Opposition leader to tour highway

THE heat has been turned up on NSW Premier Kristina Keneally to tour the deadly section of the Pacific Highway between Coffs Harbour and Ballina.

State Opposition Leader Barry O’Farrell is taking up the invitation sent by the region’s mayors to make the trip.

Mr O’Farrell will tour the 212km stretch of highway on April 8. However, the silence from the NSW Government has been deafening.

Ms Keneally has not officially replied to the invitation sent 29 days ago.

Her office told The Northern Star ’s sister paper in Grafton last month that the Premier intended to send Regional Development Minister Ian Macdonald in her place, an unpalatable option for the mayors.

Richmond Valley mayor Col Sullivan, Ballina mayor Phillip Silver and their Clarence Valley and Coffs Harbour counterparts will accompany Mr O’Farrell on the tour.

State MPs Steve Cansdell (Clarence), Don Page (Ballina) and Andrew Fraser (Coffs Harbour) will also make the trip.

Clarence mayor Richie Williamson said the mayors would not be seeking an election commitment from the Coalition on the highway upgrade at this stage.



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