Barton takes priority

The Barton Highway might finally be in line for some significant funding, with two Hume candidates listing the duplication as their top priority.

Independent candidate James Harker-Mortlock made funding for the duplication his number one policy.

He wants duplication to happen “because it’s been so long on the agenda and because people are being maimed and… killed on a regular basis”.

He said the duplication had been forgotten by the major parties, with the exception of several safety upgrades over the past few years.

“While these improvements are much appreciated they are not enough. Not nearly enough,” Mr Harker-Mortlock said.

Liberal candidate for Hume, Angus Taylor, was also pushing for the duplication.

“I’ve been very clear from the moment I was preselected that the Barton Highway was at the top of my priority list.”

Mr Taylor said he wasn’t going to make any promises but had been working hard to make sure it became a funded project.

“I would like to get it funded as soon as possible. As would anyone,” Mr Taylor said.

Bruce Nicholson from Katter’s Australian Party said at this stage in his campaign he didn’t know a great deal about the Barton Highway.

“I’ll be looking at everything like that around that area when I get out there.”

He said because he lived at the northern edge of the large electorate he hadn’t been able to canvass the views of Yass Valley residents.

“If the local residents feel that is a local issue then I’ll get onto it,” Mr Nicholson said.

Christian Democrat candidate Adrian Van Der Byl didn't have any policy notes on the Barton but in principle supported the duplication.

He was happy with "anything to further the productivity of the country, that's for sure".

Mr Van Der Byl said he needed to study the costings to make a solid commitment but said it would be an issue worth pursuing.

A Roads and Maritime Services report from 2009 said the Barton Highway carried over 10,000 vehicles a day.

The RMS was unable to provide specific traffic statistics earlier this year. However, it did confirm that the volume has increased around five per cent per year.

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