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Great Western Highway not spared from Labor’s infrastructure axe

The Calare electorate has not been spared the wrath of the Labor Government’s brutal review of infrastructure projects with funds allocated to the Great Western Highway’s Katoomba to Lithgow East West sections cut.

A key transport corridor for many industries within Central Western NSW, the project was among 50 projects axed by Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development of Australia Catherine King with the future of a further 252 thrown into doubt.

Leader of The Nationals David Littleproud said the Minister’s decision to cut the funding was a kick in the guts to the Calare electorate.

“This upgrade of the Great Western Highway has been needed for many years and now, which is why The Nationals, as part of the former Coalition government, committed funds to see it through,” Mr Littleproud said.

“However, like so many other vital projects across regional Australia, it’s on this Labor Government’s chopping block.

“Unfortunately for the residents of Calare, this decision is proof that Independents lack the sway in Canberra to ensure critical projects in their electorates go ahead.

“It’s also further proof that the only way projects like this upgrade to the Great Western Highway can get up is if the Australian public removes Anthony Albanese as Prime Minister and if a Nationals MP is representing the seat of Calare.”

Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Senator Bridget McKenzie said the outcome of Labor’s chaotic and cynical review will have devastating effects on communities, contractors, and construction workers across Australia.Authorised by David Littleproud, Warwick, Queensland

“Projects designed to help haul freight more efficiently across the country, reduce congestion in our suburbs and build roads that get Australians home sooner and safer to their loved ones have been jettisoned,” Senator McKenzie said.

“The future of 252 projects on major highways and freight routes remains uncertain today as the Albanese Government has duck-shoved responsibility to the states to make decisions on which road upgrades and safety improvements will be axed.

“By bundling projects on major highway corridors, the Albanese Government have attempted to wipe their hands of blame for which projects will be cut or delayed by the states in order to achieve Labor’s infrastructure budget savings target.”

Senator McKenzie said the Government has refused to release the list of projects that will be delayed in order to smooth out the infrastructure pipeline, failing to recognise that every year of delay increases the cost and the demand for these projects also grows with increased population pressures.

“Labor have been dragged kicking and screaming to reveal the full list of projects to be cancelled but they are still being tricky by failing to hand over the list of delayed projects, which will not be made available until December through MYEFO.

“This means further cuts and delays are yet to be revealed, leaving local councils, communities, contractors and

construction workers in the dark on whether their projects will go ahead any time soon.”

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