Highway action needed now: NRMA

By Samantha Turnbull

The NRMA and North Coast councils today will announce a joint taskforce to push for the entire Pacific Highway to be made a dual carriageway within 10 years.

Under current plans, the highway will not be upgraded to a four-lane dual carriageway until 2025.

The taskforce, which will be made public at today's Pacific Highway summit in Ballina, has been created to lobby for more funding for the highway improvement to be fast tracked. The councils which have so far joined forces with the NRMA are Lismore, Ballina, Richmond Valley, Clarence Valley, Kyogle, and Tweed.

Northern Rivers Regional Organisation of Councils (NOROC) president Ernie Bennett said the taskforce planned to eventually recruit all councils along the length of the Pacific Highway.

"The future of the Pacific Highway is the number one priority for so many communities," said Cr Bennett.

"It is the most dangerous road in NSW and our communities have had enough."

NRMA president Alan Evans, who arrived in Ballina yesterday, said the timing of the summit was made more poignant following the death of a two-year-old Grafton girl on the highway at St Helena on Wednesday.

"It sent a shiver up my spine that this young life was lost," he said.

"It says to me the need is even greater because there will be more of those unless something is done."

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