Member for Ballina Don Page.
Member for Ballina Don Page.

MP admits delay on Pacific Hwy fix

DUPLICATION of the Pacific Hwy will not be completed by the 2016 deadline and could take until 2020, North Coast MP Don Page has conceded.

Asked in Sydney on Tuesday if the upgrade would be finished within the election promised time frame Mr Page threw his hands in the air, shook is head and admitted "we're not going to get there...I think that's pretty obvious".

He went on to blame the delays on the Federal Government's decision to "renege" on its 80/20 funding split.

Last month Federal Nationals Leader Warren Truss announced that if elected, a Coalition Federal Government would redirect the $2.3billion set aside for the Epping rail link to the Pacific Hwy duplication.

Mr Page said that given the time frame a newly-elected government would have to roll out the funding, a 2019-2020 deadline was more realistic.

About 60% of the duplication has been or is currently being completed.

While he acknowledged the 2016 deadline was out of reach, Mr Page estimated about a third of the work so far had been carried out on the North Coast.

A spokesman for Federal Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese would only say the Federal Government had put up its share of the funding and was "simply asking the State Government to do the same".



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