Community and political tensions rising over bypass
MEMBER for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker has questioned Labor's motives as tensions continue to escalate in relation to the Coffs Harbour bypass.
Mr Hartsuyker has accused Labor candidate Andrew Woodward of intentionally creating division.
"The Labor candidate's objective is to create the maximum possible division in the community so that if a Labor government was to be elected they would have an excuse to divert the funds elsewhere," Mr Hartsuyker said.
"A divided community is easily bypassed."
Mr Woodward brushed off the claim.
"That's the most stupid quote he's made in his entire 18 years of parliament," Mr Woodward said.
"The fact of the matter is that Federal Labor has committed to match the Turnbull Government's 2018 Budget pledge of $971 million for the project.
"But what we're not committed to is ruining the lives of tens of thousands of people as Mr Hartsuyker is."
Mr Woodward believes the current bypass proposal with cuttings and land bridges would be a social, environmental and economic disaster for the community.
He says the claim that Labor is looking for an excuse to divert funds away from Coffs Harbour come just weeks after Mr Hartsuyker's own comments about communities on the south coast crying out for similar funds.
"His dummy-spit a few weeks ago threatening to pull the funding for the project and send the money to the south coast is unbecoming of a federal member of parliament. What a pathetic and childish outburst from a senior member of the National Party."