Coffs Harbour MP Andrew Fraser, Roads Minister Duncan Gay and Pacific Highway manager Bob Higgins inspect roadworks south of Urunga weeks after the Coalition won government.
Coffs Harbour MP Andrew Fraser, Roads Minister Duncan Gay and Pacific Highway manager Bob Higgins inspect roadworks south of Urunga weeks after the Coalition won government. Trevor Veale

More funds for Pacific Hwy

STATE Roads Minister Duncan Gay says the O'Farrell Government has a major budget announcement planned for the Pacific Highway, which ideally would match the Federal Government's request for $750 million dollar for dollar.

Inspecting the soon-to-be-completed safety upgrade south of Urunga, Mr Gay said he was strongly campaigning inside his own government, urging Treasury to lift the stakes on the highway duplication.

In May, Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced an extra $1 billion for the Pacific Highway duplication, bringing its total commitment to $4.1 billion over seven years, and asked the State Government to match $750 million dollar for dollar.

Two months out from the State Budget and Mr Gay has vowed the Pacific Highway is the number one priority.

“We want to see the Pacific Highway upgraded so we can save lives and we are working with the Federal Government to achieve the Prime Minister's target of duplicating the Pacific Highway by 2016,” Mr Gay said.

The office of Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese welcomed the pledge.

“If reflected in the upcoming State Budget in September, then that's good news for the communities along the Pacific Highway and all those that use it, but it's nothing more than a start. Only a genuine partnership between the Federal and NSW governments will get this job done as quickly as possible,” a spokesman said.

During his whistle-stop tour, Mr Gay toured the $3 million safety upgrade under way south of Urunga between Martells and Ballards roads, which is due to be completed next month. He also gave an update on planning for the Warrell Creek to Urunga upgrade.



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