Albanese calls for more funding
THE Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese has hit back at claims from the NSW State Government that 80% of funding for the Pacific Hwy should come from Canberra rather than Macquarie St.
Mr Albanese said that NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell needs to recall pre-election promises he made before he sprouts that his government should only be responsible for 20% of the funding for the massive project.
"What the Premier needs to do as he approaches his first anniversary in government is recognise that he's now the Government, not the Opposition.
"We're asking nothing more and nothing less than what he committed to do prior to his election to government in NSW one year ago," Mr Albanese said.
"Prior to him gaining government, not just himself but his deputy (Andrew Stoner) and others who are now ministers and senior members of the O'Farrell Government, made clear commitments about the Pacific Highway.
"Since then they've attempted to walk away from them."
Mr Albanese pointed to announcements like last week's at Urunga regarding the start date for the Urunga bypass.
He said he's mystified how the state government can take credit for something it's not willing to inject a half share of funding into.
"What has occurred in recent years is that the Federal Government, particularly in terms of our Economic Stimulus Plan, has put in extra money," he said.
"For example, the Kempsey Bypass is fully Federally-funded.
"Not one cent of State Government money.
"State Government ministers are happy to use projects like this as photo opportunities.
"What they really need to do is back that up with funding."