News

Bypass dreams shattered in latest Pacific Hwy promise

Opposition leader Tony Abbott drives a semi trailer through Coffs Harbour.
Opposition leader Tony Abbott drives a semi trailer through Coffs Harbour. Robin Wright

COFFS Harbour came tantalisingly close to getting a Coalition commitment to a highway bypass this week, only to lose it as a misunderstanding.

In the city on Wednesday during his drive down the coast at the wheel of a semi-trailer, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott was pressed about whether his promise to fund the completion of the Pacific Highway upgrade included a bypass of Coffs Harbour.

"My understanding is the $7 billion or so that will be spent does include a bypass. That's my understanding," Mr Abbott told The Advocate's Brad Greenshields.

Alas, within half an hour, a call to our office from the office of local MP Luke Hartsuyker corrected the Opposition Leader's 'understanding' of the issue.

A bypass was not on any agenda because technically the highway running through Coffs Harbour was already a divided dual carriageway.

Everyone who lives here knows what living with highway traffic thundering through the heart of our city is doing to us.

That's why in last year's pre-election poll more than 90% of Advocate readers said a highway bypass was an urgent priority. The vast majority of respondents also expressed a desire for work to start within three to five years.

All of us know that as the highway improves to the north and south of Coffs Harbour traffic volumes will increase.

It is estimated Pacific Highway vehicle movements will triple by 2030, which means the traffic congestion in Coffs Harbour is set to dramatically worsen to the point of unbearable.

Whether Coffs Harbour remains the only north coast city cut in half by a highway when the upgrade is finished ultimately comes down to political will.

With Labor also refusing to acknowledge the need for a bypass of our city, maybe it's time to make sure all our politicians understand we are serious about what we want, deserve and need.

Topics:  australian labor party, election promise, luke hartsuyker, pacific highway, tony abbott



The family who makes fine music

THREE GENERATIONS: Coffs Harbour City Orchestra musicians, Tim, Stephanie and Ruth Egan.

The family who makes fine music

Maserati caught flying up Pac Hwy upgrade

The newly opened Nambucca to Urunga Pacific Hwy upgrade appears to be a favourite spot for speeding drivers.

The new stretch of highway is fast becoming a race track

Police call for witnesses to motorcycle crash

Nsw police Highway Patrol.06 April 2015Photo Trevor Veale / Coffs Coast Advocate

POLICE are seeking witnesses after a Pacific Hwy crash at Bonville

Latest deals and offers

Rob Kardashian 'neglected' by Blac Chyna

Friends say they are now 'back in love'

Isla Fisher: I don't like talking about my private life

Isla Fisher shut down TV hosts when they asked about her husband

Mariah Carey: I 'can't believe' Prince has gone

'Prince was one of the best people I've met'

Joe Jonas' 'tough' pals

Joe Jonas' pals are 'tough' with his potential partners

The Bachelor wash up: bacon, plank offs and that white rose

Richie Strahan, second from left, with bachelorettes Eliza, Faith, Noni and Janey in a scene from episode one of the fourth season of The Bachelor.

RICHIE Strahan meets some beautiful, and colourful, bachelorettes.

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

A home rich in history looking for a new owner

HISTORY: The circa 1920s home is being sold for the first time in 90 years.

Circa 1920s home being sold for the first time in 90 years