MNC Chamber: No end date on Pacific Hwy upgrade in sight
THE latest Pacific Hwy Report Card shows there's still a lot of work to be done before the Pacific Hwy upgrade is completed.
The Mid North Coast NSW Business Chamber said the report released by the Federal and NSW Governments yesterday highlights just how much of the major transport route is still in need of an upgrade to duplication.
The NSW Business Chamber called for the release of six-monthly report cards as a way of increasing accountability for the long overdue road upgrade.
Mid North Coast NSW Business Chamber regional manager, Kellon Beard, said the opening of the Kempsey bypass should be celebrated but there's still so much more to do.
"We've reached a significant milestone in the upgrade of the Pacific Highway with 52% of the road now upgraded to 'motorway standard' but it has taken more than 16 years to reach this point and we still have no end date in sight," Mr Beard said.
"The tussle between the Federal and NSW Governments over funding continues and while that remains unresolved the likelihood of finally seeing the end of this long saga remains elusive.
"The Report Card indicates that funding commitments exist to see 76% of the Pacific Highway upgraded but what happens with the remaining 24% is a mystery as is the timeline for it to be completed.
"I believe sadly but realistically we won't see completion till at least the end of the decade if not longer and that is a clear breach of commitments to have the job finished by 2016."
Mr Beard said the community wanted to see an end to the deadlock on the funding of the upgrade and the NSW Business Chamber was renewing its call for the personal intervention of the Prime Minister and the Premier.
"The Prime Minister and the NSW Premier need to take a personal stake in the delivery of this overdue infrastructure project," he said.
"Lives literally hang in the balance as we continue to wait for this project to be completed.
"It's time to agree on a complete timeline to finish the upgrade, allocate the funds and take personal responsibility to see that it's all delivered as promised."