Apr 20, 2016

Coalition in go-slow mode on Pacific Highway

The Coalition has failed the NSW North Coast with its go-slow approach to upgrading the Pacific Highway, cutting funding and delaying important works which would improve productivity and road safety.

In the three years since the Coalition was elected it has failed to fund a single new project on the Pacific Highway. It also cut project funding for the 2015-16 financial year by $130 million in its last year’s Budget.

The former Labor Government invested a record $7.6 billion in the Pacific Highway including the delivery of the Kempsey, Ballina and Buladelah bypasses and the Sapphire to Arrawarra upgrades.

The Pacific Highway is central to the movement of freight and people up and down the New South Wales coast. Finishing the duplication of the Pacific Highway should be a national economic priority.

The Coalition has also halted all progress on High Speed Rail, cutting $54 million of funding for a High Speed Rail Authority and blocking my Private Members Bill from being debated three times in the Parliament.

The former Labor Government conducted feasibility studies into High Speed Rail in Australia which identified Coffs Harbour as a key beneficiary of High Speed Rail including as a potential station site.

High Speed Rail would be a game changer for the NSW North Coast, driving economic growth and jobs and tourism, and providing access to the Sydney and Brisbane CBDs in less than two hours.

The people of Cowper deserve a representative in the Parliament who will advocate for their interests, not take them for granted.