State election 2019: Labor outlines plan, pledges $600m for Nelson Bay Road

ELECTION PROMISE: Port Stephens MP Kate Washington with Jodi McKay, the shadow minister for roads, at Salt Ash on Tuesday. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts
ELECTION PROMISE: Port Stephens MP Kate Washington with Jodi McKay, the shadow minister for roads, at Salt Ash on Tuesday. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

The Labor Party has this week made its largest commitment to Port Stephens voters to date during this state election campaign, announcing it will commit $600 million for a complete duplication of Nelson Bay Road over two terms of government if elected.

MPs Jodi McKay, the shadow minister for roads, and Kate Washington, the current state member for Port Stephens, made the commitment in Salt Ash on Tuesday morning, stating a Labor NSW government would "fully fund" a duplication of the busy arterial road in three stages across eight years.

"This project has been talked about since 2002," Ms McKay said.

"It has been a project that has been long wanted by the people of Nelson Bay and what we're committing to is $600m to finish the final three stages of this project.

"We're going to match the government's commitment of $275m during this term and beyond that a further $325m.

"We are going to deliver what is a practical, reasonable and deliverable project for Nelson Bay Road.

"We're not going to commit to something we can't deliver which is why we're going to do this over eight years of a [Michael] Daley-led government."

Ms Washington said Labor's plan to fully fund the duplication of Nelson Bay Road was a "win for our community". 

“Labor has listened to the community, and this significant investment in reducing congestion on Nelson Bay Road will mean that residents can spend more time doing the things that matter to them, instead of sitting in traffic,” she said.

"Labor is prepared to invest in my community, because it will make a difference.

"During peak tourist season this pinch point [Lemon Tree Passage Road intersection] is an absolute nightmare.

"This announcement means an enormous amount to residents of the Tilligerry Peninsula and an enormous amount to our visitors."

Ms McKay said Labor's plan for Nelson Bay Road, announced 11 days out from the state election voting day, was to deliver the final three stage of the project.

It includes creating dual lanes from Medowie Road to Stockton, Williamtown to Bobs Farm and Anna Bay to Nelson Bay.

She said if elected this month, Labor would "immediately" begin planning and carrying out stage one of works budgeted for the $275m.

The final two stages, budgeted for the remaining $325m, would be carried out if Labor was elected at the 2023 state election.

Labor has matched the Liberal Party's promise, made by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian in January, that it would spend $205 million on top of the $70 million already budgeted to upgrade 18km of roadway from Williamtown to Bobs Farm.

Port Stephens Liberal state election candidate Jaimie Abbott said her party had a "solid track record on Nelson Bay Road" and had a comprehensive plan for it, which was inclusive of the Fingal Bay Link Road.

"This term we've not only opened stage three of Nelson Bay Road [duplication between Bobs Farm and Anna Bay], we've fixed and re-opened Labor's Tourle Street Bridge bungle, made when Michael Daley was the roads minister," Ms Abbott said.

"We've committed $70m in this budget, which work has already started, on the Nelson Bay Road and Medowie Road intersection.

"We've committed another $205m dollars that a re-elected Berejiklian government will deliver a duplication between Newcastle Airport and Bobs Farm

"We've got a plan for the entire Nelson Bay Road, including the Fingal Bay Link Road. Combine $275m and $188m that's almost $500m we are committing to not only Nelson Bay Road but also Fingal Bay Link Road."