Topics:  coalition, election, federal government, pacific highway

Coalition highway plans no better

AT THIS stage, a vote for the Coalition in the next federal election is not necessarily a vote for a fast-tracked completion of the Pacific Hwy.

Despite all the theatre that has taken place since last Tuesday's state budget announcement, there is no guarantee that the Liberals and Nationals will provide Pacific Hwy funding that is any better than the Gillard Government is offering.

When asked what a Coalition government could offer the people of Cowper regarding the most contentious piece of road in the country, neither local Federal MP Luke Hartsuyker or National Party leader Warren Truss would commit to giving constituents a better Pacific Hwy deal.

This is despite the heartfelt words of opposition leader Tony Abbott on January 9 after the tragic death of a young boy in Urunga that said: "I'm very happy to be bipartisan about finishing the Pacific Hwy as quickly as possible."

These words now appear empty.

Shadow Minister for Transport Mr Truss indicated during last week that the vital infrastructure will take the best part of a decade before it is finished, more than 30 years after the tragic Clybucca and Cowper bus crashes that claimed the lives of 56 people.

Hardly a finish date that suggests Mr Abbott is keen to uphold his "as quickly as possible" statement.

The Nationals leader was also unable to commit to a percentage of the funds that the Coalition intends to spend on the upgrade.

"When we come to government, we will have to negotiate that with NSW," Mr Truss said.

The office of Mr Hartsuyker said a Coalition policy regarding funding for the black ribbon will finally be released closer to polling day.



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