GRIM SIGHT: Opposition Leader Barry O’Farrell visited the site of the Cowper bus crash during his tour of the Pacific Highway yesterday.
GRIM SIGHT: Opposition Leader Barry O’Farrell visited the site of the Cowper bus crash during his tour of the Pacific Highway yesterday.

Standard is unacceptable

THE sense of irony was overwhelming.

Three near misses drove the message home loud and clear to Opposition Leader Barry O’Farrell who last night toured the horror stretch of Pacific Highway between Ballina and Grafton that claimed another life just yesterday.

Along with Nationals MPs Andrew Fraser, Don Page, Steve Cansdell and the region’s mayors, I joined the bus that ironically had three near misses on the two-hour trip home.

“The fact that I got to see the road at dusk and at night has just reinforced to me it is unacceptable,” Mr O’Farrell said.

“Going through that stretch where nine deaths were accounted for without looking at any documentation, they could actually tell me name by name, accident by accident and date by date, gets the spine tingling for all the wrong reasons.”

The Leader of the Opposition, who will be touring the Grafton to Coffs Harbour section of the road this morning, made no commitments but told The Daily Examiner that a dual carriageway would be a lasting priority if elected.

“In order to ensure projects like this not only have priority but that priority is a lasting priority until they are completed you need to take the politics out of the process.

“We are committed to establishing a body called Infrastructure NSW to prioritise major infrastructure projects like this to guarantee to the public that what is announced will be delivered and to guarantee to taxpayers that what is announced is delivered on time and on budget,” he said.

Mr O’Farrell expressed his disappointment that Premier Kristina Keneally has continued to snub the open initiation by district mayors to inspect the road.

“If she came and saw and experienced it as I have in the past on family holidays to the North Coast or as I’m going to do, no she couldn’t help but see the volume of traffic and the number of trucks.”

 Read more on the tour in tomorrow’s The Daily Examiner.



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