News

Highway pledge shortfall

Anthony Albanese
Anthony Albanese

AS THE Federal Opposition attempts to bask in its latest commitment to provide $2 billion in future funding for the duplication of the Pacific Hwy, Federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese has ridiculed the plan as a "never never" promise that will fall well short of its aim.

Click here for Number of Fatalities for Selected Routes, 2007-2011

Mr Albanese said it was effectively a green light for the State Government to abandon its pre-election promise of completion by 2016.

The pledge, announced on Saturday by Nationals leader Warren Truss, will see the Opposition match the $3.56 billion committed by Labor with an additional $2.08 billion re-allocated from the abandoned Epping-Parramatta rail line project, if voted into power next year.

But Mr Albanese said a closer look at the figures showed only $67 million would be forthcoming in the next term of government.

"The bulk of the remaining funding he wants to redirect from this project to the highway wouldn't begin flowing until 2017/18 ($750 million) and 2018/19 ($562.1 million)," he said.

Mr Albanese, who spoke to The Daily Examiner yesterday, refused to be drawn on whether the government would match the Opposition's pledge.

Mr Truss hit back yesterday, saying Mr Albanese was playing games while the Coalition was getting on with the job of fixing the highway.

"What Mr Albanese failed to explain is that this $67 million is based on Labor's priority list. Our priorities are not Labor's priorities," he said. "The Coalition in government will ensure that the next round of AusLink, due to begin in 2014-15, releases the funds as required to get the job done.

"Under Labor, there is no end in sight for completing the duplication of the Pacific Highway.

"It is in limbo now only because of Mr Albanese's insistence that a debt-ridden NSW government cough up $3.5 billion that it simply does not have.

"By committing to 80% of the funding, the Coalition is serious about finishing the job Labor cannot get done."

Nationals candidate for Page Kevin Hogan said the pledge would restore the disputed 80:20 funding regime for the highway upgrade.

Mr Hogan rejected claims by Mr Albanese that the Labor Government had only provided funding beyond the 50:50 split during the 2009/10 stimulus package, saying the Ballina bypass which was funded in 2006/07 was 70% funded by the previous Howard Government.

"There are a few other examples of this," Mr Hogan said.

Member for Page Janelle Saffin, who asked Mr Albanese a question on the issue in Parliament yesterday, said Mr Hogan's energy would be better spent in getting his NSW National Party colleagues to honour their pre-election promise to fund the Pacific Highway 50:50 and complete by 2016.

"They should just stump up and do it and stop talking about it," she said.

"After ignoring the Pacific Highway the last time they were in government, the National Party now expects us to believe them when they say they will do the right thing if given yet another chance."

Mr Albanese backed Ms Saffin's sentiments, saying the NSW Coalition could not even meet it's much publicised $750 million budget commitment to the highway in the 2011.

He said by the time this shortfall was taken into account ,along with the "billions" added to the project by the delay, Mr Truss's promise was truly inadequate.

  • Meanwhile, figures from Transport NSW confirm the Pacific Hwy at the top of NSW's list of deadliest roads.

Topics:  funding pacific highway upgrade



Clarence Valley's last POW farewelled

IN LOVING MEMORY: Clarence Valley identity Clifford Lowien was farewelled on Monday at Yamba's All Saints Anglican Church.

Clifford Lowien remembered as a larrakin who could talk to anyone

Last chance to win $1000 this Christmas

Fancy $1000 this Christmas? We're giving six $1000 EFTPOS cards away!

TODAY is the last day to get your name in the running to win a $1000!

Another scorcher, but respite on the way

Taken at Yamba Main Beach on Monday night, 6th December, 2016.

Thunderstorms order of the day in the Clarence Valley

Local Partners

GALLERY: Valley dance studio concerts in pictures

TAKE a peek at our huge collection of photos showcasing fabulous dance concerts from five of the Clarence Valley's dance studios.


How people power stopped the gas mines

Iluka resident and character in the film, Ian Gaillard, addresses the crowd of anti-CSG protesters at Bentley.

Award-winning documentary to be screened in the Clarence Valley

Bored? Here's 9 things to do this weekend

The Clarence Valley Mental Health Fishing Group are holding a Christmas fishing event at Memorial Park.

Looking for something to do this weekend?

Bringing their Magic Mojo to Grafton

MAGIC: Head down to Roches Family Hotel for a brilliant mix of '70s, '80s and '90s music by Magic Mojo, a Coffs Coast band using their experience to give a brilliant performance.

Powerful trio to lift the top off Roches Hotel tonight

Hollywood star at home on the Coffs Coast

FEELING LUCKY, SON?: Scott Eastwood visited the Coffs Coast

Guess which Hollywood star has been seen around the Coffs Coast?

GALLERY: Valley dance studio concerts in pictures

The under 8 jazz troupe at the Studio 1 Dance Academy concert

Check out some of the best dancers in town

Ricky Gervais: There's 'no point' marrying Jane Fallon

RICKY Gervais "doesn't see the point" in marrying Jane Fallon.

Hacksaw Ridge wins big in first round of AACTA Awards

Luke Bracey and Andrew Garfield in a scene from the movie Hacksaw Ridge.

THE major awards will be handed out on Wednesday night.

Paris Hilton fumes at clumsy partygoers

A reveller spilt their drink on Paris Hilton's DJ decks

Winnie Harlow isn't a role model

Winnie Harlow insists she isn't a role model.

Developer's grand new multi-million dollar estate

NEW ESTATE: This is the only plan revealed by the property developer's new Billabongs Estate in Agnes Water.

DEVELOPER given the go ahead for a massive estate with 149 homes.

Banks reclaim Gladstone homes as job losses bite

LONG FALL: Property experts Heron Todd say, based on key market indicators, Gladstone is still travelling to the bottom of the market, with property prices set to get cheaper.

Property valuers say Gladstone housing market hasn't hit the bottom

The million dollar property to test Mackay's market

This Victoria St building will go to auction Tuesday and investors will be watching closely to see how much it sells for.

'High profile architect designed CBD asset' goes to auction

Chinese locked out of Australian property market

The rules are different if you're a foreigner

The buyer was from China - the trouble started right there

Morrison signs off on new affordable rental model

Australia's Treasurer Scott Morrison speaks during a press conference after a meeting of the Council of Federal Financial Relations at Parliament House in Canberra, Friday, Dec. 2, 2016.

Scott Morrison signed off on development of a new financing model

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!