Dec 17, 2015

Labor welcomes Tintenbar to Ewingsdale Pacific Highway opening

Labor welcomes the opening of the $862 million Tintenbar to Ewingsdale Pacific Highway upgrade, jointly funded by the former federal Labor Government and the New South Wales State Government.

When this project opens on Friday, it will deliver safer and faster travel for thousands of drivers who use that section of the road each day.

The Member for Richmond, Justine Elliot and the former Member for Page, Janelle Saffin, can be particularly proud that their strong advocacy delivered $566.1 million in Commonwealth funding for this section of the highway.

The New South Wales Government contributed $295.9 million.

Labor committed to this project in the 2007 election campaign. In 2011, as the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, I announced the contract, with construction commencing in 2012.

In addition to saving lives, the project has created thousands of jobs and will mean increased productivity and efficiency for freight up and down our coast.

While the federal Coalition Government will be falling over itself to take credit for the project come Friday, local residents will know that it took a federal Labor Government to make it a reality.

In Labor’s last year in office we invested $1 billion in the Pacific Highway as part of our $7.6 billion record funding package for full duplication.

But the Coalition reduced this by 65% to just $357 million in the current financial year.

At the same time, it has sought to hide the cuts by constantly reannouncing Labor Government funded Pacific Highway projects on its magical mystery infrastructure reannouncement tour.

As National Party MPs queue to cut ribbons on projects funded by the former Labor Government, they should recall the inaction of the Howard Government years and explain why funding has fallen under the new Coalition Government.