No opposition to improved Pacific
PROMISES to invest money in fixing the Pacific Highway and the building of a new Grafton bridge were made yesterday during a visit by the NSW Leader of the Nationals and Opposition Roads spokesman Andrew Stoner.
An early outcome for the bridge promise, however, depends on the availability of money.
Mr Stoner, along with the Nationals’ Parliamentary team, are travelling large sections of the Pacific Highway as part of their regional bus tour which covers the North Coast.
While inspecting sections of the highway near South Grafton, Mr Stoner said fixing the highway was a priority for the NSW Liberals and Nationals.
“Everyone knows the Pacific Highway can be a death trap and that’s why we are committed to fixing it,” Mr Stoner said.
“That’s always been our commitment. We will have the job done by 2016 and we are going to fast-track the current processes that are taking too long.
“We will require the Federal Government to remain committed to co-funding the highway as it is an interstate highway of international significance,” he said.
As part of the fast-tracking process, Mr Stoner said he had already committed to Infrastructure NSW, which would remove the issue of infrastructure delivery and planning from the political realm.
“It’s going to have a board with an independent chair so that we’re not just getting election promises and flip-flops with governments playing politics. It’s going to have a firm commitment with timeframes and dollars.”
Mr Stoner also committed to building a second bridge in Grafton on the basis of money being available.
“That’s a commitment that we have made and the other side of politics has made,” he said.
“We don’t know the state of the budget that we inherit.
“It’s going to be all about priorities. If the money is there, we will build a new bridge in the first term.”