May 26, 2010

Nats walk away from their Newell Highway promises

Nats walk away from their Newell Highway promises

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

May 26 2010

The Federal Opposition has abandoned its promise to build more overtaking lanes along the Newell Highway, exposing the duplicitous nature of the statements made by Parkes MP Mark Coulton and Calare MP John Cobb.

Documents released last week by the Shadow Finance Minister Andrew Robb confirm funding for additional overtaking lanes is NOT a commitment the Liberal and National parties will honour if elected later this year – see attachment.

According to Mr Robb, the promise made by Mr Cobb and Mr Coulton has “been discontinued.”

In fact the Federal Opposition is refusing to commit any additional money to the Newell Highway, further proof the Nationals has been treating communities across the Central West like mugs: telling them one thing to their faces while doing very little to honour the undertakings they’ve given.

At the end of last year (12/11/09), Mr Coulton told the Daily Liberal that the Highway needed “…vital upgrades such as more overtaking lanes,” adding:

“The debate over the Newell so far has been led by people who are more concerned about creating the impression they are doing something, rather than taking action to ensure the safety of the highway is improved.”

We now know Mr Coulton and Mr Cobb are among those more interested in sounding tough than working with the community and authorities to reduce the carnage on this road.

Once again, the Nationals have been caught out over promising and under delivering – no wonder they currently represent the fewest number of regional electorates in the Federal Parliament.

For our part, the Rudd Labor Government will continue rolling out the $195 million available under our Nation Building Program for this road, including the investment in 14 new and upgraded rest stops.