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Pacific Highway remains an unfunded time bomb under Labor

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Pacific Highway remains an unfunded time bomb under Labor

25th September, 2012

“LABOR’S broken promises and botched handling of the Pacific Highway duplication to the Queensland border is fixable,” Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Warren Truss said while inspecting the Pacific Highway just outside Grafton today.

“To date only half of the highway duplication is complete and 20% of the job remains completely unfunded. That 20% includes this stretch from Glenugie to Tyndale.

“But just over a week ago, I announced the Coalition will guarantee over $5.6 billion to fix the mess - redirecting $2.1 billion from a Sydney rail project, which is not proceeding, on top of the $3.5 billion currently locked-up by Labor’s phoney 50:50 war with the NSW government.

“This road is a nightmare for everyone. Local commuters struggle on unsafe and congested sections of the highway and it’s a treacherous freight corridor for trucks and getting busier. People run the gauntlet every day.

“Instead of digging in over redundant arguments about funding splits, the Gillard government should be fast-tracking funds to make the highway safer for all road users.”

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

“I am appalled that Labor is still playing political games rather than matching the fully-funded commitment Warren has made,” Mr Hogan said. “If we can find the money to finish the job, Labor has run out of excuses.

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

“Labor has cut-off funding for new projects on the Pacific Highway as Minister Albanese plays a cynical game, demanding NSW cough up half of the funding for this federal highway - cash he knows NSW does not have.

“Only the Coalition has a fully-funded plan to fix the Pacific Highway and complete the duplication. Communities through Page and along the entire NSW mid and north coast are sick of this treacherous highway being used as a political football.

“By stepping up with a guaranteed 80% of the funding, has put the money on the table to enable the road to be constructed just as soon as physically possible.”