Highway funding all there: Hogan. Saffin says there’s cuts
THE Coalition has been accused of quietly cutting funding for the Pacific Highway upgrade by $351 million in this month’s 2016 Federal Budget, Labor candidate for Page, Janelle Saffin said.
Ms Saffin said the government forecast spending of $1.369 billion on the Pacific Highway in the 2016 Budget, which is $351 million less than the $1.72 billion it promised in its 2015 National Partnership Agreement with the NSW Government.”
She said the latest cut was in addition to $130 million left out of last year’s budget for the highway, after being promised in the 2014 Budget.
“The completion of its duplication is a national priority, both in terms of road safety and economic productivity,” Ms Saffin said.
“While the Nationals Member for Page Mr Hogan has talked big on infrastructure, the Pacific Highway cuts reflect the fact that infrastructure spending has gone backwards.
“They’ve tried to paper over their failures by re-announcing projects that were started by the former Labor Government to pretend they are new.”
But Nationals Page MP Kevin Hogan has dismissed the claims of a cut, saying “the money is all there” and “all accounted for”.
“The Federal Government has allocated $5.64 billion in the budget to complete the Pacific Highway by 2020,” he said.
“This money is drawn down as it is spent.
“The speed at which this happens can be affected by construction delays due to such things as wet weather.
“The money is all there, all accounted for and we are building this as fast as possible.”