Fears over funding for new bypass

LOCAL community action groups have responded with dismay at the announcement of funding for the Coffs Harbour Bypass in the NSW State Budget.

In 2007-08, $45 million has been committed to continue the planning, design, and land acquisition for 14 projects, including projects listed as the Coffs Harbour Bypass, Sapphire to Woolgoolga, and the Woolgoolga to Wells Crossing project.

Spokesperson for the Angry Grannies, Margaret Murphy, is opposed to the decision.

"I can't say that I'm happy. The bypass that we'd like to see is a far-out-west bypass," she said.

Mrs Murphy said that the allotted funding wasn't going to go far, and that the Angry Grannies would like to see the money spent on safety improvements on the stretch of highway from Sapphire to Woolgoolga.

President of the Woolgoolga Chamber of Commerce and technical officer for the Woolgoolga Area Residents group (WAR), Steve Moody. also called for safety issues to be addressed, and was against a major motorway running from Coffs Harbour to Woolgoolga.

"We support the safety upgrade to a basic upgrade we don't support any major upgrade," he said.

"The community feels that a major upgrade is not appropriate for this area we need what available land we have for urban expansion."

Our local roads will also see another $105 million for the continued construction of the Bonville Bypass.

The State Government announced yesterday that a total of more than $447 million is to be spent on projects to upgrade and improve the Pacific Highway.

Other upgrades around the state include $78 million to continue construction of Karuah to Bulahdelah, $14 million to continue earthworks for the Ballina Bypass, and $14 million to complete the Brunswick to Yelgun upgrade.

IS the announcement of funding to plan the new route for the Pacific Highway good news? Send your comments to editorial@coffscoastadvcate.-com.au.

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