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Greens confirm support for safer highway, more funding for rail

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 11 Nov 2011

Greens candidate for the Clarence by-election, Janet Cavanaugh, and Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon today confirmed the Greens support for safety upgrades of the Pacific Highway and town by-passes. 

Ms Cavanaugh said: “As a regular user of the Pacific Highway, I am as concerned as the rest of our community that the upgrade to dual carriageway, recommended by the NSW coroner more than twenty years ago, is yet to be implemented.

“The RTA’s agenda of converting the highway into a motorway standard has hijacked and unnecessarily delayed these urgent safety upgrades.

“I am also concerned that the highway traffic, including an ever-increasing number of B-doubles, still goes through small towns and school zones.

“The Pacific Highway’s annual death toll is a major ongoing concern to our local communities who have to travel the highway every day. The Greens believe that local families deserve safe roads, safe towns and safe public transport.

“Urgent upgrades and towns bypasses are needed. We also need to divert more of our freight, including local freight, onto our railways.

“Investment to expand the Pacific Highway to a major motorway is a classic case of responding to the pressures of the powerful truck lobby rather than addressing the urgent need for safer roads across our whole community.

“The proposed motorway through the Clarence Valley will not benefit most highway users. I’ve seen figures that less than 35% of highway users would use the major re-alignment between Glenugie and Tyndale,” Ms Cavanaugh said. 

Ms Cavanaugh’s comments come after Senator Rhiannon was misrepresented as criticising the Pacific Highway upgrade.

Senator Rhiannon said: “I strongly support safety upgrades.

“I have visited many communities over the years who are seeking road and highway upgrades to address safety concerns over bad stretches of road and the Greens have been consistently supportive.

“It is disappointing when the Greens call for more transport dollars to go to north coast rail services our position is so misrepresented,” Senator Rhiannon said.

Contact: Janet Cavanaugh – 0429 479 968, Lee Rhiannon – 0487 350 880

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