Friday, 20 December 2013
The Northern Star: Federal and State MPs Kevin Hogan and Don Page hard at work allegedly turning “the first sod”
Complete with a colourfully festive holly sprig graphic, Nationals MP Kevin Hogan’s glossy November 2013 newsletter led off with this opening paragraph: Within weeks of being sworn in as the Federal Member for Page, Kevin was turning the first sod for the Pimlico to Teven upgrade on the Woolgoolga to Ballina section of the Pacific Highway. “The political squabbling is over. We are getting on with the job of saving lives,”.......
I can breathe a sigh of relief – Kevin has donned his superman costume and taken to the air.
He has turned the sod on a section of the Pacific Highway approximately 2.3 kilometres long, being built by Leightons Constructions Pty Ltd and, funded as part of the joint former Labor Federal Government and current NSW Government commitment to the upgrade with preliminary ‘soft soil’ work begun in January and project tenders invited in April 2013.
Kevin of course was not elected to the 44th Australian Parliament until 7 September 2013.
The Sydney Morning Herald 15 December 2013:
Despite promises the Pacific Highway upgrade would be delivered sooner under an Abbott government, projects at Maclean and Ballina will be delayed and funding cut, the O'Farrell government has revealed.....
A NSW Budget document revealed last week that project planning on the Pacific Highway had been delayed, and Commonwealth roads funding would be reduced by $70 million this year.
A spokesman for NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay said the Commonwealth funding had been ''rephased'', and would be paid in coming years.
Pacific Highway construction that was due to take place this year that will now be delayed includes ''priority three'' projects for dual carriageway upgrades between Woolgoolga and Ballina.
''Both the Australian and NSW governments share the goal of completing the Pacific Highway upgrade by 2020,'' the spokesman said.....
All of which leaves one wondering just how much of the $2.5 billion the Abbott Government promised NSW voters to upgrade the Pacific Highway over the next two and a half years, the North Coast will actually see as new dual road on the ground.
Kevin Hogan has some explaining to do.