EIGHT of nine candidates for the federal seat of Lyne have confirmed their commitment to a $17 million upgrade of the Bucketts Way if elected.
Three years after funding for the project was announced, Gloucester and Great Taree City councils are yet to start work on any section of the road.
The funding was a 50-50 split between the two councils with $1 million spent on planning, leaving $8 million for works on the ground in both council areas.
Gloucester announced plans to upgrade part of Church St between Cemetery Rd and Philip St and a 200m section of the Bucketts Way in Craven in May with work to start in June.
The works were set to be carried out by Ditchfield Contracting for a cost of $1.8 million, but have not taken place.
A council spokesperson said uncertainty over the timing of the election was the main reason for the delay, with the works put on hold once the election was called by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.
Stage two of the works would involve roughly $6 million worth of works on the Bucketts Way east of Gloucester.
At a meet the candidates night in Gloucester on August 21, eight of the nine candidates for Lyne said they would endeavour to find out what had happened to the funding and why work had not taken place.
Nationals candidate David Gillespie said, if elected, he planned to meet with the mayors of both Gloucester and Greater Taree City councils to find out why the money had still not been spent.
Palmer United’s Troy Wilkie said his party had a plan to return at least 25 per cent of all tax and other revenue from a region straight back into the area, specifically to target the massive infrastructure backlogs currently being felt by local councils.
Candidates also committed to funding a $4 million upgrade of the Thunderbolts Way through the federal government’s Regional Development Australia (RDA) Fund.
But speaking to the National Press Club last week, federal Nationals leader Warren Truss said the Coalition planned to scrap the RDA Fund if elected, which would leave the project in limbo.
Independent candidate for Lyne Steve Attkins said the announcement could cost Gloucester Council more than $140,000, Greater Taree City Council almost half a million dollars, Port Macquarie-Hastings Council more than $580,000 and Kempsey Shire Council $374,000 in federal funding.