IN A RARE show of unity, state and federal road chiefs briefly set aside their spat over Pacific Hwy funding today to welcome tenders for the Woolgoolga to Ballina upgrade.
Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese and NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay called for detailed geotechnical design on four soft soil sites.
- Tyndale and Maclean,
- Chatsworth Island at Harwood,
- to the south of Woodburn, and;
- north of Broadwater.
Mr Albanese said the successful contractor will be required to develop an overall strategy to treat the four areas between Glenugie and Ballina and ensure future construction can progress as "fast as possible".
The announcement came a week after Coffs Harbour MP Andrew Fraser fuelled the funding stoush on the floors of NSW Parliament.
During question time, Mr Fraser moved a motion that the house notes the Federal Opposition's commitment to reinstate the 80:20 Commonwealth to state funding split and inject $5.6billion into the project if elected in September.
Mr Albanese's office has always maintained it would honour a 50:50 funding deal made when the Howard Government was in power.
The 2013-14 Federal Budget unlocked the funding needed to start work on the next stages of the Nambucca to Urunga, Sapphire to Woolgoolga and Tintenbar to Ewingsdale projects.
The $3.5billion promised for the full duplication in last year's budget remained quarantined until the State Government agreed to match the offer.
Mr Fraser said the Federal Government was "playing politics" with a road that had claimed 447 lives since 1997.
Design work on the 155km Woolgoolga to Ballina stretch is expected to be completed within the next six months.
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