take it off the books," he said.
"This (discussion) just puts into perspective the enormity of this issue.
"This needs to be done first in relation to the orbital road."
Council hosted several community forums on the Ocean Drive project.
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