Taskforce won't rest until hwy fixed

THE Pacific Highway Taskforce will hold the ALP and the Coalition to their commitments to finish the highway upgrade from Hexham to the Queensland border by 2016.

Taskforce interim chairman and Bellingen mayor, Mark Troy, said he welcomed the pledges but they had not been backed by a firm delivery plan or proposals.

“Communities serviced by the Pacific Highway and commuters of the highway need to know when and how the unfinished sections of the highway will be financed,” Cr Troy said.

“The Commonwealth Government has made it very clear they also have a commitment to complete construction by 2016 and that they will release resources for the project once the State Government has finalised planning and has agreed to fund their portion of the costs.”

The Taskforce believes the government elected on March 26 should be able to, within a reasonable period of time, set a timetable to complete the planning of all unconstructed sections and provide a forward financial model indicating how and when they will contribute to their construction.

“Only then will the electors of this State know how truly committed the State Government is to completing this important infrastructure project.”

In other news, Cr Troy says lobbying by the Pacific Highway Taskforce definitely pays off.

“I am elated by two recent announcements for improvements to be undertaken on the Pacific Highway,” he said.

“Minister for Roads David Borger has announced the allocation of $105 million for upgrade works at Devils Pulpit 70 kilometres north of Grafton and a further $10 million has been allocated for interim safety works for the section of the Pacific Highway between Nambucca and Urunga.

“Pacific Highway Taskforce members have met with the Minister and his predecessor David Campbell on a number of occasions and have followed up with correspondence urging that these improvements be implemented as a matter of priority.”

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