NSW Minister for Roads, Melinda Pavey giving the go-ahead to the Transport Management Centre in Sydney to switch on the new electronic speed limit signs for the first time on the Woolgoolga-Ballina section of the Pacific Highway upgrade.  The Minister is pictured with Clarence MP, Chris Gulaptis and General Manager Pacific Highway, Bob Higgins.
NSW Minister for Roads, Melinda Pavey giving the go-ahead to the Transport Management Centre in Sydney to switch on the new electronic speed limit signs for the first time on the Woolgoolga-Ballina section of the Pacific Highway upgrade. The Minister is pictured with Clarence MP, Chris Gulaptis and General Manager Pacific Highway, Bob Higgins.

OUT OF TOUCH: Contractors slam Pavey response

LOCAL Pacific Highway sub-contractors chasing $7.5million in unpaid invoices, say NSW Roads Minister Melinda Pavey is out of touch with their plight.

The Minister's office has released two letters emailed to Pacific Highway contractors Wave 5 to counter claims she has failed to maintain contact with the sub-contracotrs.

The letters were addressed to two members of the Wave 5 Contractors group, which represents 23 local sub-contractors left $7.5million in the lurch when Pacific Highway contractor Ostwald Bros went into administration in August last year.

One letter dated February 19 follows up a meeting with the group on December 28 and the other, dated April 10, is from the NSW Small Business Commissioner Robyn Hobbes, writing to the contractors at the request of the Minister.

Wave 5 members have dismissed the contents of the letters as being out of touch with their problems.

"We've got people whose relationships have broken down and their livelihoods are gone," said a Wave 5 spokesperson.

"These people need relief right now from the stress this is putting on their personal lives and their businesses."

The NSW Greens weighed into the debate when David Shoebridge visited the Clarence last week.

"We have a government that is clearly out of touch and doesn't care for the needs of ordinary working people and particularly some of the smaller contractors who are too often treated just like disposable assets from a government that I think is increasingly arrogant and out of touch," Mr Shoebridge said.

"Smaller contractors can be very close to the financial wire and when they get messed around by the government, not only can those businesses go to the wall but all the families who rely upon it go to the wall."



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