An artist impression of the land bridge proposed for Roberts Hill in the most recent concept plans released by the RMS.
An artist impression of the land bridge proposed for Roberts Hill in the most recent concept plans released by the RMS.

Council kicks off best bypass fight

THE first meeting of council's special working group opposing the current concept design for the Coffs Harbour bypass will be held on Thursday.

At its November 8 meeting, Coffs Harbour City Council voted unanimously to form the Coffs Harbour Bypass Impact Working Group.

Mayor Denise Knight and councillors Keith Rhoades and Paul Amos form the group, which will launch an urgent campaign to demand tunnels be reinstated.

Cr Knight has reiterated that the group is not opposed to the current route and has been formed primarily to fight for the best possible outcome.

"And if we're not going to get tunnels please give us a good reason as to why it was changed. We just want an honest answer.

"Once you've got land bridges, there's no going back," she said.

Funds from the council's communications and advertising budgets will be used to run the campaign.

Cr Rhoades moved the original motion to form the group as he fears the beautiful backdrop of Coffs Harbour will be permanently scarred by the proposed cuttings and they will result in an economic downturn to the tourism industry.

The group will also campaign to inform the wider community of NSW of the plans for the preferred bypass and its effects.

Public consultation on the project has been extended to November 30 and this week an information display office was opened at 11a Park Ave. It will be open from 10am to 4pm Monday to Thursday with RMS staff available to answer questions and discuss feedback.

The consultation period on the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) has also been pushed back with senior RMS staff indicating it will be released mid-2019.



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