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Murray claims absurd



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E.

W

C&

75/93

3 March 1993

MURRAY CLAIMS ABSURD

The New South Wales Minister, Wal Murray, was downright slothful in his administration of the State's road program, Federal Land Transport Minister Bob Brown said today.

Mr Brown said that Mr Murray's statement to Parliament yesterday about One Nation roads expenditure was not only grossly inaccurate, but raised questions about Mr Murray's understanding of his own portfolio.

"Mr Murray, who has obviously decided to grace the Federal election campaign with his presence, has only succeeded in demonstrating ignorance of the real facts", Mr Brown U said.

"For example, he claims that the $8m link between the Sydney-Newcastle Freeway and the New England Highway at Beresfield has been delayed by Federal inaction.

"He is obviously unaware that the State's request for funding was only received by my Department on 18 February. I expect to make an announcement on this funding later this week. This is hardly constitutes the "inaction" referred to by Mr Murray.

"Mr Murray's claim that $34 million in One Nation roads funding in NSW will be underspent in 1992/93. Latest advice from Mr Murray's Department indicates that the State expects to spend more than 98 per cent of its 1992/93 Federal road allocation of $601 million.

"Mr Murray wrote to me about One Nation road funding on 18 February and made no mention of his concerns about underexpenditure. This re-inforces my view that his latest outburst is just a political stunt. 11

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"Mr Murray refers to cost savings being achieved on the Wilton Bypass. That may be

the case but it is not on the Hume Highway as he claims. In addition, the State has never informed the Federal Government that savings are being achieved on this project".

"The other inaccuracies in Mr Murray's statement are legion, and advice on these can be obtained from my Office.

COMMON WEALTH PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY MICAH

"

Mr Murray has also complained that Federal roads expenditure is being spent in Federal electorates such as Eden-Monaro, Page, Richmond and Parkes, because of some perceived advantage for Labor."

"The hypocrisy of this man is breathtaking. Federal roads funds are being spent in every electorate in New South Wales, including Mr Murray's own State electorate."

"I challenge Mr Murray to ask people in those areas whether Federal funds should be withheld from their roads", Mr Brown said.

"The One Nation program is about creating jobs as well as providing infrastructure of Iasting value. People across the State have every right to expect that they will share in and benefit from the stimulus provided by expenditure such as this.

"Mr Murray is also obviously not aware that his own Department has sought the transfer of road funds to projects the Eden-Monaro electorate, as well as projects elsehere.

"Rather than getting on with the job Mr Murray persists in erecting these smokescreens to conceal his own inadequacies".

"He has already earned a reputation as the national spoiler of a nationally uniform scheme for heavy vehicles".

"Mr Murray's day in the sun in Parliament yesterday would have been better spent reading himself into his portfolio. It embarrasses me to see him embarrassed in this way", Mr Brown said.

For further information contact Gary Kent (06) 2777 440