The Australian Blueberry Growers Association says the local industry has been unfairly criticised by the Greens.
The Australian Blueberry Growers Association says the local industry has been unfairly criticised by the Greens. Trevor Veale

Industry is alarmed by political run-off on blueberries

THE continuing attack by Greens political candidate Sally Townley on the local farming community is upsetting the hundreds of families who take pride in what they do for a living and the economic and social contribution they make to our region.

It's well known that old style farming involving heavy use of chemicals had an impact on the environment over the years.

But, a new generation is progressively adopting improved farm practices and reduced use of fertiliser and pesticides to minimise impacts and maximise production of fresh healthy produce.

It's simple - farmers have been struggling to make a profit in the face of drought and poor market conditions and they don't want to waste money.

Traces of nitrate (fertiliser) in water runoff after rain are signs of lost nutrients and literally money down the drain.

As well as trials of woodchip bioreactors and diversion channels to minimise run-off, farmers are recalibrating their fertiliser use to reduce their overheads and minimise waste.

To use selective parts of a recent water study to make blatantly untrue statements that local farmers "discharge pollution into a waterway" is shameful.

It is a nonsense to think a farmer would deliberately pollute and jeopardise his livelihood, family, friends and neighbours.

Unless Ms Townley is determined to offend by using falsehoods as a basis for her campaign platform, maybe she should rethink her political strategy

Peter McPherson, ABGA president

Peter McPherson

General Manager - Berry Category, Costas



Photo Contributed
Head of the International Blueberry Organisation Peter McPherson of Costa. Contributed

Community deserves best practices

BEST farming practice have been around for a long time and most good farmers are aware of their industries recommendations, in order to ensure that their farm doesn't end up in the local creek.

However, Mr Smith the people of the Coffs Coast are also very aware of 'The Corner Cutters.'

So Mr Smith the good people of the Coffs Coast need to keep a close eye on the corner cutters cause sometimes it pays to have to many chiefs.

John McClelland

Construction is set to start on the Coffs Harbour Pacific Highway Bypass in 2020.
Construction is set to start on the Coffs Harbour Pacific Highway Bypass in 2020. RMS

Disappointment at Bypass design

THE Coffs community has been deceived by the RMS.

The RMS previously provided us with designs and expectations of tunnels for the bypass which in reality are unlikely to eventuate as it is not their preferred option and never would have been.

Tunnels at Roberts Hill, Shephards Lane and Gatelys Road would be approximately 80,315 and 450 metres respectively.

The RMS however, does not like to have tunnels that exceed 100 to 120 metres as the ongoing maintenance costs to government are high and trucks carrying dangerous goods class 1 and 2 are unable to travel through the tunnels.

This being said and safety as core criteria of the project together with higher budgetary requirements for tunnels over that of cuttings and land bridges, in hindsight, and knowing what we know now, it was inevitable that we end up with the draft concept design that has been released.

I went to the RMS community session on Thursday at the Coffs Harbour Golf Club expecting a presentation and discussion and unfortunately my personal expectations were dashed as it was a display.

There were very few street names on the maps which made it more difficult to assess the impact to the residents and environment in an overcrowded setting.

It is appalling that a total of nine hours of displays, over a three-day period, is to be categorised as RMS community consultation, especially when the bypass project will result in complete disruption to the Coffs region over a period of four to five years and costing up to $1.3 billion.

Feedback is required by October 26.

The very short feedback due date is something that was not mentioned at all by RMS staff on the day and closes just eight days after the last viewing.

It appears the RMS has complete disregard for the intelligence, preference and well-being of the 75,000 plus Coffs residents and will continue to push forward their draft concept design despite inadequate consultation.

I am disappointed that the open cut method has been chosen on the draft concept design; however, there is already a precedent of long tunnels on the Pacific Highway at St Helena near Byron Bay.

I would like to see tunnels for the Coffs bypass.

The Coffs region has been a safe Nationals seat for more than 30 years and with elections coming next year we may just become a marginal seat.

Michael McLennan

Roads and Maritime Services has released the concept design for the Coffs Harbour Pacific Highway Bypass including two land bridges and a cutting.
Roads and Maritime Services has released the concept design for the Coffs Harbour Pacific Highway Bypass including two land bridges and a cutting.

Ear muffs for bedtime along bypass route

ALL you have to do is spend a night at Gundagai to understand how highway noise amplifies at night more so to sound during daylight hours.

They have a large hill range backing this town which is like a thunder dome and the night highway noise feels like its just a few metres away but we were staying at a motel which is two kilometres away.

I urge West Coffs residents to stay just one night at Gundagai township and also the NSW Roads Minister try this also then she might wake up, actually she would be awake most of the night.

If you like listening to heavy vehicles then this is the place for you.

Leigh Harvey, Coffs Harbour.