Mona Vale Road Upgrade
The Hon. GREG PEARCE: I direct my question to the Minister for Roads. What commitments has his Government made and what plans does he have to upgrade Mona Vale Road?
The Hon. ERIC ROOZENDAAL: The House would be aware that in the last budget the budget for the roads portfolio was increased to $3.3 billion as part of the Government's ongoing commitment to improving roads and traffic flows throughout the State. We recently announced that the finalised road toll for the last period was the lowest since World War II, demonstrating that our road safety campaigns are vastly improving. This is part of our ongoing commitment to improving safety on the roads around the State. I note that the Auditor-General's report says that the state of our roads, particularly in the country, has vastly improved and is continuing to improve.
We are continuing with our vast improvements on the Pacific Highway. There was an increase in the budget of $415 million or 14.4 per cent over last year's record budget for roads. We will see progress on major roads around the State, including Windsor Road, the Pacific Highway, the Princes Highway and the Great Western Highway. The sum of $1.6 billion has been allocated for road construction and $750 million for maintenance of the State's roads. Two-thirds of the roads capital and maintenance budget will be spent outside the Sydney metropolitan area, with $1.84 billion or 65 per cent committed to work on regional and rural roads. As honourable members can see, we are continually improving the State's roads and improving the safety of the State's roads for the benefit of the community.
The Hon. GREG PEARCE: I ask a supplementary question. Will the Minister please elucidate his answer in relation to the Government's announcement and plans for Mona Vale Road?
The Hon. Rick Colless: Don't worry about the Great Western Highway and the Pacific Highway.
The Hon. ERIC ROOZENDAAL: There you have it: the Hon. Rick Colless just exposed himself. He said, "Don't worry about the Pacific Highway, don't worry about the Great Western Highway." The dunderhead of The Nationals inserts his foot straight into his mouth yet again. I am shocked, stunned and disappointed by that sort of ignoramus interjection from one of the dopiest members of The Nationals. What an insult that is to his constituents. No wonder he was removed as the local campaign director after that massive defeat—
The Hon. Greg Pearce: Point of order: There is not much time left for the Minister to address the answer to the question about the Government's policy on Mona Vale Road. What he is saying at the moment is not relevant. I ask you to ask him to be relevant.
The PRESIDENT: Order! I remind the Minister that interjections are disorderly at all times and he should ignore them.
The Hon. ERIC ROOZENDAAL: With a record $3.3 billion budget on road spending in 2006-07, which is a $415 million increase or 14.4 per cent increase over last year's record budget, we have numerous road projects. I am happy to take that part of the question on notice.
The PRESIDENT: Order! I call the Hon. John Ryan to order.