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Slow Joe should be judged on his actions: not his rhetoric.

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Luke Hartsuyker MP Federal Member for Cowper


January 9, 2005

Slow Joe should be judged on his actions - not his rhetoric

The Nationals Federal Member for Cowper, Luke Hartsuyker, has called on the NSW Roads Minister, Joe Tripodi, to accept an Australian Government offer to advance $30 million so that works on the Bonville Deviation can commence as soon a possible.

Mr Hartsuyker’s comments follow Federal Roads Minister, Jim Lloyd, repeating the Commonwealth $30 million offer during a visit to Coffs Harbour today.

“I welcome Jim Lloyd’s offer to advance $30 million to the NSW Government so that works can commence on the Bonville Deviation as soon as possible.

“Mr Tripodi has indicated that the tenders for the design and construction of the Bonville Deviation will not be awarded until halfway through 2006.

“A simple look at the facts highlight that Joe Tripodi has no sense of urgency to get works underway at Bonville.

“The facts are:

• In 1998 the NSW Government budgeted to fully fund the Bonville Deviation.

• Over the past seven years the NSW Government has spent millions of dollars on “planning” for the Bonville Deviation. However, the “design” component of the project has been left to the successful tenderer.

• On August 30 2005, the Australian Government offered Mr Tripodi $30 million to accelerate the schedule of works at Bonville. Mr Tripodi has not formerly responded to Commonwealth on that offer.

• In 2006, Mr Tripodi wants to give his department six months to look at two tenders for the Bonville Deviation. This is despite giving tenderers only 13 weeks to submit their tenders.

“In my view Joe Tripodi must be judged on his actions - not his rhetoric.

Media Contact: Greg Pierce 02 66 52 62 33 0408 532 785 Canberra: 62 77 4447

Media Contact: Greg Pierce 02 66 52 62 33. Mobile 0408 532 785 Email: Canberra: 6277 4447

“Joe Tripodi will always find a reason to delay much needed works on the Pacific Highway. He has an incredible capacity to find the time to whinge and whine about why something can not happen but when the opportunity arises for him to do something he sits on his hands.

“The tragedies which have occurred at Pine Creek are no secret to the residents of the Coffs Coast and every Roads Minister in the NSW Government has been aware of the increase in accidents over the past decade.

“I do not accept Mr Tripodi’s claim that the tenders for the Bonville Deviation can not be awarded because of the Auslink programme.

“The Auslink programme focuses on funding. However, responsibility for the Planning, Tendering and Construction of projects rests with the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority, which is a part of the Mr Tripodi’s department.

“In my view it is inconceivable that the two tenderers for the Bonville Deviation had to submit their applications in three months and the NSW Government needs six months to consider them.

“The $30 million the Australian Government is offering to advance could be used to ensure additional resources are committed to the Bonville project so that work can commence as soon as possible.

“The Bonville Deviation project is an opportunity for Mr Tripodi to show he can manage his portfolio and the Roads Traffic Authority.

“Yet here we are with the money on the table and Mr Tripodi coming up with more excuses for further delays.”