Action now!


THE Carr Government has blood on its hands again following Monday's accident that killed four people at Bonville, according to member for Coffs Harbour Andrew Fraser.

The MP said the State Government had failed to act on numerous warnings about the need for a divided carriageway between Raleigh and Woolgoolga.

"Successive roads ministers, including Carl Scully and Michael Costa, have both failed to act to protect motorists travelling through the Coffs Coast area," Mr Fraser said.

"Four more people have died and a 15-year-old girl is fighting for her life all because the Carr Labour Government has failed to honour the commitment made in 1998 to upgrade this section of the highway."

Coffs Harbour mayor Keith Rhoades yesterday called on the State Government to take $153 million from its Budget so work on the Bonville deviation can begin as soon as possible.

He said without rapid action another fatal accident was inevitable. "I want Michael Costa to commit to spending the money on behalf of not only the residents of the Mid North Coast but all users of the Pacific Highway," he said.

"This is not about balancing books, it is about saving lives."

Cr Rhoades described the road at Bonville and Pine Creek as the worst black spot on the Pacific Highway.

Mr Costa yesterday refused to single out that section of the highway as more in need of improvement than any other and gave his support to the plan for a North Coast motorway as the quickest way to complete the upgrading of the highway.

He said a memorandum of understanding with the Federal Government was being drafted and that the motorway could halve the expected 20-25 years needed for the completion of the highway upgrade.

A spokesman for the minister said all funds from the existing Federal/State Pacific Highway funding agreement had been committed to other projects.

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