LOCAL Federal MP Luke Hartsuyker said yesterday's Coalition funding announcement by opposition leader Tony Abbott is a $4billion better deal for the Pacific Hwy.
Mr Hartsuyker was delighted as he stood next to Mr Abbott while he pledged $5.64billion to finish the Pacific Hwy upgrade "well within the decade".
The local member said this funding promise is decidedly better for the North Coast than the current dollar-for-dollar commitment the Gillard Government has given.
The Coalition promise ensures an 80:20 funding partnership with the NSW Government rather than the current 50:50 arrangement.
"This will address the $4billion black hole which exists under Labor," Mr Hartsuyker said.
Yesterday's promise by Mr Abbott is made up of the $3.56billion already on the table from the Gillard Government's latest budget as well as an additional $2.08billion which was originally to be spent on the Parramatta to Epping rail link.
The State Government committed $1.51billion to the Pacific Hwy in its latest budget. While the Labor Government has set aside $3.56 billion for the project, it will only commit the same amount as Macquarie St is willing to pay.
Mr Hartsuyker welcomed the commitment to have the Pacific Hwy upgrade completed.
"The Pacific Highway has been voted the worst road in NSW by NRMA members for the past two years," the opposition spokesman for regional communications, youth and sport said.
"Too many people have died and too many families have paid a terrible price on the Pacific Highway. Our whole community feels the burden of this road. We all know someone who has been killed, injured or had a near miss on this road.
"This is the right call and it brings the Commonwealth's funding back up to the standard 80:20 ratio and will get the Pacific Hwy completion back on track.
"My pledge to North Coast residents is that the Coalition will complete the Pacific Highway and the $5.6 billion announcement will ensure it happens."