Visit skims over highway issues
COFFS Harbour MP Andrew Fraser has blasted this week’s visit to the region by the Country Labor Parliamentary Group as a waste of time.
“The fact they fly in, fly out Minister Kelly, the only one of the group with any influence in cabinet, not only emphasises Labor’s lack of care but also its ignorance in relation to the Pacific Highway,” Mr Fraser said.
“Surely if Mr Kelly had driven to Coffs Harbour he would have been able to take back a message to his Government and NSW Cabinet about the deplorable and treacherous condition of the Pacific Highway.
“The Premier has already indicated that she is not prepared to drive to Coffs Harbour to look at this death trap. Now these people purporting to be members of Country Labor have displayed the same arrogance as the Premier.”
Mr Fraser also wanted to know why people are currently being evicted from their homes by the Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA), yet the authority is refusing to accept independent valuations on their properties which are being compulsorily acquired.
“This creates huge stress on these people and for our community in general,” he said.
Firing on all cylinders, Mr Fraser also took aim at the group’s failure to visit the Bellingen River District Hospital and the Coffs Harbour Health Campus.
It’s alleged by the NSW Coalition the waiting time for elective surgery has blown out by 18 per cent in the last 12 months.
Mr Fraser questioned why the former minister for Police, Mr Kelly, failed to give any indication as to a timetable for the new Justice Centre for Coffs Harbour.
“I was advised in December 2006 by the then Minister for Police, John Watkins, that preliminary planning for the development of a new police station at Coffs Harbour had commenced,” he said.
“But nothing has happened since.”
Flood victims were next on Mr Fraser’s agenda. He asked why the group ‘failed to lobby the Prime Minister for the individual grants for the March 31 flood victims’.
“In my report to the Flood Recovery Committee I requested that the criteria for flood assistance by re-assessed and Minister Whan and Minister Macdonald indicated they would take this matter further, however, nothing has happened,” Mr Fraser added.
“For these Labor apparatchiks to claim they represent country people, when they failed to look at local issues not only in the Coffs Harbour electorate but across NSW, indicates the hypocrisy of this Government, which is clearly concentrating its efforts on the marginal seats in western Sydney.”