$10m more for highway upgrade

COFFS HARBOUR mayor Keith Rhoades says the Pacific Highway Taskforce is making headway in its lobbying of the State Government.

Cr Rhoades was part of a taskforce delegation which met NSW Roads Minister David Campbell in Sydney this week.

“Again our concern was sections of the highway between Port Macquarie and Ballina that still remain unfunded,” Cr Rhoades said.

“Our job is to get the state and federal governments to commit to funding the Pacific Highway upgrade to be completed on schedule by 2016, in line with the announcement by the Prime Minister on February 19.

“The RTA informed us the works needed to be completed by then would cost $6 billion.”

Cr Rhoades said Mr Campbell told the taskforce the Government had allocated an additional $10m to the highway upgrade to complete the planning studies for the unfunded sections of the highway between Hexham and the Queensland border.

“That was a good outcome,” Cr Rhoades said.

• THE RTA says safety improvements and upgrades on the highway between Hexham and the Queensland border have reduced fatalities.

“In the five years from 2000 to 2004, the average number of fatalities each year was 44,” an RTA spokesman said.

“For the years from 2005 to 2009 the average number of fatalities per year has dropped to 27.

“In 2009 there were 21 fatalities on this section of the highway – the lowest number recorded since 1996.”



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