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Labor's big Pacific Highway con

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Luke Hartsuyker MP Minister for Vocational Education and Skills Federal Member for Cowper


Luke Hartsuyker’s Media Contact: Nikki Voss 02 6652 6233 / 0408 070 056

October 9, 2015 Labor’s Big Pacific Highway Con

Federal Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker has today called out Bill Shorten on Labor’s Pacific Highway con.

“Mr Shorten is rewriting history in his claims that he cares about progress on the Pacific Highway Upgrade and ‘will support the Pacific Highway package’,” Mr Hartsuyker said.

“He conveniently ignores the fact that under the previous Labor Government, the NSW Government was forced to accept a 50:50 funding split on the Pacific Highway Duplication project.

“Bill Shorten knows the policy Labor took to the last election would have delayed completion of the Pacific Highway Upgrade by seven years to 2027, as the NSW Government could not afford a 50 per cent split,” Mr Hartsuyker said.

The Coalition Government has honoured its 2013 election commitment of an 80:20 funding split with the NSW Government, which has fast-tracked Pacific Highway construction between Sydney and the Queensland border.

“Under a Coalition Government the Pacific Highway Upgrade is fully funded and will be fully duplicated by the end of the decade,” Mr Hartsuyker said.

“You only have to look to the north and south of the Cowper electorate to see the cracking pace being set by the thousands of workers building the dual carriage way and bridges from Macksville to Ballina.

“In the last few months, we’ve hit important milestones including the start of construction on the new Macksville Bridge and commencement of works on the Arrawarra to Ballina section - including the start of construction on the first of 40 new bridges to be built.

“In addition, the construction is providing jobs for local workers. Earlier this week I visited CMC Contractors at their Halfway Creek bridge site. About 80% of their workers are from the North Coast, including local engineers and labourers,” Mr Hartsuyker said.

The Woolgoolga to Ballina section of the Pacific Highway Upgrade will create up to 2,500 direct jobs and 7,500 indirect jobs between now and the projected completion date of 2020.