Albanese defends highway funding
FEDERAL Member for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese, has hit back at claims he said were made by Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey and Federal Member for Cowper, Luke Hartsuyker suggesting only a small percentage of the $1.02 billion pledged for fixing the Pacific Highway in Tuesday night's budget was new money.
On his website, Mr Albanese said the claims were "shameful and dishonest" and said it showed the Coalition was "more interested in playing politics than fixing the Pacific Highway."
Mr Albanese said of the $1.02 billion set aside for the upgrade, $750 million was new money with the balance being made up from funds redirected from a project elsewhere in NSW.
He said the extra funds brought the total investment in the Pacific Highway by the Gillard Government to $4.1 billion over seven years compared to the Howard Government's record of $1.3 billion over 12 years.
Mr Albanese also said contrary to the Pacific Highway being a forgotten project, it was actually the nation's largest road construction project with more than 1000 workers currently working on 69 kilometres of road.