Albanese out of control on Pacific Highway
“ANTHONY Albanese’s out of control response to the Coalition’s commitment to deliver a funding package to complete the four-laning of the Pacific Highway is bizarre,” Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Warren Truss said today.
“It demonstrates the obvious… that Labor has only been intent on petty politics, not getting the road built.
“Under Labor, the Pacific Highway construction will not be completed for decades. The promised 2016 deadline for completion is in tatters and there is no agreement with NSW for the funding of new projects on the highway.
“The commitment I made on Saturday will free-up the $3.56 billion already committed to the Pacific Highway, and that funding will be topped up with the $2.08 billion Labor allocated to the Epping-Parramatta rail line, which the NSW Government does not intend to build.
“The Coalition’s announcement puts in place a complete funding package for the Pacific Highway and restores the 80:20 funding split between the federal and state governments traditionally used on the national highway network.
“Labor says only $67 million of the $2.08 billion transferred to the Pacific Highway is in the current Commonwealth/State road agreement and the balance will come from the new program scheduled to commence in 2014.
“What Mr Albanese failed to explain is that this $67 million is based on Labor’s priority list. Our priorities are not Labor’s priorities.
“The Coalition in government will ensure that the next round of AusLink, due to begin in 2014-15, releases the funds as required to get the job done.
“Under Labor, there is no end in sight for completing the duplication of the Pacific Highway.
“While Mr Albanese is still playing games, we’re getting on with the job of completing the Pacific Highway upgrade. It is in limbo now only because of Mr Albanese’s insistence that a debt-ridden NSW government cough up $3.5 billion that it simply does not have.
“By committing to 80% of the funding, the Coalition is serious about finishing the job Labor cannot get done.”
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