Cash splash for Pacific Highway
THE Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport has given a guarantee there will be a large increase in funding to ensure the Federal Government's promise to complete duplication of the Pacific Hwy by 2020 will be kept.
"The Australian Government committed $5.64 billion for the period to 2018-19 to complete all remaining projects on the Pacific Hwy upgrade by the end of the decade," a spoke- sman for the Minister, Warren Truss, said.
"This allocation, along with that from NSW will allow the completion of the duplication of the Pacific Hwy by this time.
"The Australian Government commitment includes $992 million of new money along with bringing forward of $1.935 billion from 2019-20 and beyond, which Labor put off, into the 2013-14 to 2018-19 period."
The spokesman agreed with Mr Albanese's claim there was only $357 million allocated to the Pacific Hwy in the Federal Budget for 2014-15 but said there was a perfectly good reason for that.
"Funding proposed for future years, including the $357 million for 2014-15, is based on funding cash flow requirements for the completion of the upgrade by the end of the decade," the spokesman said.
The federal and state governments will be releasing expressions of interest in September for the final 155km section between Woolgoolga and Ballina.
This comes on top of the fast-approaching beginning of construction on two projects north of Woolgoolga.
"Construction on the section of the highway between Arrawarra and Glenugie is scheduled to commence major construction in mid-2015," the spokesman said.