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Monday, 26 November 2012
Page: 13078

Pacific Highway

Dear Mr Murphy

Thank you for your letter dated 17 September 2012 about a petition recently submitted for the consideration of the Standing Committee on Petitions regarding funding to duplicate the Pacific Highway.

The Pacific Highway is a key component of the national land transport network. Completing the duplication will assist in increasing economic capacity and productivity along the Sydney-Brisbane corridor and, when completed, will reduce end-to-end travel times by approximately two and a half hours. It will also provide efficiency gains for both freight and passenger traffic and open up regions for increased tourism and industry.

That is why the Federal Labor Government has already committed an unprecedented $4.1 billion towards duplicating the Pacific Highway. In addition, the recent Federal Budget allocated an additional $3.56 billion if matched by the New South Wales Government.

This additional commitment has the potential to take the total Federal Government funding available for the Pacific Highway since commencement of the Nation Building Program in 2008-09 to more than $7.7 billion. This contrasts sharply with the $1.3 billion spent by the then Coalition Government over a 12 year period.

Right now, there are 1,800 people working up and down the Pacific Highway. Much of this work, such as the Kempsey Bypass, was 100 percent Federally-funded during the Economic Stimulus Plan to keep people in jobs during the downturn.

This is a record investment and provides assurance that the Federal Labor Government remains willing to deliver on its commitment to the Pacific Highway.

I trust this information will be of assistance.

from the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Mr Albanese