Heavy traffic through the Coffs Harbour CBD.
Heavy traffic through the Coffs Harbour CBD. Rob Wright

Editorial - Saturday, February 20: An issue you can’t bypass

YOU don't have to be in Canberra to understand what keeps Australia's economy ticking over.

It isn't politics.

Truckies, transport companies and road freight keep this country running.

So, Coffs Harbour is the best location to monitor this economic growth on the eastern seaboard, as the last key city to be bypassed by the Pacific Hwy between Sydney and Brisbane.

The 2014 report the Road Ahead found road freight generated $201billion in revenue a year, or 15% of the Australian GDP.

It employs 585,000 people. The industry doubled between 1990 and 2010, will double again before 2030 and triple by 2050 based on forecasts.

Now that's a heavy weight on government to fast track the long haul on the Pacific Hwy by committing to $1billion in project funding for the Coffs Harbour bypass.

If time is money, imagine the savings if interstate truckies could avoid 10 sets of traffic lights?

Infrastructure Australia identified the bypass as a project of "national significance" this week as Senator Darren Chester was sworn in as Infrastructure and Transport Minister.

Meetings with influential corporate political donors will happen, and if they echo Coffs Harbour's calls for a bypass with the backing of power and money there'll be action.

Matt Deans,