HUNTER MP Joel Fitzgibbon has expressed frustration at the lack of progress on an overpass for Scone.
“I’m getting sick of coming here to talk about this issue,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.
“It’s almost three years now since I came here to announce that Labor had allocated $45 million in the 2012-13 budget to construct this overpass.
“Now here we are, mid-2016, and not a sod of soil has been turned.”
Mr Fitzgibbon and nominated Labor candidate for New England, David Ewings, met at the Kelly Street Railway Crossing on Friday morning to discuss ongoing delays with the Scone overpass.
He said Labor was also prepared to discuss the debate over whether or not there should be a bypass.
“There is a debate and Labor is prepared to have that discussion; we’re prepared to talk about how we might fund the bypass.
“Until the community decides if they want a bypass, we need to get on with the construction of this overpass, it’s a safety issue.
“If the money is not there now, then [Deputy Prime Minister and New England candidate] Barnaby Joyce should declare that to be the case.”
Mr Fitzgibbon added it was a “ridiculous situation” for the overpass to still be in limbo.
“If Labor was still in government, if we hadn’t lost the last election, we’d probably be driving over that overpass right now.
“This is the great tragedy from all of this; $45 million sitting in a budget for almost three years unused, I’ve never seen such a ridiculous situation.”
Mr Ewings, as Labor’s potential new candidate for the region, claimed the party would strongly focus on a need to generate more jobs in country areas.
The Scone resident’s nomination is expected to be formally endorsed by the NSW Branch of the Australian Labor Party in the coming weeks.
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