May 8, 2012

Pacific Highway: Feds willing to honour its share

The 2012-13 Budget will inject an extra $3.56 billion into Federal Labor’s Nation Building Program, funding which if matched by the NSW Government could be used to complete the full duplication of the Pacific Highway by the end of 2016.

On the latest estimate provided by the NSW Roads and Maritime Services, rebuilding the remaining sections of highway by the date first established by former Prime Minister John Howard will require an additional $7.1 billion over and above what the Federal and State governments have already committed.

Federal Labor is prepared to step up and match any new funding which the NSW Government allocates to this vital nation building project on a dollar for dollar basis up to a limit of $3.56 billion. Getting this job done will require an equal partnership between both levels of government.

We are simply asking the NSW Government to fulfil the commitments they gave prior to last State election and to honour the funding arrangements originally put in place in 1996 and reconfirmed in 2007 by former Prime Minister John Howard.

If the NSW Government matches our commitment, it would take Federal spending on this road under Labor to more than $7.7 billion over nine years. This compares to the Howard Government’s record of just $1.3 billion over twelve years.

The Pacific Highway Duplication was identified by Infrastructure Australia as a priority project of national significance.

The upgrade and full duplication of the Pacific Highway is the most expensive and complex road project ever undertaken in Australia. Right now, there are more than 1,800 workers on site upgrading some 60 kilometres of highway.

Projects currently underway:

  •  Duplication of the section between Sapphire and Woolgoolga.
    – Federal contribution: $632.0 million.
  •  Construction of the new Bulahdelah Bypass.
    – Federal contribution: $303.6 million.
  •  Straightening the section between Herons Creek and Stills Road.
    – Federal contribution: $53.0 million.
  •  Construction of the new Kempsey Bypass.
    – Federal contribution: $618.0 million.
  •  Straightening of the Banora Point section.
    – Federal contribution: $349.0 million.
  •  Duplication of the Devils Pulpit section.
    – Federal contribution: $62.0 million.

In addition, work will start on the following major projects during the coming financial year (2012-13):

  •  Duplication of the section between Tintenbar and Ewingsdale.
    – Federal contribution: $566.1 million.
  •  Duplication of the section between Frederickton to Eungai.
    – Federal contribution: To be finalised.
  •  Duplication of the section between Nambucca and Urunga.
    – Federal contribution: To be finalised.

Benefits of Full Duplication

The upgrade and full duplication of the Pacific Highway is the most complex and expensive road project in the nation’s history.

The multi-billion project will deliver safer driving conditions, cut travel times and improve the road’s flood immunity, outcomes which over time will lower transport costs and lift productivity.

An upgraded and fully duplicated Pacific Highway will provide:

  • Shorter travel times: The work already completed has cut travel times by 80 minutes for motorists and by 90 minutes for truck drivers.
  • Safer driving conditions: Significantly reduce road fatalities, with the work already completed having contributed to almost halving in annual deaths along this road.
  • Better flood immunity: Protect the road from 1 in 20 year weather events in floodplain areas and 1 in 100 year events along the rest of the highway.

At 664 kilometres, the fully duplicated Highway will be approximately 13 kilometres shorter than its current length.

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Duplication of the Pacific Highway

Duplication of the Pacific Highway

Contact Anthony

(02) 9564 3588 Electorate Office

Email: [email protected]

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