Sunday, 19 June 2016

Labor calls out Team Turnbull on its Pacific Highway Magical Infrastructure Re-announcement Tour

Shadow Minister For Infrastructure And Transport Anthony Albanese, Member For Richmond Justine Elliot and Candidate For Page Janelle Saffin, Joint Media Release, 11 June 2016:


A Shorten Labor Government will end the Coalition’s go-slow approach to the Pacific Highway duplication and get this project back on track to improve productivity and
road safety in northern NSW.

In the 2016 Budget, the Turnbull Government cut $351 million from the Pacific Highway duplication project.

To conceal its cuts, the Government has continually re-announced parts of the Pacific Highway upgrade that were designed and funded by the former Labor
Federal Government.

It is bad enough that Malcolm Turnbull has cut funding for this critical project. But by pretending otherwise with his ongoing Magical Infrastructure Re-announcement
Tour, Mr Turnbull is treating the people of coastal NSW like fools.

Labor can be trusted to deliver on the Pacific Highway.

Between 2007 and 2013 the former Labor Federal Government invested $7.9 billion on the highway, delivering important projects including the Banora Point upgrade,
the Kempsey, Ballina and Bulahdelah bypasses and the Sapphire to Arrawarra, Frederickton to Eungai and Tintenbar to Ewingsdale sections.

Labor’s investment dwarfed the $1.3 billion invested by the former Howard Coalition Government over 12 years. Labor delivered six times the investment in half the time.

Finishing the Pacific Highway will boost the economic productivity of the entire northern NSW region by taking trucks off the road and easing traffic congestion.

But during its period in office, the Coalition has not started a single new project on the highway.

It has also slashed financial assistance grants that local councils use to maintain local roads by $11.3 million over the next three years in the seat of Page and $4.4
million in the seat of Richmond.

And it has failed to progress the proposed High Speed Rail link between Brisbane and Melbourne via Sydney and Canberra, a visionary project that would turbo charge
economic growth in Northern NSW, with stations planned for Casino and Grafton.

A Shorten Labor Government will create a High Speed Rail Authority to advance planning for the project and begin to acquire the corridor before it is built out by
urban sprawl.

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