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Coalition will finish the job on the Pacific Highway

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Coalition will finish the job on the Pacific Highway 15th January, 2013

Joint Media Release

Warren Truss MP Acting Federal Opposition Leader Leader of The Nationals Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport

Mr Kevin Hogan The Nationals Candidate for Page

“THE Gillard government’s insistence that NSW meets 50% of the cost of upgrading the Pacific Highway has left 20% of the duplication completely unfunded,” Acting Federal Opposition Leader Warren Truss said in Lismore this morning.

“Fortunately the Coalition has stepped up where Labor is walking away from its responsibilities. We will fully fund the Commonwealth’s 80% share of the highway double-lanning to the Queensland border with a guaranteed $5.6 billion to get the job done.

“What is especially galling for people in the electorate of Page is it is they who will suffer for Labor’s funding fiasco. Almost all of the 20% of the highway that Labor has not funded is in their area.”

The sections of the Pacific Highway that Labor will leave unfinished are:

* Woodburn to Ballina (38.4km): cost $1,225 million. * Glenugie to Tyndale (33.2km including Grafton Bypass): cost $1,020 million. * Halfway Creek to Glenugie (11.5km): cost $250 million. * Tyndale to Devils Pulpit (37.8km): cost $1,485 million. * Devils Pulpit to Woodburn (15.7km): cost $270 million.

“It is a sad indictment on Labor’s incompetence and neglect that, to date, only half of the highway duplication is complete, but that 20% of the job remains completely unfunded is deceitful. Their promise to complete the duplication by 2016 has been long abandoned.

“Last year I announced the Coalition will provide the full $5.6 billion needed to fix the mess. We will do it by redirecting $2.1 billion from a defunct rail project in Sydney and release the full $3.5 billion currently stalled by Labor’s 50:50 ultimatum to the NSW government.

“The Pacific Highway is simply not up to standard. Locals struggle on unsafe and congested sections of the highway. It is a frightening freight corridor due to the large numbers of trucks and it is getting more dangerous as the road gets busier.”

Mr Truss was invited to Ballina by The Nationals candidate for Page Kevin Hogan for a joint inspection of the Woodburn to Ballina section of the Pacific Highway, which under Labor’s mismanagement remains unfunded.

“It is unconscionable that Labor insists on playing political road games rather than match the unequivocal and fully-funded commitment Warren has made,” Mr Hogan said. “The Coalition has found the money to finish the job and Labor has run out of places to hide.

“The Pacific Highway needs to be a national priority. It’s certainly a priority for The Nationals.

“Only the Coalition has a funding guarantee to fix the entire Pacific Highway. Communities through Page and along the entire NSW mid and north coast are sick of Labor’s failure to get the job done.

“In guaranteeing the Commonwealth’s full share, only a Coalition government can ensure the Pacific

Highway is completed once-and-for-all.”