Barnaby's new role a boost for Coffs bypass hopes
COWPER MP Luke Hartsuyker is confident that Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce's move to the infrastructure portfolio is good news for a Coffs Coast community wanting construction of a Coffs Harbour bypass to start "as quickly as possible".
Mr Hartsuyker said the recent work he's done as Assistant Minister with Mr Joyce will ensure lines of communication on the issue are open.
Yesterday Mr Hartsuyker handed the strategic business plan for the Coffs Harbour bypass to Mr Joyce within an hour of him being sworn into his new role.
"I've worked well with Barnaby Joyce as the Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister and we've also done a lot of work in the agricultural space," Mr Hartsuyker said.
"We've worked pretty closely together and that past relationship strengthens the ability to put forward the case for the bypass."
Mr Hartsuyker said the government's "priority of saving lives" ensures upgrading non-dual carriageway sections of the Pacific Highway will come first but even though construction of a Coffs bypass is still more than two years away, work continues.
"Prior to that (construction) happening there's Environmental Impact Statements to be made and a detailed design to be submitted," Mr Hartssuyker said.
"Decisions still need to be made in the meantime on issues such as tunnels. We still need to decide on issues such as tunnels or cutting."