Doctors demand highway action
TOO many lives have been lost on the Pacific Hwy, according to Dr Ray Jones, and now it's time for the State Government to come up with the money to fix the death strip.
The Doctors for a Safer Pacific Highway spokesman said it was paramount the O'Farrell Government matched the Gillard Government's $750 million for upgrades to the highway in the September budget.
“The government must make upgrading the highway a priority over other projects they have got going on,” he said.
“It's easy for the State Government to get its attention diverted to other issues but the Pacific Hwy is atrocious, and people are going to continue to be killed until it is all upgraded to dual carriageway.”
Dr Jones said $7 billion was needed to duplicate the highway by 2016; a task that he said was unachievable.
But he said that shouldn't be the reason the government doesn't continue to commit funds for the upgrade.
“Unless they start working on all sections of the Pacific Hwy at the same time there is no way in the world it can be finished by 2016,” he said.
Of the 664km of Pacific Hwy between Newcastle and Queensland, a little over half is dual carriageway.
State Roads Minister Duncan Gay said he was working to honour that commitment in this year's budget.
Mr Gay said he had staked his reputation on securing the funding to complete the highway duplication.
“The accident statistics, the traffic, the state's development demands that you've got to have this target and you've got to fulfil it.
"There are communities out there dying on this,'' he said.