A WAR of words has erupted between Griffith’s mayor and Murrumbidgee MP Adrian Piccoli over the state government’s hesitation to hand over $30 million in flood funding.
Council applied for the state government grant in June to cover road damage caused by the March floods.
So far, only $450,000 has exchanged hands.
Mayor John Dal Broi has accused Mr Piccoli of failing to stand up for his community to push the funding through swiftly.
He made no secret of his disdain for Mr Piccoli at council’s public meeting in Yenda last week, accusing him of abandoning his constituents.
“I would expect more cooperation from our local member – so far he has only come forward with cheques that are, frankly, insulting,” Cr Dal Broi said.
Nearby shires including Tumut, Narrandera and Leeton have already received large grants from the state government.
Cr Dal Broi said Griffith’s Category C disaster declaration should have attracted state funding “reasonably quickly”.
“I expect our local member to use his political influence to force the RMS (Roads and Maritime Services) to expedite funding,” he said.
“After all, he is a senior minister in the state cabinet. I know he has a difficult portfolio but you cannot forget your constituents.
“Council is giving everything it can but our resources are limited. We need our local member to stand up for us.”
Mr Piccoli bit back on Monday, challenging Cr Dal Broi to speak directly to him instead of airing his issues in the public arena.
“The mayor has not approached me, which is a much more appropriate way to handle this issue than raising it at a council meeting,” Mr Piccoli said.
“I am always happy to take things up with the minister, who I have a very good relationship with, but I need to be aware there is a problem first.
“I rang John on Tuesday – to congratulate him on his election, in fact – and left a message but I haven’t heard back.”
Mr Piccoli promised to take any information council could provide to roads minister Duncan Gay.
“If anything can be done, I will be happy to do it,” he said.