Criticism over road project
THE Urunga section of the Pacific Hwy bypass is said to be a massive six months ahead of schedule, according to workers on the ground.
Roads and Maritime Services has only been able to confirm that Abigroup Contractors are making good time, but progress at this stage could slash time off the current 2016 completion date.
However a senior Federal Opposition figure remains unimpressed with management of the duplication as a whole under Coalition governments.
Federal Labor heavyweight and infrastructure spokesman Anthony Albanese during a visit to Coffs Harbour blasted local National Party MPs for attending openings of projects that were funded by Labor governments, but stopped short of denying he had ever been to the opening of a project initiated by the other side.
"I haven't turned up to any openings that I didn't support, the difference is they were critical of this project when in opposition and said the funding didn't exist," Mr Albanese said.
"Warren Truss didn't even bother to go to the opening of the Sapphire to Woolgoolga section - to not even have the Federal Transport Minister or Assistant Minister there and they not even invite the shadow minister is pretty disappointing."
He couldn't commit to a timeline on a Coffs Harbour bypass as he's "not in government", but was critical of his opponents' track record.
"You had Tony Abbott visit and commit to a Coffs by-pass in his first term and two hours later retract the statement," he said.
"They haven't added a single extra dollar for the Pacific Hwy and the state National Party have actually decreased their funding in the mid-year forecast."
Having fired broadsides at the federal and state National Party MPs Luke Hartsuyker and Andrew Fraser over their commitments to the Pacific Hwy upgrade, the former Federal Infrastructure Minister believed they should provide a schedule for when work would be under way on the Arrawarra to Ballina section.
Mr Albanese won't make any predictions on when his party could pose a serious challenge to the Nationals' stranglehold on the Coffs Coast, but he said he thinks they are 'their own worst enemy'.