Trevor Veale

Which party has invested more in the Pacific Hwy?

PARLIAMENTARY squabbling over who funded Pacific Hwy upgrades has resulted in allegations the Baird Government was trying to "rewrite history".

Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis called for a motion for the New South Wales lower house to accept the Liberal-Nationals governments in both the federal and state spheres had invested record funding into the highway.

It was a successful motion, won by 51 votes to 30, but Labor MP David Harris did not accept Mr Gulaptis's account of how the upgrades had reached their current two-thirds completion level.

"Once again, the NSW Liberal-Nationals Government is trying to rewrite history and change the facts," Mr Harris said.

"The government is trying to say that during 16 years in government Labor did nothing," he said.

"That patently is not true. NSW has always had a strong commitment to upgrading the highway.

"It takes time to plan, buy land, make sure of the correct route and have public consultations."

Mr Harris claimed the Baird Government had "cashed in on Labor's good work" by failing to mention the current Opposition had committed more than $3 billion to the project while in government between 2007 and 2011.

"In the most recent budget the Turnbull Government - the Liberal-Nationals Government in Canberra - cut $351 million from Pacific Hwy funding. That is a fact," he added.

Mr Gulaptis shut down the criticism, noting the road's new route had not been chosen while Labor was in power.

"Labor members repeatedly claim that the Federal Coalition has cut $351 million," he said.

"I would like them to refer me to which section of the Pacific Hwy will not be upgraded because of the $351 million cut.

"Or is it the fact that the government has actually made savings?

"The highway will be completed by 2020 and the $351 million that will be saved will be applied to other services to meet community and taxpayer needs."

-ARM NEWSDESK



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