Local, Politics

The Bypass – a federal candidate forum and a statement by Independent State candidate

With the Federal Election yet to be called you might wonder why the three main opponents are coming together at the Cavanbah Centre on Wednesday night?

“The reality is that the Federal Government funds 80% of the Coffs Bypass and we want to be sure that whoever wins Cowper, and we believe the election will take place in May, is supporting what their State counterparts are taking to the State Election on March 23rd.” Said Coffs Bypass Action Group Chairman, Brian Polack.

“We are very happy to have had all three major players accept our invitation to speak and take questions from the floor.
“We have now succeeded in having all parties talking tunnels, however the definition of what a tunnel is remains unanswered by anyone of senior ranks.

“We are asking the Federal Candidates to address the issues below and to express their support of them:

  1. How do they define tunnels? Are they in support of the details contained in the Connell Wagner 2008 design? Would they be in support of considering changing the cut and cover tunnel proposed at Robert’s Hill to a bored (or drill and blast) tunnel?
  2. Do they support, given the current regulations, the fact that 7-15 vehicles per day carrying Class 1 and 2.1 Dangerous Goods would be unable to use the tunnels and therefore would continue through Coffs Harbour? It should be noted that about 1/3rd of these will do business in Coffs Harbour and hence not use the bypass anyway.
  3. In a January 15th press release, The Deputy Premier stated that “Funding would not be a problem. After listening to the experts, the NSW Govt. will fund any additional costs in accordance with the Federal Govt. funding guideline” Would your party support the principle, that the Federal Govt. meet their portion of additional costs should the need arise?
  4. Many resident groups have complained about the credibility and transparency of noise monitoring organised by the RMS to ensure that they meet their environmental responsibilities on completed projects. Would your party support the establishment of a separately funded independent body to organise and oversee the noise assessment process?

The forum takes place at 7.15pm on Wednesday 6th March at the Cavanbah Centre. Speaking will be Patrick Conaghan – The Nationals, Rob Oakeshott – Independent and Andrew Woodward – Labor.

All are invited.

The above is a Press Release by the Coffs Harbour Bypass Action Group dated 2 March 2019.

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The statement below is a Press Release from Ann Leonard (pictured below) – an Independent candidate for the State seat of Coffs Harbour for the NSW Government election on 23 March 2019.

THE PROPOSED BYPASS

TUNNELS v CUTTINGS

I believe tunnels, a very low road surface and viaducts are the very least Coffs Harbour should accept for the proposed bypass. The proposal is incomplete in its current form and there are many issues yet to be resolved.

NOISE AND VISUAL POLLUTION

I am greatly concerned that noise and visual pollution will have a negative impact on the lives of residents living in all areas along the proposed route of the Coffs Harbour bypass. I believe the proposed 110km motorway will have a detrimental impact on the amenity of those living in Nth Boambee Valley, Coffs Harbour, Korora, and Korora Basin.

 DEGRADATION OF PRIME RESIDENTIAL, AGRICULTURAL AND TOURISM BASED AMENITY

I am concerned  this freeway will have a negative impact on land values, productive agricultural land and tourism. In particular, in west and nth west Coffs Harbour, Korora, Korora Basin and the Nth Boambee Valley. 

 INTERCHANGES

The size and final design of interchanges at Coramba Road and Bruxner Park Road have not been finalised.  These interchanges have received little attention and will have a major impact on the amenity of these areas. 

 IMPACT ON LOCAL TRAFFIC FLOWS.

I do not believe the bypass proposal will afford the residents of Coffs Harbour the relief from congestion which they are hoping for on our local roads. I believe we are paying a very high price to reduce the congestion along Pacific Highway by approximately 8% over a 24 hour period some of which would travel through the city overnight. 

WESTERN BYPASS

I have and always will be a proponent for a western bypass. I believe the possibility of a true bypass should not be discounted. If there was the will from the local community for this I would be behind it 100%. 

 I am concerned in the long term the proposed bypass will have a negative impact on the appeal of Coffs Harbour to both residents, prospective residents and tourism.

 The beauty and liveability of our environment is one of our greatest assets and needs to be protected. This bypass will be a short term gain for long term loss.

It is the people who live here who invest their time and resources in this region who should be first served by the design of this freeway.

Editors note: If supplied the Coffs Coast Outlook will publish in full Press Releases from all State Government Candidates in full between now and Friday 22 March next.

Email: contact@coffscoastoutlook.com.au

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