‘Bypass cuttings culturally unacceptable’

When it comes to respect for the history and culture that’s been here for 65,000 years, the RMS has none. The Bypass will cut a huge swath through some of the most culturally significant, ancient, well-travelled paths from the Great Dividing Range and beyond to, and from, the Coast.

By Rod McKelvey

Dreamtime stories and songlines will be severely affected and may be lost forever, including one featured at the Diggers Beach display, relating to the creation of the rock formation off Macauley’s Headland of the Goanna who was chased down Sealy Ridge to the sea.

Over many meetings between Elders and the RTA/RMS during planning for the Bypass, it was made quite clear that cuttings were culturally unacceptable and tunnelling was more appropriate to retain the cultural integrity of the landscape. The Elders were led to believe the Government and /RTA/RMS representatives understood.

The despicable cuttings, forever devastating culturally significant and important landscapes, are a disgrace. Shame on you RTA.  Shame on you RMS. Shame on you Minister.  SHAME!


Petition.  change.org

Coffs Harbour has waited decades for a Pacific Highway bypass. The proposed route is close to the town’s edge and three areas are marked on the concept plan as being potential tunnels. Tunnels have a much lower visual impact, will be much quieter and will be much better for wildlife crossings. One of the areas is a known Koala corridor.

Cuttings used instead of tunnels would need to be at least 30m deep and hundreds of metres wide. This means impassable barriers to wildlife and sound bouncing across west Coffs Harbour. Thousands of people live within 500m of the proposed bypass and will be potentially be drastically impacted if noise and visual impact is not contained. They cant see or hear the current highway but are now at risk of having highway noise 24/7. Imagine what that does to your peace of mind and property value! This could turn Coffs from a great place to live to an awful one.

The RMS’s consultant’s report in 2008 clearly identifies that tunnels are a viable solution to reduce impact and provide for wildlife. It shows they are comparable to cuttings in cost and foreshadows that community demand will be for tunnels.

We call on the Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack and on the NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, Melinda Pavey to make sure that funding is available for the people of Coffs to have the best bypass, not the cheapest.

Petition URL link below:

Rod McKelvey is a former Deputy Mayor of Coffs Harbour

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