$10m funds highway plan
JUST $10 million has been allocated to local Pacific Highway upgrades out of a total budget of $3.6 billion – a mere .027% – calling into question claims by both sides of politics that a dual carriageway will be a reality in the Clarence Valley by 2016.
The RTA confirmed to The Daily Examiner that $10 million had been “allocated to further progress planning on the Woolgoolga to Ballina section of the Pacific Highway” out of the $3.6 billion currently committed by governments for various projects between Hexham and the Queensland border.
Further, the $10 million will be spent across four different areas, just one being the Wells Crossing to Iluka Rd section.
Earlier this month, Minister for Roads David Borger repeated the claim “NSW is expected to have dual carriageway linking Victoria, Sydney and Queensland by 2016”.
The National Party’s Steve Cansdell has also made a similar promise to have a major upgrade of the Pacific Highway completed by 2016.
According to the RTA spokesman, the $10 million allocated to the local stretch of highway would help progress planning by developing a concept plan, designs and carrying out an environmental assessment” of the preferred route.
He also said the preferred route was subject to approval of the concept plan and environmental assessment, and “may be refined during these processes”.
“Concept plan approval will allow the RTA to secure the land and property required for the upgrade and progress the planning for the project, should further funding become available,” the spokesman said.