May 26, 2010

Nats walk away from their Princes Highway promises

Nats walk away from their Princes 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 upgrade the Princes Highway east of Sale, exposing Gippsland MP Darren Chester’s failure to convince his own colleagues to honour the repeated undertakings he’s given to his local community.

Documents released last week by the Shadow Finance Minister Andrew Robb confirm an upgrade to the Princes Highway between Sale and the NSW border is NOT a commitment the Liberal and National parties will honour if elected later this year – see attachment.

According to Mr Robb, Mr Chester’s promise has “been discontinued.”

In fact the Federal Opposition is refusing to commit any additional money to the Princes Highway, further proof the Nationals has been treating Gippsland residents like mugs: telling them one thing to their faces while knowing they will never deliver on the undertakings they give.

Earlier this year during a visit to Sale to formally announce that Mr Chester would be recontesting his seat at the coming election, Mr Truss made the following calm and considered remarks to the local paper:

“We’ve committed to doing more on the Princes Highway than Labor has done because we know that it is important as a transport network….”

Gippsland Times & Maffra Spectator, p3, 05/03/10

We now know Mr Truss was not speaking the “Gospel truth” at the time and that his “promise” was hollow. Once again, the Nationals have been caught out over promising and under delivering.

But this latest backflip by the Nationals should surprise no one – after all, they held the transport portfolio for the entire 12 years of the former government and couldn’t be bothered funding any major improvements to this road.

For our part, the Rudd Labor Government is fully delivering on its 2007 election commitment: getting the duplication of the Highway between Traralgon and Sale underway.

In less than three years, we’ve allocated the funding, completed the necessary planning and appointed a builder. Construction workers and their machinery are now onsite.