National's candidate Matthew Fraser.
National's candidate Matthew Fraser. John Gass

Coalition behind Pac Hwy upgrade

THIS weekend, local National Party candidate Matthew Fraser announced a coalition government would increase funding of the Pacific Hwy upgrade by $2.08 billion.

The increase brings the amount a coalition government intends to spend on creating dual carriageways from Sydney to the Queensland border to $5.64 billion.

The extra money would come from a reallocation of funds and would see the Epping to Parramatta rail link put on the backburner to ensure a speedy completion of the upgrade of the Pacific Hwy.

Mr Fraser said the National Party intended to reinstate an 80-20 funding partnership between the federal government and NSW state government, an arrangement the Labor government had cut to 50-50.

Mr Fraser said last year the Pacific Hwy had been voted the worst highway in the country by the NRMA and it needed to be fixed.

There were still too many close calls, injuries and deaths on the highway and the Nationals wanted to make upgrading the road a priority.

"I'm surprised to see it's still a single lane in some areas," Mr Fraser said.

National Party leader Warren Truss said during a speech at the Canberra conference that the Labor Party had broken its promise to complete work on the Pacific Highway by 2016.

Mr Truss said federal Labor asked the then NSW Labor government to contribute just 20% of the cost of highway upgrades however asked the current NSW coalition government to contribute 50%.

A near bankrupt NSW government could not afford that and so the next Liberal-National coalition government would provide 80% of the funding.

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