Albanese hits back
SUGGESTIONS this week from NSW Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner that the Federal Government had reneged on its funding obligations for the Pacific Highway, were met with contempt from Federal Roads Minister Anthony Albanese yesterday.
Mr Albanese said it was the State Government which had fallen short on its pre-election promise to complete the duplication by failing, not only to match the $3.56b funding that has been placed on the table for 2015-16, but by not delivering on its much-vaunted commitment to match the Federal Government's $750m in the 2011-12 Federal budget.
Mr Albanese's office said the NSW Government had changed its mind on its initial agreement to match the funding and would now only commit $468m in funding to the highway in 2014-15 - a $282m shortfall.
"This Federal Labor Government has committed more to the Pacific Hwy than all our predecessors combined," Mr Albanese said.
"All we have ever asked of the NSW Coalition Government is that they honour the promises they made prior to being elected, which included 50-50 funding."
"Their decision to reduce their contribution by $300 million between last year's budget and this year's has only made a tough task even tougher."
Below is a list of quotes from NSW Coalition members both before they came to power in March 2011 and after. The list was provided by Mr Albanese's office.
NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell (in opposition)
"Only the NSW Liberals and Nationals are committed to completing the upgrade of the Pacific Highway by 2016." Facebook - 8 March 2011.
Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner (in opposition)
"Unlike Labor, the NSW Liberals and Nationals will immediately fast-track the upgrade of the Pacific Highway if elected in March." - media statement - 21 February 2011.
"The upgrade of the Pacific Highway is a State Gov-ernment responsibility, so it's up to them to get the job done." media statement - 28 October 2009
Treasurer Mike Baird - Budget speech 20/11/12
"In its last Budget, the Commonwealth allocated $750 million for the Pacific Highway to 2014-15, but only on the condition that the NSW Government matched this amount ... we are determined to provide the funds needed to match the Commonwealth offer." - September 6, 2011.
Roads Minister Duncan Gay
"We will be doing what we can to match that. The budget papers and my comments at budget time indicated where the money from the leasing of Port Botany was to go and we have not changed our mind." Hansard - September 11 2011