One step away from Premier

IT WASN’T the Premier, but Clarence Valley Mayor Richie Williamson and mayors from other North Coast councils were able to meet with a member of the NSW Government yesterday to discuss concerns about the Pacific Highway.

NSW Regional Development Minister Ian Macdonald made the trek north to Coffs Harbour to meet with the mayors, who have banded together to lobby the NSW Government for the Pacific Highway between Coffs Harbour and Ballina to be upgraded to dual carriageway faster.

Cr Williamson said that while the Premier, Kristina Keneally, had still not accepted the mayors’ invitation to tour the horror stretch of highway, lines of communication were now open between Mr Macdonald and the four mayors.

“Ian Macdonald is now preparing a report for the Premier on the issues raised today,” he said.

However, NSW Nationals Leader and Opposition roads spokesman Andrew Stoner, who was in Grafton yesterday, was a little less diplomatic. He said it was an insult to the mayors and North Coast residents that Ms Keneally had flown into Port Macquarie for a photo opportunity on the Pacific Highway the day before. Opposition Leader Barry O’Farrell will tour the highway on April 8.



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