Federal Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker and Minister for Roads Melinda Pavey have both claimed the Coffs bypass is the most expensive section of the Pacific Highway upgrade.
Federal Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker and Minister for Roads Melinda Pavey have both claimed the Coffs bypass is the most expensive section of the Pacific Highway upgrade. Rachel Vercoe

Stretching the truth with 'most expensive bypass' claim

IN an attempt to assure the Coffs Harbour community they are not getting a cheapskate bypass, politicians have claimed it is one of the most expensive parts of the Pacific Highway project.

But this claim has come into question when compared to the 2.5km Banora Point upgrade.

At the announcement of the 'preferred concept plan' last week, Federal member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker was spruiking the government's spend. "This is the most expensive part of the Pacific Highway project running at a cost of almost $100 million a kilometre. This is massively expensive infrastructure, it's a huge investment in Coffs Harbour - people want the trucks out of the main street,” Mr Hartsuyker said.

Member for Oxley and NSW RoadsMinister Melinda Pavey has also focused on this aspect, upping the ante slightly by writing in an opinion piece published on the Advocate's website the bypass would cost 'more than' $100million per kilometre.

"I want to reiterate to the Coffs community that this is not the 'el cheapo' option. This is the most expensive part of the Pacific Highway upgrade,” she wrote.

But figures on the Roads and Maritime Services website indicate the Banora Point upgrade was more expensive at approximately $143.6 million per kilometre.

This 2.5km section of the Pacific Highway upgrade extends from the northern end of Barneys Point bridge to the southern end of the Tweed Heads bypass.

It was completed in September 2012 at a cost of $359, with the Federal Government contributing $349 million and the state government making up the difference, making the spend equivalent to $143.6 million per km.

With the 14km Coffs bypass estimated to cost somewhere between $1.2-$1.3 billion it comes in at around $85.7 million per km, so in other words the Banora Point upgrade is almost double the price being touted for the Coffs bypass.



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