AHighway Hell cards ?fantastic
By GRAEME SINGLETON
AS a postman I make a good journo.
Three months after the Coffs Coast Advocate called for your support to join our 'Highway from Hell ? Enough is Enough' campaign, yesterday I finally got the chance to deliver your protest postcards to Roads Minister Joe Tripodi.
Due to portfolio reshuffles within the State Government it had to be a case of 'better late than never'.
Close to 5000 Coffs Coast residents returned their postcards, and the sheer volume of your response was not lost on the Minister.
"This is a fantastic effort," Mr Tripodi said.
"This tells me that the highway is a a very important issue for the people of this area and I will certainly take notice of the concern that they have expressed."
While Mr Tripodi was in town to announce safety initiatives for the Pine Creek and Bonville black spots, the postcards brought home to him your concerns for the Sapphire to Woolgoolga stretch of the Pacific Highway and our community's demand for a full and proper bypass of Coffs Harbour and its satellite communities on the Northern Beaches.
"I am open to constructive negotiation on both these issues but until the Auslink agreement with the Federal Government is finalised there is little I can do," Mr Tripodi said.
Although the RTA earlier this year denied a request to reduce the speed limit for the Sapphire to Woolgoolga stretch of the Pacific Highway, the minister said he would still consider the idea.
"When I met with the mayor of Coffs Harbour Keith Rhoades about Pine Creek and Bonville, lower speeds and speed cameras is what he wanted and it is what I have given him."
As to planning for a full bypass of Coffs Harbour and the Northern Beaches, Mr Tripodi said while planning was ongoing a decision was still some way off.