An  artist's impression of the Shephards Lane cutting.
An artist's impression of the Shephards Lane cutting. RMS

Coffs Bypass design 'sell-out of the century': ALP

THE Coalition governments are set to construct a Coffs Harbour CBD Bypass, that will prove a dud design in a century's time requiring a second Coffs Harbour bypass in just 30 years, according to the Opposition.

ALP candidate for the Federal seat of Cowper Andrew Woodward today slammed the concept design announcement for the bypass as political spin on a $1 billion project that is selling Coffs Harbour short.

TRUTH BYPASS: Labor Bellinger River Branch president Andrew Woodward said Cowper MP Luke Hartsuyker was bypassing the issue of the Coffs Harbour bypass.
Labor candidate for Cowper Andrew Woodward. Rachel Vercoe


"I'm astounded by two things, one is the amount that this project will come to and secondly the PR spin they have put on it today," Mr Woodward said.

"They are grossly misleading the people of Coffs Harbour.


An updated map of the Coffs Harbour Bypass
An updated map of the Coffs Harbour Bypass RMS

"Everyone in Coffs Harbour knew they were going to get a CBD bypass, but what they didn't know until today was that the RMS was going to ditch the tunnels.

"Their map released today calls them 'land bridges', where they 'cut and cover' a hill and replace a smaller part of the hill with a 'land bridge'.

"This design is short sighted, they claim the cuttings and land bridges have been added instead of tunnels so trucks carting dangerous materials are taken out of the city centre, but that is just one truck on the highway per hour.

"Thousands of residents will suffer noise pollution due to this ... a thousand families are going to be affected by the noise from this highway design and property values will be impacted.

"The decision to 'cut and cover' will have a significant impact on Aboriginal heritage, nature, wildlife and habitats.

"We should have three tunnels. 

Mr Woodward said the design would have a long-term impact on Coffs Harbour.

"We shouldn't call this the project the Coffs Harbour bypass in reality it is a CBD bypass and unfortunately the reality is in another 30 years Coffs is going to need another bypass.They should just build it right the first time," he said.

"The current Pacific Highway follows the routes of horse-drawn carriages of the 1900s, think about this in 2118 that road is still going to be there, it's a dud decision that will stand for a 100 years. 

Mr Woodward has labelled the preferred concept design the 'El Cheapo Bypass.'

"The RMS needs to go back to the drawing board and find the extra money," he said.  

It is understood the concept design is being referred to the top reaches of the Labor Party for assessment.