Local MP Luke Hartsuyker said he's still fighting for Pacific Highway funds despite Opposition Leader Tony Abbott pledging $4 billion for major city roadworks that will run through Labor and Greens seats.
Local MP Luke Hartsuyker said he's still fighting for Pacific Highway funds despite Opposition Leader Tony Abbott pledging $4 billion for major city roadworks that will run through Labor and Greens seats. Rob Wright/The Coffs Coast Advoc

Abbott pledges $4b to city roads

TONY Abbott's pledge to provide $4 billion for major city roadworks has not fazed local member and colleague Luke Hartsuyker.

He said that just because a large amount of infrastructure expenditure is headed for Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane if the Coalition wins the next election, it doesn't mean a decrease in funding for the completion of the Pacific Highway.

"There's a long way to go until the next election and we've probably got another federal budget before then so I can't comment on what the Labor Party is going to promise between now and the next election; I don't know," Mr Hartsuyker said.

"Tony, in his speech, re-affirmed his commitment to the highway and noted that there will be further announcements coming up in relation to the Bruce and Pacific Highways, but I'll certainly be fighting for the highway."

While the city projects which happen to all run through corridors of Labor seats as well as the electorate of Melbourne which is held by the Greens, Mr Hartsuyker said that seats held by Coalition members will still be able to get their share of funding if elected.

"To my way of thinking the Pacific Highway is the single most important road infrastructure project in the country," he said.

"Certainly I make that very clear in all of my speeches in the Parliament and I'll be fighting for further funding, rest assured."

Mr Hartsuyker denied that the Melbourne East-West Link tunnel, the upgrade of Brisbane's Gateway Motorway or the M4 extension in Sydney is an exercise in pork barrelling.

He said the announcements simply fit in with the Liberal Party's major demographic.

"That was an announcement made at a Liberal Party confer- ence and it quite clearly had a metropolitan focus given they are a metropolitan party but we are fighting for the funding of the highway," he said.

"It's a long way to the next election and as I said in my statement previously, we'll be making a range of announcements over the coming time."



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