Talk:Australia Votes 2007: Opposition transport minister speaks to Wikinews on Central NSW freeway
Original Reporting 
- Outstanding! When and where did you interview him? - Borofkin 06:05, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
Interview Transcript 
1. Why do you believe that the Great Western Highway should be preferred over the Bells Line of Road?
Everybody understands that the Bells Line of Road could not be built for many years, regardless of who is in government at State or Federal level or the outcome of the Coalition’s or Federal Labor’s proposed studies into the route. In the meantime, Federal Labor’s priority is to fix the Great Western Highway today and make a real difference to people’s lives in the Central West in the near term. The vast majority of people I have spoken to in the Central West want better roads now and good planning for the future. That is what a Rudd Labor government will deliver.
2. Why do you think that the Central West of NSW does not require a freeway grade link to Sydney?
Federal Labor has committed to refer the Bells Line expressway proposal to Infrastructure Australia and spend up to $5 million to properly assess the proposal as part of a broader assessment of the transport needs of the Central West in the medium and long term. A Rudd Labor government will rely on the advice of the experts, not marginal seat politics, when it comes to determining nation-building transport priorities for the Central West and elsewhere in Australia.
3. What road projects would a Rudd government embark upon?
Federal Labor has already committed to retaining all the Auslink programs, including funding for the national road and rail network, Black Spots, Roads to Recovery and the Strategic Regional Program. When it comes to the national network, we are committed to the ongoing progressive upgrade of the Hume, Pacific and Bruce Highways and other highways identified in the corridor strategies that have been agreed between the Commonwealth and the States and Territories. This includes Great Western Highway in New South Wales to which Federal Labor recently committed $200 million from Auslink 2 to upgrade the section from Mt. Victoria to Lithgow.
4. In the article by the Australia newspaper there were comments made about the Government neglecting to fund projects in Labor electorates. What projects specifically would you like to see done?
We are working cooperatively with State and Territory governments to agree Auslink 2 priorities and we will be announcing those for each State in the lead up to the election. The difference between Federal Labor’s announcements and those of the Coalition is that we will base funding on real economic priorities, not marginal seat politics.
5. How do you feel about the expected $1bn for the Pacific Highway?
As usual, this announcement came with no details about where the money is coming from, what specific projects will be delivered or when. It’s almost as if John Howard has plucked a number out of the air without any consultation with the NSW Government on the details of the project. Real money for real projects on the Pacific Highway will be an important part of Federal Labor’s Auslink 2 package for New South Wales to be announced before the election. It was Federal Labor who initiated a partnership with the NSW government in 1995 for the first ten year funding program to upgrade the Pacific Highway and it was Federal Labor who was the first to commit to renewed funding in 2004. Australians are sick and tired of John Howard’s blame game and his failure to cooperate with State and Territory Governments. The road users of the Pacific Highway just want the project completed. Under a Rudd Labor government, communities along the Pacific from northern Sydney to the Queensland border will know exactly what they are getting. -Cartman02au (Talk)(AU Portal) 10:04, 15 October 2007 (UTC)