Large attendance at Pacific Highway briefing

MORE THAN 250 industry leaders attended a briefing in Sydney on the Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway upgrade - Australia's largest regional road infrastructure project.

Acting Prime Minister Warren Truss and NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay welcomed the strong attendance.

Mr Truss said the duplication of the Pacific Highway within this decade was on track with the Coalition Government making good on its commitment to pump $5.64 billion into the job, restoring the 80% Commonwealth funding that the former Labor Government abandoned.

"60 per cent of the Pacific Highway upgrade project is now complete after the opening of the Sapphire to Woolgoolga section on July 30," Mr Truss said. "Work is under way on 64 kilometres of the highway and a further 57 kilometres is being prepared for work later this year.

"The Woolgoolga to Ballina upgrade is expected to provide about 2,500 direct jobs and 6,500 indirect jobs in the broader community."

Minister Gay said the briefing started a conversation with business about the way they could partner with government to deliver the final section of the Pacific Highway project.

"The Woolgoolga to Ballina upgrade is regional NSW's WestConnex - it's four times longer and is easily Australia's largest regional road infrastructure project," Mr Gay said.

"This delivery model is about encouraging the best ideas from industry to improve value for money and deliver timely and efficient road transport outcomes."

Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan said the Woolgoolga to Ballina upgrade is a key example of governments working closely with industry to help inform planning and future projects.

"The upgrade will be built using an industry partner contract model to harness the best ideas and solutions from the private sector and draw on knowledge from within government," Mr Hogan said.

"This delivery partner model will not only offer better value for money and drive project efficiencies but will help to ensure we meet our goal of completing the duplication of the Pacific Highway by 2020.

More than 250 people from 110 companies attended the briefing and were informed of key features of the project, including preliminary work already carried out, challenges and overall delivery strategy. It was held in conjunction with private meetings with firms interested in overseeing the project's delivery by 2020.



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