Bega MP Andrew Constance says crash rates will be “off the charts”, unless the federal government agrees to a funding deal for the Princes Highway south of Nowra to the Victorian border.
“The NSW Government, over the past seven years, injected over $2 billion to duplicate the Princes Highway from Sydney to the Jervis Bay turnoff, and we did that without a cent from the federal government,” he told the Bay Post/Moruya Examiner.
“The hard, cold reality is that the Pacific highway 80/20 deal is completed in 2020.
“After the completion of the Pacific Highway we want to reach a funding agreement with the federal government to duplicate the highway from Jervis Bay to the border.
“With the duplication of the highway to Jervis Bay, it’s going to increase traffic going south, and increase the crash rate further south unless we duplicate the highway further south.”
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Mr Constance said the work couldn’t be done at once – but it was time to act.
“Between now and 2025 we need to fund an agreement for the first stage,” he said.
“It would cost in excess of $4 billion, and we would need the national government to work alongside us.
“We’ll keep investing in the Princes Highway – but it can be turbo-charged if the national government makes a contribution.
“The first five-year stage must be Jervis Bay to Moruya.
“I raised it with the national government last year and we will continue to engage at that level.
“If they don’t take action, we will see crash rates off the charts and families torn apart.”
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Mr Constance said he was motivated by a desire to reduce the impact of road trauma on Far South Coast communities.
“I’m very sensitive to the impact of car accidents on local people,” he said.
“Well over 400 people were injured over the past five years, at a cost of over $300 million to the community.
“We can’t sit around for 10 years until we see the crash rates increase, and then take action.”