Call for hwy south to be priority
FEDERAL MP Luke Hartsuyker today called on the Federal and NSW governments to make Warrell Creek to Urunga the priority for additional Pacific Highway funding.
Mr Hartsuyker's comments follow media reports the NSW and Federal governments were holding further discussions about committing additional funding for the Port Macquarie to South Kempsey upgrade.
"It is absolutely essential that Warrell Creek to Urunga duplication is the next Pacific Highway project to receive funding," Mr Hartsuyker said.
"Saving lives must be the priority and the reality is the section of the highway between Nambucca Heads and Urunga has been the scene of numerous fatalities.
"More than 20 lives have been lost over the past five years and as we head in to the busy summer season that figure could rise. And let's not forget that many of the regular road users on that section of road are local commuters and children travelling to and from school.
"This is the worst blackspot on the highway and it therefore should be the priority in all future discussions about the Pacific Highway.
"Earlier this year a survey by the NRMA identified the highway between Urunga and Macksville as the worst in the State.
"If both levels of government are fair dinkum they will look at the crash statistics, listen to the people and, at the very least, place the Nambucca Heads to Urunga section ahead of any proposal to upgrade the road between Port Macquarie and South Kempsey. There are lessons to be learnt from the completion of the Bonville Deviation.
"Numerous lives were lost prior to the completion of the Bonville project, but since its completion there has hardly been an accident on that section of road."
Mr Hartsuyker said the safety measures which were recently put in place between Nambucca Heads and Urunga were welcome but should not be used as an excuse to delay the complete upgrade of that section of the highway.