Keneally has rethink of Hwy tour
KRISTINA Keneally appears to have had a rethink over a tour of the Pacific Highway between Coffs Harbour and Ballina.
The region’s four mayors, including Coffs Harbour mayor Cr Keith Rhoades, were disappointed last month when the NSW Premier appeared to snub their invitation to see for herself this deadly stretch of road.
Her office said then the Minister for State and Regional Development, Ian Macdonald, would be going on the bus trip in her place.
But in an official letter penned on her behalf on March 2, the Premier acknowledges receipt of the invitation letter and says she will consider the matter.
NSW Opposition Leader Barry O’Farrell has already accepted the invitation and committed to touring the notorious section of highway on April 8.
The mayors claim that each year this section of highway is not upgraded, on average another 20 people will die – many of them local citizens.
“This is clearly not acceptable,” the mayors’ letter said.
“The 2003 and 2007 NRMA audit reports, from which the statistics in this letter are compiled, show another alarming trend in that despite upgrades, death rates are still increasing on the highway as a result of greater usage, and these deaths are on non-upgraded sectors of the highway.”