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Dep Premier 'must explain' decision to bump Oxley Hwy resurfacing

19 May, 2014

The Australian Workers' Union is demanding an explanation from NSW Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner as to why he ignored the advice of Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) and prioritised the construction of an overtaking lane over the resurfacing of a dangerous section of the Oxley Highway.

The section of Oxley Highway in urgent need of repair is around a kilometre west of the Pacific Highway. This is just a few hundred metres from where the overtaking lane was constructed at a projected cost of $3.5 million, which has since blown out to $5 million.

The annual maintenance budget for the Oxley Highway has now been reduced from $1.5 million to $350,000 for the coming financial year.

AWU North Coast Official Mark Hughes said the community had a right to answers from Stoner, the Minister for Regional Infrastructure.

"Members of the RMS have been facing criticism from locals over how the overtaking lane has taken priority above the urgently needed repair work," Hughes said.

"While people have every right to be angry, the man who made the decision is Andrew Stoner.

"Stoner is yet to explain to our community just why he made this baffling decision against the advice of locals and experts.

"The Deputy Premier needs to come out and explain why he has turned a deaf ear to our community.

"It is simply irresponsible of him to allow the RMS to take the heat for his call."

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