Dec 17, 2013

Joyce making it up on road funding

Barnaby Joyce is rewriting history by seeking credit for road works in his New England electorate that were funded by the previous Labor Government.

In a statement released yesterday, Mr Joyce claimed he had secured $80 million to realign the 3km Bolivia Hill section of the New England Highway.

That’s nonsense. He’s making it up.

This project was funded in the 2013/14 Budget, announced in the Budget and reported in the local newspaper at the time.

The Federal Budget brought down last week has included $80 million in funding for the Bolivia Hill realignment.     

Tenterfield Star, May 22, 2013

The money was in the Budget. It’s there in black and white.

I visited the Bolivia Hill site in 2011 with MP Tony Windsor, who showed me how this upgrade was necessary to improve safety on this dangerous stretch of road.

After years of negativity in Opposition, the Coalition has so few plans for actually governing that it is being forced to re-announce Labor projects to make itself look busy.

Mr Joyce is not the only conservative politician making things up about road funding.

Yesterday NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay claimed the Abbott Government had allocated $220 million for the Bolivia Hill.

Upgrade, climbing lanes at Mount Ousley on the M1 Princes Highway, the construction of a level crossing at Scone and the Tourle Street Bridge duplication at Newcastle Port.

Again, the fact is that all of these projects were funded in the 2013-14 Budget.

Rather than misleading people about who funded what, Mr Joyce and Mr Gay should get work under way for these critical projects as soon as possible.