Bypass the issue
ALL of the candidates for Coffs Harbour are in step with your majority support for a Coffs Harbour far western bypass.
Now they’ve spoken, the pressure is on for whoever wins Saturday’s poll to deliver.
The bypass has been an on-again, off-again issue with politicians and bureaucrats for years but it has always been at the top of your wish list.
Coffs Harbour Nationals MP Andrew Fraser opposed the inner bypass because “it will send trucks through what could be the dress circle of Coffs and act as an amphitheatre, sending the sound right across Coffs Harbour.
“For the estimated cost of providing an internal bypass, it could be feasible to have a western bypass for similar dollars. Long term, a western bypass will be needed,” he said
Labor candidate David Quinn said he had always favoured the far western route because of the noise and pollution in Coffs Harbour West under the inner bypass.
Christian Democrat Deborah Lions said a far western route was “more futuristic in regard to future growth in the area” and was “a far safer option”, while independent Paul Templeton said an inner corridor would split the town and would create noise pollution.
Mr Fraser supported the Brelsford Park and City Hill options for a civic centre/entertainment precinct, as long as suitable parking was provided and it incorporated a properly designed regional art gallery.
Cr Templeton, Mrs Lions and Mr Quinn rejected Brelsford Park in favour of City Hill.
All of the candidates said a new police station/courthouse complex for Coffs Harbour was urgent, with Mr Quinn and Mrs Lions opting for the site at the corner of the Pacific Hwy and Beryl St.
Mr Fraser said a multi-storey complex could be built on the existing site and adjoining sites could be acquired, or alternatively on another CBD site.
Cr Templeton, meanwhile, said: “I’m happy with re-development of the existing site or Beryl Street, or even in the CBD if that option exists”.
Mr Quinn was the only candidate who said part 3A planning legislation should not be scrapped.
“I would like to see the final approval come back to councils. Once the Minister has made the determination, it should then come back to council for final approval,” Mr Quinn said.
All candidates sensed the mood of the electorate and said they were against the Sandy Shores development as approved under part 3A.
None of the candidates supported plans for B-triples to use the Pacific Highway and all supported the establishment of a rail freight centre in Coffs Harbour.
Mr Fraser said he supported the Solitary Islands Marine Park “but all and any changes to the park should only be made after full scientific examination and supporting evidence”.
Mr Quinn and Cr Templeton supported the new park zonings but Mrs Lions did not. None wanted the park expanded.
All said seatbelts should be compulsory on school buses.