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Rudd Government must come clean on any plans to cut Pacific Highway funding.

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

Luke Hartsuyker MP Federal Member for Cowper


November 5, 2008

Rudd Government must come clean on any plans to cut Pacific Highway funding

Federal MP Luke Hartsuyker has called on the Rudd Government to come clean on any plans to cut funding to either the Pacific Highway or the upgrade of the North Coast rail line.

Mr Hartsuyker’s comments follow an interview given by Treasurer Wayne Swan regarding the Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook.

Responding to a question about the Government’s capacity to meets its funding commitment on infrastructure Mr Swan said it may be affected by the economic downturn.

Mr Hartsuyker said the Rudd Government must honour its commitment to upgrade the Pacific Highway and continue the upgrade of the east coast rail corridor which started under the previous Coalition Government.

“Last year Kevin Rudd matched the Coalition’s $2.4 billion commitment for the Pacific Highway for the period 2009-14. Now the Rudd Government is floundering over how to manage the economic downturn and the Treasurer has hinted that future infrastructure spending could be in jeopardy.

“Given the New South Wales Government is a financial basket case, the only funding committed to the Pacific Highway past June 30 2009 is Commonwealth funding.

“The Rudd Government must deliver on its promise to match the Coalition funding and make saving lives on the Pacific Highway a priority.

“They also must ensure that the upgrade of the rail line between Sydney and Brisbane continues and is not the subject of funding cuts.

“The real concern here is Kevin Rudd is renowned for being strong on rhetoric and weak on action. We have seen it with the so called Education Revolution and we are seeing it with his alleged Broadband Network plan.

“Now, after recently announcing infrastructure projects were a priority, there are worrying signs the Rudd Government is going to renege on its promise.

“The Government must renew its commitment to these two vital infrastructure projects which are so important to communities on the North Coast.”