Inland route push gains pace


NORTH Coast MPs who are calling for an investigation into the upgrading of the Summerland Way by the NSW RTA have received a boost from an unlikely source.

Beaudesert Shire Council has backed calls from National MPs Don Page, Steve Cansdell and Andrew Fraser to investigate the possibility of an upgrade to the Summerland Way in conjunction with the Pacific Highway boost.

Beaudesert Shire councillor David Cockburn said an upgrade of the Summerland Way would provide benefits to both northern NSW and south-east Queensland.

"We're saying the Summerland Way would provide an alternative because it would be a lot quicker if it was upgraded," he said.

"Therefore you would find a lot of the highway traffic would use the Summerland Way because it would be the quickest route from Brisbane to Sydney."

Cr Cockburn said the council, which stretches from the NSWQueensland border to Ipswich in the north, Mt Tamborine in the east and past Kooralbyn in the west, believes the Summerland Way would be the most effective freight transport route.

"The significant thing from our point of view is that it creates an efficient, fairly quick alternative to the Pacific Highway as far as freight transport goes," he said.

"It's a potential to get some of that B-double, heavy transports off that coastal corridor and bring them inland and into these major industrial hubs near Brisbane, which is were they would end up anyway.

"The Summerland Way provides the quickest link and the transport industry has shown if an alternative link is provided, they'll use it."

NSW Premier Morris Iemma had again misled the public when it comes to funding over the Pacific Highway, Federal Roads Minister Jim Lloyd said yesterday.

"Yesterday the Premier claimed that the Federal Government had cut funding to NSW under AusLink ? this is simply untrue," Mr Lloyd said.

"Under AusLink, NSW will receive $2.4 billion over the next five years ? an extra $851 million in construction funding which is an increase of 78 per cent over the previous five years," Mr Lloyd said.

"In an attempt to cover up his ineptitude at managing the NSW economy, the Premier continues to blame anyone else but himself for the lack of action over the Pacific Highway. The Australian Government has increased its contribution towards the Pacific Highway upgrade by $100m each and every year over the next three years."

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