Truss to visit Taree

Deputy PM Warren Truss.
Deputy PM Warren Truss.

FEDERAL Nationals leader and deputy prime minister Warren Truss will visit the Lyne electorate on March 13.

Announcing the visit, federal member for Lyne David Gillespie said the deputy prime minister would undertake a number of activities throughout the electorate including the official opening of his Taree electorate office and the official opening of the Port Macquarie airport upgrade.

"Following a request from Greater Taree City Council, I have also arranged for the general manager and mayor to meet with the deputy prime minister in my new office," Dr Gillespie said.

"I think the meeting with the deputy prime minister will be a good opportunity for the general manager and the mayor to highlight the need for changes in the way Federal Financial Assistance Grants are allocated across the nation.

"This policy is certainly worth revisiting. I believe regional councils in particular could benefit from changes to the formula applied to this program.

"In relation to the issue of Labor's $11.4-million promise for roads and bridges, the deputy prime minister will be providing the mayor and the general manager with the same advice he gave to me and that is that these promised funds are simply not there.

"I think it's important that once this advice is provided directly by the deputy prime minister to the mayor and general manager, we should all look to the future with a positive attitude about what we have achieved with the millions of dollars I have recently secured for the region, and future projects we can work together to achieve in the months and years ahead."

Dr Gillespie said the deputy prime minister would also meet with the local community, inspect a number of roads and open the recently completed works at Port Macquarie airport.

"The $18-million upgrade of Port Macquarie airport included $15-million in Australian government funding," Dr Gillespie said.

"With the upgrade of the runway now in place, I have written to the chief executives of both Qantas and Virgin Australia airlines seeking their consideration to undertaking research into the possible establishment of a direct Port Macquarie-Melbourne air service.

"This month I met with Qantas CEO Alan Joyce who indicated he would have a look at it and I will be meeting with Virgin CEO John Borghetti hopefully this month to discuss the idea. Mr Borghetti has already written to me indicating there may be possibilities in the medium to longer term for the entry of Tigerair in the local market with a Melbourne service and his airline will continue to monitor current patronage of the Sydney route."


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