Apparent lack of Coffs bypass funding slammed
OPPOSING politicians slammed the apparent lack of an announcement by the Nationals in securing funding for the Coffs Harbour bypass.
This followed comment from Federal Cowper MP, Luke Hartsuyker, who said he did not expect any announcement of funds to start work on the bypass in the upcoming May Budget.
On Monday, Opposition spokesman for Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Anthony Albanese and Independent, Rob Oakeshott, said Mr Hartsuyker had taken too long to sort funding for the bypass.
"It has now been more than seven years since Luke Hartsuyker told the Coffs Coast Advocate: 'Getting heavy vehicles out of the centre of Coffs... has to be the most urgent infrastructure priority in Australia'," Mr Albanese said.
"The Nationals have been all talk and no action on the Pacific Hwy on the north coast and the Coffs Harbour bypass is no different.
"The Budget will be a test for whether the Nationals are serious."
Mr Oakeshott, Independent candidate for Cowper and former Lyne MP, questioned Mr Hartsuyker over when he would stop playing politics and take responsibility for the bypass project.
"In his maiden speech to Parliament in 2002, Mr Hartsuyker said the Macksville bypass was one of his urgent priorities, however it wasn't until 2014 when work actually began," Mr Oakeshott said.
"The Coffs Harbour bypass is apparently now a 'National Priority' however, Coffs Harbour can't afford to wait another 12 years for the bypass to go from one of Luke's 'priorities' to work actually getting started."