Bypass consultation extended but for how long ?
ROADS Minister Melinda Pavey has indicated the public consultation period for the Coffs Harbour bypass will be extended.
She says there has been a lot of "misinformation, drama and hype” surrounding the project but her office was unable to clarify what the new closing date for submissions would be.
Consultation was due to close on October 26.
Rod McKelvey, who was instrumental in organising a recent public meeting on the issue, was keen to get the new dates and share the details on the Coffs Harbour Bypass Community Discussion Facebook page, so he called the RMS information number 1800 550 621.
While he wasn't given an exact date he was given an assurance that submissions received in November would be accepted.
"I find it extraordinary that for such a major project they can't even get these basic details straight,” he said.
Fears Coffs Harbour would be getting an el-cheapo bypass were realised when amended concept plans were released last month without the three tunnels previously indicated on plans.
Coffs Harbour City Council Mayor Cr Denise Knight has described the launch of the concept designs as an 'ambush'.
"It stinks. It was an ambush," she said.
"I was invited late Friday afternoon to go to the launch but there was no way I was going to. A, I had a community commitment but B, the mayor of the city had not seen the plans yet they wanted me to go and launch it.
"We were all under the impression we were going to get tunnels. We've waited the longest and we're getting the cheap version.”
Tunnels had been earmarked for Roberts Hill Ridge, another to the north of Shephards Lane and the third at Gately's Road.
These have been replaced by what the Minister has referred to euphemistically as 'tunnel arrangements' and 'land bridges'.