Government claims there'll be no new bridge under Labor

THE LABOR Party will take the second bridge off Grafton again if it wins next month's State Election, claims the Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis.

Mr Gulaptis said funding arrangements announced in the ALP's regional infrastructure policy can only be arrived at by taking money from projects such as the new bridge in Grafton and regional health infrastructure in Grafton and Coraki.

Mr Gulaptis said the $10 billion Labor announced for funding was to come from deferring $5.16 billion in business tax cuts and recouping $4.96 billion from un-contracted work in the Restart NSW program.

"The Grafton Bridge money is in the Restart NSW program," Mr Gulaptis said. "Tenders have not been called for the work, so there is no contract for the bridge.

He said 10 years ago Labor promised a second bridge for Grafton and reneged at the last minute and now they were trying to do the same thing again.

Mr Gulaptis also dismissed claims the work will be funded from the sale of electricity assets.

"Restart NSW funding comes from the lease of Port Botany," Mr Gulaptis said. "It has nothing to do with the sale of electricity assets. They're in the next period of government."

Mr Gulaptis said the Labor plan was narrow minded and hypocritical.

But the Opposition said claims specific infrastructure projects have been targeted are attempts to distract people in regional NSW from plans to privatise the electricity network.

Shadow Minister for Regional Infrastructure Mick Veitch dismissed the Nationals' claims as "wild lies".

"Labor's fully funded infrastructure plan provides an additional $3 billion for regional and rural NSW - without the need to privatise the electricity network. These funds are on top of the $15 billion available for infrastructure in NSW every year," Mr Veitch said.

"Labor's plan will invest in schools, hospitals, roads and other infrastructure in regional NSW - it's a modest plan but it's supported by reliable and proven sources of funds, not a risky plan to privatise our electricity network in an uncertain market.

"There will be no change to projects that are underway.

"The Nationals are selling out the bush by supporting electricity privatisation - they know that once they open the door on privatisation it won't stop until it's all sold and that will include Essential Energy which covers regional NSW.


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