News

Oakeshott expects hwy funds in budget

Trevor Veale

THE pressure is building on the New South Wales Government to commit $3.5 billion to the Pacific Highway upgrade as NSW north coast MPs join Independent Rob Oakeshott in a bid to get the project complete by 2016.

Mr Oakeshott said on Tuesday that he had invested all his political capital to get the project complete by the proposed deadline.

Six days out from Federal Budget sittings, Mr Oakeshott said on Tuesday he expected the Federal Government would include $3.5 billion of the $7 billion package in the budget.

But Federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese was staying mum, instead reiterating past comments that both governments had agreed years ago that each would pay half.

While Mr Albanese would not comment on the budget, Mr Oakeshott said he had seen the official schedule of works for the project last month, revealing plans to complete the upgrade by 2016.

"All my political capital has gone into record Pacific Highway funding of $3.5 billion in the 2012 budget, which is the agreed 50 per cent funding to get the job done by 2016," he said.

"They (the NSW Government) must come up with the money to meet the commitment they made to voters so we can finish the highway by 2016. I can do no more.

"The $3.5 billion of the $7 billion cost looks to be committed.

"It's now over to NSW to match this amount, as agreed."

Labor MPs Janelle Saffin and Justine Elliot also reiterated their support for the project, saying that they were waiting for commitments from the NSW Government to help fund the project.

Ms Saffin said it was "my local road, and there's been far too many fatalities (on the road)".

"I've got a fact file six pages long that shows this goes back years to when the current state government promised, in opposition, it would back 50 per cent of the costs.

"Now we're all waiting for them to make good on that promise."

NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay said that apart from the Pacific Highway, key upgrade projects on the National Land Transport Network in NSW had "generally been funded at least 80 per cent by the Australian Government".

He said that a 50/50 funding split would see the Commonwealth's contribution reduced by $2.3 billion.

"All we're asking for is the same treatment the Federal Government gave the former State Labor Government, to continue the same 80:20 funding split agreement," he said.

"This is not only $2.3 billion that Gillard would be removing from the Pacific Highway, it's $2.3 billion that her Government would be removing from the people of NSW.

"Not only will the people of NSW lose out in an economic sense, firstly and more importantly they will lose out in a road safety sense."

Topics:  federal budget 2012 pacific highway rob oakeshott


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Hemp fan reaps what he sows

Stall assistant Bubaloo Fahy at the Hemp Foods Australia stall at Mullumbimby Farmers' Market. PHOTO: KATE O'NEILL

Businessman and campaigner celebrates legalisation of hemp as food

Chance to clean up for dragons

Ballina-on-Richmond Rotarian Col Lee with the washing machines and dryers for sale.

Whitegoods the key to fundraising drive

Matthias transported at age 13

Matthias Isaac Lewis in his later years. He drowned, aged 69, in 1885. PHOTO: ANCESTRY.COM

Convict made the most of his new life in Australia

Local Partners

Refugee 'unfairly' sacked from Byron Bay Superfoods

Fair Work Commission labels company "vindictive" after Sudanese Civil war victim sacked for complaining about being underpaid.

Chicago comes to Bangalow

CELL BLOCK TANGO: Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones in a scene from the 2002 film Chicago.

The next production by Bangalow Theatre Company

A ballet event of lovers and fairies in Byron Bay

ON STAGE: Byron Ballet's 10th anniversary production will be Shakespeare's A Midnight Summer's Dream.

Byron Ballet celebrates 10 years

What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

Shot at the live shows slips through Sally's fingers

SUNSHINE Coast singer's dramatic elimination from The Voice nearly saw her form a duo with her battle round opponent.

Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor split after 17 years

They were married in May 2000 and have two children, who they said will remain their priority.

Ben Stiller and his wife Christine Taylor have called it a day

Why The Voice hasn't produced a star

Boy George responds to Brittania Clifford-Pugh's heart-warming message.

It's the industry, not the show, says Boy George

These actors hated their movies and didn’t mind admitting it

Channing Tatum and Marlon Wayans in a scene from GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra.

Every year, Hollywood blesses us with plenty of God awful movies.

Miranda Kerr and fiance hang up backyard tent for wedding

The decorators and caterers are arriving for the final preparations for the wedding of Miranda Kerr and Evan Spiegel. Pictures: Splash

Evan Spiegel and Miranda Kerr are set to marry today

Book review: Mia Freedman's book meets her critics head on

I appreciated Freedman's blunt honesty in the book

Man's amazing comeback from monster crisis

Pat O'Driscoll agents Penny Keating and Doug Webber sold 56 Agnes St, The Range at auction over the weekend.

NOT long ago, he sold his possessions to pay staff. Now he's back.

Here's your chance to carp about feral pests

Carp might by great fun to catch but they're destroying Australia's watercourses.

Science in the Pub looks at carp and coral trees

SNEAK PEEK: What new shopping centre is going to look like

Artist impression of the proposed redevelopment of the cinema and shopping complex on Jonson St, Byron Bay.

Mercato billed as regional NSW's most sustainable shopping complex

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

Slaves in Byron: The dark side of housing crisis

Housing generic.

A darker side to Byron's economy

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!