Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack confirmed at a radio broadcast on 13 May, that the Nationals and Pat Conaghan will build and fund tunnels in the Coffs Harbour Bypass.
The Minister stated, “there will definitely be tunnels (plural) in the bypass.” Minister McCormack is the latest in a long line of Federal and NSW State Politicians to say that Coffs Harbour is definitely getting Tunnels in the bypass.
And yet we have the RMS who is still hiding behind the veil of the ‘Cabinet in Confidence’ ruling slapped on all Coffs Bypass material by the former Minister Pavey. ‘Cabinet in Confidence’ for a public infrastructure project is plainly absurd.
“With only seven weeks to the forecast release of the EIS, the RMS will not come out and state what design concept they are putting in the Environmental Impact Study (EIS), this can only be construed as the RMS being deceptive in their true intentions for the bypass,” said Graham Stubington from the Coffs Harbour Bypass Action Group (CBAG).
How is it that the bypass design incorporating the three tunnels set out in the Connell Wagner report in 2008, was published as the preferred design by the NSW Government in its State Significant Infrastructure Report (SSI) in May of 2015 and again in 2016.
The bypass design did not change until around mid- 2018, and resulted in the RMS issuing its disastrous concept plan in September 2018, which was roundly rejected by the community at large.
This plan demonstrated that the RMS gives little consideration to community demands, the environment or the residents of Coffs Harbour who would suffer the resultant increase in noise and pollution in such a design.
The Coffs Bypass Action Group is calling on the RMS to release its design concept for the bypass before the release of the EIS.
Graham Stubington stated that: “if the plan in the EIS includes massive cuttings, then we need to have Minister Paul Toole MP, Minister for Regional Roads and Transport, direct RMS to adhere to the three- tunnel design concept as originally conceived, and publicly inferred by numerous politicians with their statements that the bypass will be built with tunnels.”
The above is a press release from CBAG – Thursday 16 May 2019