Sudmalis takes swipe at state over road funding push

Gilmore MP Ann Sudmalis has launched a stinging rebuke at the NSW government over its repeated calls for federal funding for the Princes Highway upgrade.

While commending the state government for its work on the highway between Berry and Gerringong she dismissed calls by for federal funding to help the project. 

“However continued calls for the federal government to contribute to the work are doomed to fall on deaf ears because the state government has not done the background work required to make federal funding possible.”

Mrs Sudmalis drew a comparison between calls for federal highway funding, which have come from Kiama MP Gareth Ward, to those made by his predecessor, former Labor MP Matt Brown.

“In October 2005 the former state Member for Kiama, Matt Brown, was jumping up and down about the federal government not including the Princes Highway in the AusLink program, when it was revealed the state’s roads agency, the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority, did not ask for any funding for the highway.

“It seems the more things change the more they stay the same, but if any state politicians are serious about fighting for federal funding for the Princes Highway, I urge them to do the background work to make it possible,” Mrs Sudmalis said.

“In recent years the Commonwealth contributed $10 million towards planning for a new Nowra Bridge over the Shoalhaven River, and a further $8 million for Black Spot projects and for highway upgrades under the Gilmore Safety Package,” Mrs Sudmalis said.

“But beyond that our hands are tied because the state government has not listed the Princes Highway as a priority in its submissions to the Australian Infrastructure Investment Program.”

Mr Ward pointed to federal funding of upgrades to the Pacific Highway. 

"Our [former] federal MP Joanna Gash secured millions for the Princes Highway at North Kiama and Conjola,” he said.

Highway work: Liberal MPs Ann Sudmalis and Gareth Ward are at odds over Princes Highway funding.

Highway work: Liberal MPs Ann Sudmalis and Gareth Ward are at odds over Princes Highway funding.

Mr Ward said he would be happy to take the issue directly to the Prime Minister.

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