Cathy Adams

Call for report card on highway

A NORTH Coast business group is calling on Prime Minister Julia Gillard to provide regular reports on improvements to the Pacific Highway.

The Northern Rivers NSW Business Chamber wants Ms Gillard to provide six-monthly report cards on the upgrade to end slippages and delays in completing the overdue project.

Northern Rivers NSW Business Chamber regional manager, John Murray, said having the Prime Minister and NSW Premier sign off on report cards would help ensure accountability and responsibility in delivering the entire upgrade by the 2016 target date.

The call for greater accountability on the upgrade was supported at a joint meeting of the NSW Business Chamber with North Coast chambers of commerce and business leaders in Coffs Harbour last week, who reiterated the importance of the road and greater safety to the economic health of the entire region.

“The Pacific Highway upgrade has been an ongoing saga for over 20 years, while people continue to be maimed and killed on this dangerous stretch of road. It’s long past time for this project to be escalated to the top leadership level and for the prime minister and premier to take personal responsibility for the project,” Mr Murray said.

“The Pacific Highway is an economic handbrake on the development of local economies along the NSW North Coast.”

Mr Murray said a full assessment of the project should be undertaken with budgets and completion targets set for full duplication of the highway.

“The report cards are about making the Pacific Highway a personal project for the prime minister and premier to ensure that no slippages are tolerated and that the project is finished when they say it will be finished.”


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