Fraser should go: MP

By JULIA ILES

WHAT a week; one suspended MP, recriminations flying, and politicians State and Federal still playing a blame game over life-saving Pacific Highway funding.

It's the reason former National MP Rob Oakeshott defected to stand as an Independent Member for Port Macquarie.

He says Coffs Harbour MP Andrew Fraser's assault on Roads Minister Joseph Tripodi during Wednesday's evenings State Parliament sitting set a dangerous precedent.

"What Fraser did was commit a common assault and all he got was eight days," he said, referring to the eight day suspension from sitting parliament.

"All he got from the National Party was a slap on the back, it seems they're all living by their own rules.

"It's a victory for the Mark Lathams of the world, he (Fraser) might live in the Wild West, but last time I checked this was a democracy.

"What this has done is lower the standard for every workplace in NSW, where does it n Continued page 3

nFrom page one

stop or end, will hitting females be made acceptable?"

He believes Mr Fraser should be expelled from State Parliament.

"Fraser said in defence of himself that the attack was the culmination of 12 years of built up frustration about the upgrade of the Pacific Highway, but it highlights that he hasn't been able to do anything in the last 12 years," Mr Oakeshott said.

"It came down to his lack of ability so he gave a biff instead."

However the upgrade to the highway may be a step closer after Roads Minister Mr Tripodi called for feedback on two shortlisted options between Woolgoolga and Wells Crossing, and Wells Crossing to Iluka Road.

Nationals leader Andrew Stoner was cynical of the upgrade progress and said instead the funding to NSW had increased by more than 87 per cent.

"Leading up to the State election the Government promised an iron-clad guarantee but there has been a failure to deliver based on actions, so I am doubtful about the upgrades," Mr Stoner said.

He also used the 16th anniversary of the Cowper bus crash, which claimed 20 lives, to bring awareness to the upgrading of the highway.

"The Grafton bus crash was a particularly horrible incident along with the one in Kempsey and I don't want it to be forgotten," he said.



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