Cough up, Costa Manly Daily Story Sat 31 May 2008 As NSW Treasurer Michael Costa prepares to hand down his annual Budget, fed up northern beaches residents are demanding that the State Government stop ignoring the peninsula and loosen the purse strings to fund our vital infrastructure projects. With the Government's latest list of commitments to be handed down on Tuesday, residents and The Manly Daily have outlined the areas on the northern beaches where funding is critical. At the top of the list is money for a viable public transport system and a solution to the daily chaos that occurs on the Spit Bridge. Locals are also calling for money to fix the dilapidated Brookvale Oval, as well as a fix for the ailing Sydney ferry service, delivering a new Level 5 hospital at Frenchs Forest and restoring Manly Dam and Curl Curl lagoon. A survey of local residents yesterday confirmed commuters are desperate for an end to congestion on the Spit Bridge and demanded the State Government deliver on its abandoned promise to `Fix the Spit'. And residents are still waiting to see the blueprint for the $400million hospital at Frenchs Forest after plans were promised last July, along with upgrades to both Manly and Mona Vale hospitals. Scotland Island couple Jonathan and Linda Swain commute to Ultimo each day and believe a vastly improved public transport system is critical. ``It would be nice to have a public transport service that actually worked,'' Mrs Swain said. ``We have experimented with both the car and public transport and it's quicker and cheaper for us to travel from Scotland Island to Ultimo by car than it is to catch public transport.'' Avalon's Brant Sweetman said money needed to be spent on an upgrade for Brookvale Oval. ``It's pretty run-down and dangerous down there,'' he said. ``They need to fix the OH and S issues around the place. I think the State Government also needs to spend more money on the Spit Bridge. I don't know if we need to widen it or have a tunnel, but something needs to be done.'' Nicole Wyllie, of Newport, said: ``Mona Vale Hospital should be upgraded. I had to go there recently and it was just really depressing. It wasn't a happy place at all.'' Avalon's Anna Kramer-Higgins agreed and said: ``Mona Vale Hospital needs an upgrade desperately. It services a huge area at the high end of the peninsula and we need to repair what we've got.'' Mr Baird said this state budget was the last chance for Treasurer Michael Costa to dispel the perception that the NSW Government was ignoring the northern beaches. ``Ignoring the escalating congestion on this corridor is nothing short of negligence,'' he said ``There is a desperate need for more buses to service peak periods, more bendy buses on key routes such as the E70 and a reinstatement of the 141 Balgowlah bus that was cancelled two years ago. ``Although the NSW Government recently invested $170,000 in Brookvale Oval it's nowhere near enough we need to see funds in the order of the $20million they've just given to upgrade the Energy Australia stadium.''