Abbott to get highway view from the truck

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to drive a truck to lobby for more funding for the Pacific Highway

December 5, 2012

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott will get behind the wheel of a truck in a bid to lobby for more funding for the Pacific Highway.

Abbott, who recently obtained a truck licence, will journey from Brisbane to Terrigal over the next two days. He will meet with community leaders, business operators and families about their experiences using the highway, which he describes as a "goat track from the 1970s".

"In these weeks before Christmas, I want to highlight the state of this road and the costs to our economy of neglecting this critical piece of national infrastructure," Abbott says.

"With freight expected to treble on the eastern seaboard by 2030, the state of the highway is impacting national productivity. Infrastructure Australia has estimated that for every dollar spent on the upgrade of the highway there will be $1.50 in economic benefits."

Abbott says the Coalition will commit $5.6 billion to the route.

It also plans to spend $1.5 billion on the WestConnex project in Sydney, $1.5 billion for the East-West Link in Melbourne and $1 billion for the Gateway North upgrade between Nudgee and the Bruce Highway in Queensland.

Forty-four people have died on the Pacific Highway in the last two years.

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