Highway funding argument continues
CLARENCE state MP Chris Gulaptis says that additional funding provided in the last state budget shows that the O'Farrell government is serious about having the Pacific Hwy upgrade completed.
"In the last State Budget the NSW Government allocated an extra $468 million in funding to the Pacific Highway upgrade," Mr Gulaptis said.
"This injection of funding made up for State Labor‟s $300 million cut to funding in its November 2008 mini budget."
The former Maclean mayor who won the Clarence seat at last year's by-election was responding to statements made last week by federal Page Labor MP Janelle Saffin that the NSW Government was cutting money from the Pacific Hwy.
Mr Gulaptis said that Ms Saffin's comments were "highway hypocrisy‟ and last year's budget figures proved that.
The member for Clarence said the Pacific Highway was NSW‟s Number One transport route and its upgrade was the nation's most important transport and freight link.
"I am asking the Federal Government to treat our government as it did the former State Labor Government and continue the 80:20 funding split," he said.
"Other key projects on the National Land Transport Network in NSW have been funded by at least 80 per cent by the Federal Government so all I ask is that Ms Saffin supports the same funding ratio for the Pacific Hwy upgrade, which is a road of national significance in her electorate.
"Ms Saffin is toeing the party line and getting ready to blame NSW if the ambitious 2016 completion deadline Canberra set itself is not met.
"We want the Highway fixed ASAP to save lives, so let's stop the politics and give this road the same Federal/State funding support as other key projects have been given."
Mr Gulaptis highlighted other projects in the state where the funding arrangemnet is similar to support his point.
The Hume Highway duplication is 100 per cent funded by the federal government as were Barton Highway improvements.
He said that the $1.7 billion Hunter Expressway was 88 per cent funded by the federal government while funding for the Great Western Highway between Mount Victoria and Lithgow was funded on an 80-20 basis.