Saffin to Gulaptis: Go get that $680m and fix our highway

SURELY finding you had an extra $680 million could never be an unpleasant or embarrassing realisation, but for the New South Wales State Government it was.

Shortly after the news broke that the O'Farrell Government had its numbers out by more than half-a-billion dollars, Member for Page Janelle Saffin called on Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis to put his hand up for the money and see it was allocated to the Pacific Hwy.

"The O'Farrell Government is far from broke, but the reality is Premier O'Farrell has made a conscious decision to prioritise projects in Sydney ahead of the Pacific Highway," said Ms Saffin.

"Will Chris Gulaptis be quick off the mark and demand that the Government put in its share of funding for the Pacific Highway upgrade?

"He is quick to jump up and have a go at me, but his energies would be better directed at making sure the O'Farrell Government honours its pre-election commitment to the highway upgrade."

However Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis said the billion-dollar surplus was merely the result of dodgy accounting on the part of the Federal Government.

"This billion-dollar surplus is just extra revenue the Commonwealth has brought forward," said Mr Gulaptis. "It is just a combination of stimulus funding and the Federal Government bolstering their position."

Mr Gulaptis also said this was just a case of the Federal Labor Government trying to make its LNP counterparts look bad.

"It is convenient accounting from the Feds so they can make their 2012-13 position look better.

"The fact of the matter is that it does give us a $680 million surplus but they are just re-jigging their funding."

When asked if he would be lobbying for the new money to go toward the Woolgoolga to Ballina highway upgrade Mr Gulaptis said he would do that because that was his job.

"Given this has been a recent announcement it will obviously take some time to allocate the money, but of course I will be putting my hand up for the Clarence. That's my job and the Paci- fic Highway remains the top priority for the Clarence."

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