Funds available for a bypass since the ?90s

By CRAIG McTEAR

ANGRY mobs spilling into the streets ? that's the dreadful scenario John Brogden predicts if the State Government doesn't start building a Bonville bypass by 2007.

The NSW Opposition leader was asked in Coffs Harbour yesterday if the Coalition wins office at the 2007 election, what commitment he would give to making an immediate start on the highway deviation.

"If it isn't started by 2007, people will be holding pitchforks," Mr Brogden said.

"If it's not started, we'll get it started straight away.

"Let's hope and pray they get a move on. Excuses are not acceptable."

He said four more people had died at Bonville on Monday despite money being available for a bypass since 1998/99. The project was meant to be completed 'two full years ago'.

There wouldn't be a 'delay in the delivery of the Pacific Highway' if the Government spent the funds when they were allocated in the Budget.

He said a 2006 construction start on the multi-million dollar Bonville bypass was one option which had been canvassed.

Mr Brogden said the highway remained, in parts, two lanes of undivided road, and he noted the Federal and State governments had 'put a toll on the table' to accelerate the upgrade.

"A toll is only acceptable if locals are exempted and if the Government contribution is not reduced with the introduction of the toll," he said.

"The only way people will put up with is if, at the same time it is introduced, a date is set when the road will be completed."

Mr Brogden was concerned if, as a consequence of a $50 Sydney to Brisbane toll, motorists stopped using the Pacific Highway and visiting places like Coffs Harbour.

The member for Coffs Harbour, Andrew Fraser, said yesterday the Carr Government had spent $10.5 million in planning 'on a road (the Bonville deviation) that hasn't had a sod turned'.



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