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Kempsey Bypass Funding Questioned

Author: NRMA Motoring & ServicesDate: 28 August 2009

NRMA Motoring & Services President and North Coast Director Wendy Machin has written to the Prime Minister this week in relation to the current status of Australian Government funding for the upgrade of the Pacific Highway at Clybucca.

Ms Machin said the NRMA welcomed the Australian Government's May 2009 Budget funding announcement of $618 million for Kempsey Bypass, however the project appears to fall short of a full upgrade from Kempsey to Eungai - which would have included upgrading the Clybucca section.

"Media reports have indicated that the Australian Government has committed to review the apparent lack of funding for the Clybucca works after what appears to be a budget oversight," Ms Machin said.

"The NRMA is particularly concerned about this funding uncertainty for Clybucca as it was the location of the notorious Kempsey bus crash that occurred almost 20 years ago. That crash resulted in the deaths of 35 people, with another 41 being injured.

"The Kempsey bus crash along with the earlier Grafton bus crash in October 1989 were tragic events that subsequently led to the creation of the major upgrade program for the Pacific Highway from Hexham near Newcastle to the Queensland border.

"The NRMA would like the Australian Government to publicly confirm it has provided funding for the Clybucca upgrade.

Contact: Daniel Stanton 0439 133 092

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