New MP Hogan describes Hwy crash at Cowper as ‘sobering’
ON SATURDAY, Page MP Kevin Hogan drove past the aftermath of a three-car crash on the Pacific Hwy near Cowper.
"It was terrible," he said.
"The cars were so smashed up and there was a person sitting on the ground in a blanket. It was very sobering."
And on Friday the Pacific Hwy was the scene of another horrific accident when a caravan and milk tanker crashed and burst into flames near Iluka.
"This is the thing we often talk about, the benefits the highway upgrade will bring in terms of business, tourism and the local economy," Mr Hogan said.
"But we all know the real problem and the real priority is people's safety."
People in the Clarence Valley have long assumed the section from Grafton to Yamba will be the last one to be upgraded.
"The decision on what happens and how it happens in terms of the highway is an RMS (Roads and Maritime Services) decision, not a political one," Mr Hogan said.
RMS confirmed the Woolgoolga to Ballina section would be last.
"The Pacific Hwy is broken down into three priorities and priority three will be the last - that is from Woolgoolga to Ballina," he said.
But Mr Hogan did confirm the highway upgrade would be funded using 80% Federal Government money and 20% State Government money.
Mr Hogan also said land was being purchased to make way for the road.
Clarence Valley Mayor Richie Williamson, who is also the chairman of the Pacific Highway Taskforce, said recent crashes served as a serious reminder of the importance of the upgrade.
"The next real milestone is planning approval," he said.
"Without that there's no use having the funding and that's something I'll be looking out for.
"I understand it will be very early next year."