Pacific Hwy contract announced as Albanese keeps sniping

New arrives as opposition continues attack on rate of infrastructure spending

Pacific Hwy contract announced as Albanese keeps sniping
Anthony Albanese is keeping up his attacks


In the midst of seemingly ceaseless Pacific Highway attacks from federal opposition transport spokesman Anthony Albanese, the federal and New South Wales governments have announced the contract award to upgrade the 35km section between Glenugie and Tyndale.

Federal infrastructure and transport minister Darren Chester says a Seymour Whyte Ltd-Ostwald Brothers joint venture would deliver a that upgrade, part of a section being improved between Woolgoolga and Ballina.

"Most of the road building, bridges, piling and concrete supply contracts have now been awarded for the 155-kilometre upgrade, keeping the project on track to open to traffic by 2020," Chester says.

NSW roads, maritime and freight minister Melinda Pavey says the Pacific Highway upgrade was Australia’s largest regional road infrastructure project.

"Investment in this important connection between Sydney and Brisbane is producing thousands of jobs and adding billions of dollars to the New South Wales economy while improving the road experience for millions of motorists every year," Pavey adds.  

Albanese spent the weekend criticising the expenditure rate on the highway duplication, claiming it had had been a cut by $600 million this year, "raising doubts about whether the project will be completed by 2020 as promised".

"While Budget documents show that the Commonwealth invested $1.37 billion on the Pacific Highway in the year to June 30, investment will fall to $710 million this financial year," Albanese says, adding Labor had contributed "some $7.6 billion to the Pacific Highway in our six years in office and that compares with $1.3 billion from the Federal Coalition" over 12 years.

Government infrastructure expenditure has been one of Albanese’s favourite topics while the federal government has countered that it has sought increased private investment for construction.

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