Nats candidate backs 2020 as new highway upgrade deadline

THE Pacific Highway upgrade will be complete by 2020 if the coalition is elected to government on Saturday.

To achieve this, $5.6 billion, will be injected into the project to cover 80% of the remaining cost.

In an ongoing dispute, the Rudd government has claimed funding for the project should be split 50-50 between the state and the Commonwealth.

Nationals candidate for Page Kevin Hogan welcomed the announcement and funding split, which he said would stop ongoing delays on the project.

Mr Hogan said if the coalition were elected it would use $2 billion, slated for the Parramatta to Epping rail line, to complete the Pacific Hwy.

"Besides the reduction in fatalities, the ongoing benefits for businesses and the community of a dual carrigeway highway are going to be huge," he said.

Pacific Hwy taskforce chair Richie Williamson said it was great to finally have some certainty on the project. He said the taskforce had done paper and radio advertising in the election campaign seeking a commitment on the highway from both sides of politics.

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