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Rob Oakeshott's highway lies cover up Federal Labor's $4 billion black hole

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Media Contact: Greg Pierce Coffs Harbour: 02 6652 6233 Canberra: 02 6277 4447 Mobile: 0408 532 785


22 October, 2012

Rob Oakeshott’s highway lies exposed as he covers up Federal Labor’s $4 billion black hole

Lyne MP Rob Oakeshott has been caught out lying about Commonwealth funding for the Pacific Highway, despite there being a $4 billion black hole in Federal Labor’s funding commitment to the road.

Federal Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker said Mr Oakeshott claimed $3.5 billion in current Commonwealth funding included $2.08 billion being redirected from the Epping to Parramatta rail line.

However, the Government has now confirmed during Senate Estimates the $2.08 billion remains in a contingency fund and earmarked for the Sydney rail project. The Federal Coalition has committed to redirecting those funds to the Pacific Highway.

“Rob Oakeshott has been exposed for telling lies on Pacific Highway funding. It is very clear that he is willing to put his own political interests ahead of the interests of North Coast residents.

“There are so many strings attached to the Gillard Government’s highway funding commitment, it is beyond belief Mr Oakeshott would choose to deceive North Coast residents instead of getting behind the Federal Coalition’s $5.6 billion funding commitment to the road.

“Following the Federal Coalition’s policy announcement to redirect $2.08 billion from the Epping to Parramatta line as part of the $5.6 billion highway commitment, Mr Oakeshott claimed in a media release (September 17) the rail link funds had already been redirected.

“But Senate Estimates has now revealed that the $2.08 billion remains in the Government’s contingency reserve for the Sydney rail link.

“This exposes the lie which Mr Oakeshott has pedalled over the past month.”

Mr Hartsuyker said the facts relating to Pacific Highway funding will give North Coast residents a clear choice at the next election. The facts are:

1. It estimated to cost $7 billion to complete the duplication of the road

2. Federal Labor has committed $3.5 billion to the highway upgrade but will only release funds based a dollar for dollar commitment from the NSW Government;

Media Contact: Greg Pierce Coffs Harbour: 02 6652 6233 Canberra: 02 6277 4447 Mobile: 0408 532 785


3. The NSW Government has committed $1.5 billion to future upgrades. Based on matching Commonwealth funding this leaves a $4 billion shortfall on the total $7 billion cost.

4. The Federal Coalition’s $5.6 billion restores the 80:20 funding agreement between the Commonwealth and State Governments which provides the $7 billion required to finish the road.

5. The Federal Coalition will fund its commitment by delivering on the $3.5 billion already in the budget’s forward estimates plus redirecting the $2.08 billion from the Epping rail project.

“The choice is a $4 billion funding black hole from Mr Oakeshott and Federal Labor or an iron clad $7 billion policy commitment from a Federal Coalition Government,” Mr Hartsuyker said.

“North Coast residents just want the road fixed and Mr Oakeshott needs to explain why he is backing Labor’s plan which has the $4 billion black hole,” Mr Hartsuyker said.