Plan to call the PM over highway funding

money matters: Kiama MP Gareth Ward on a stage of the Princes Highway upgrades. He wants federal government funding for the third stage.

money matters: Kiama MP Gareth Ward on a stage of the Princes Highway upgrades. He wants federal government funding for the third stage.

Kiama MP Gareth Ward is happy to take his push for Princes Highway upgrade funding all the way to Malcolm Turnbull.

This comes after Gilmore MP Ann Sudmalis said earlier this week that any NSW government call for federal funding for the highway would “fall on deaf ears”.

For some time Mr Ward has been looking to the federal government to help fund the Berry to Bomaderry stage of the Princes Highway upgrade.

The Gerringong and Foxground and Berry Bypass stages have been entirely funded by the Baird government.

It has supplied $4.5 million in this financial year to continue planning for the third and final stage.

Earlier this week Ms Sudmalis praised the work the NSW government was doing on the Princes Highway – but added it was their fault the federal government had not provided any funding.

“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,” Ms Sudmalis said.

She said the federal government’s “hands were tied” because its state counterpart had not listed the Princes Highway as a priority in its submissions to the Australian Infrastructure Investment Program.

The Gilmore MP said, after that, funding through the Black Spot or Roads to Recovery programs could be options.

“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, so I can support them in the fight for funding,” she said.

Mr Ward welcomed this offer, pointing out it would see the highway gain federal funding like several other projects already had.

“I note with great interest that the Pacific Highway has in place an 80/20 funding split between federal and state governments,” Mr Ward said.

“The New England highway bypasses which include Musselbrook, Scone and Singleton have also received federal funding.

“As our federal MP, Joanna Gash secured millions for the Princes Highway at North Kiama and Conjola.

“I also note federal funding towards the Princes Highway south of the Victorian border.

“Offers of federal assistance or agreements as we’ve seen on other roads in our state would be welcomed.

“Should the federal member wish me to assist, I’d be happy to take these matters up with the Prime Minister directly.”

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