Monday, 30 January 2012
Daily Examiner's front page reports:
Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis has either lied to The Daily Examiner or to the Concerned Citizens Group in relation to funding for a second Grafton bridge.
CCG member Lynne Cairns said Mr Gulaptis had told her and three other members of the group, at a meeting on December 7, that the O'Farrell Government had $300 million set aside for the new bridge. Her claim was backed by fellow CCG members Kim Dahl, Sue Hillery and Lynne's husband, Bob.
But, fielding questions from The Examiner on Friday, Mr Gulaptis emphatically denied he made such a revelation.
"There's funding for planning ... but there's no funding set aside in this budget," he said. "Our commitment is that it will be physically started in this term (before March 2015).
"I apologise if people have misunderstood."
Mr Gulaptis said he understood if the community was sceptical about the bridge being started anytime in the near future, considering Bob Carr made a similar promise in 2002.
"But we will have an option in place by the middle of this year, Bob Carr didn't have that, so we are well on our way."
Various members of the CCG, a group opposed to a new bridge coming into central Grafton, also expressed disappointment at Mr Gulaptis' apparent shift in stance on the issue of where the new crossing should be.
"Before the election he was emphatic that all the heavy traffic needed to be moved out of town and now he's saying it should be left to the experts," Mr Dahl said.
"He's really mucked us around with his position," Mrs Cairns said.
Mr Gulaptis said he would not speculate as to which option the RMS would select as the preferred route but said each one required further technical investigations.
He said there was no point speculating on the options unless you were a technical expert.