In an election bid, the Federal Opposition has promised to fast track safety upgrades to Princes Highway south of Nowra by bringing forward federal funding for the project.
Federal Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development, Anthony Albanese, said if elected Labor would invest $150 million over the next four years – three times more than what is currently in the Coalition’s 2019-20 Budget.
This would bring Labor’s total commitment to the Princes Highway to $500 million.
Mr Albanese said the commitment to bring forward federal funding would allow a Labor Government to partner with the NSW Government to expedite work on projects such as:
- Upgrading the intersection between Jervis Bay Road and the Princes Highway
- Straightening and upgrading the 4km section of the Princes Highway just south of Batemans Bay, known as the “mad mile”
- Duplicating sections between Jervis Bay Road and Sussex Inlet Road
- Constructing the Moruya Bypass
- Detailed planning work for the Milton and Ulladulla Bypass and upgrades to the Highway from Burrill Lake to Batemans Bay
Such projects are aimed at improving road safety, creating construction jobs on the South Coast and boosting productivity by reducing traffic congestion affecting local residents, tourists and truck drivers.
Between July 2012 and June 2017, there were 1,494 crashes on the Princes Highway between Jervis Bay Road and the Victorian border, resulting in 30 fatalities and 350 serious injuries.
Between December 2017 and June 2018, eight people lost their lives in accidents on the highway.
Mr Albanese claimed that 90 per cent of the money promised by the Coalition on budget night will not be available to fix the highway until 2023-24 at the earliest.
“Labor is determined to provide real money for real projects that will make a real difference for the communities that live up and down the Princes Highway – and do it sooner,” Mr Albanese said.