History of the bypass planning
RECENT correspondence on the bypass debate are generally in agreement with each other.
This is understandable as we all want the best option for Coffs Harbour.
In the early planning discussions the late Bill Wood and myself were council's representatives at meeting with the then RTA and Connell and Wagner the design engineers.
Early on I asked the question: 'Why was the far west option discarded so soon?'
The answer was it is too far and not cost effective.
The option embraced a distance of 30km.
After a number of meetings I suggested that someday a government was going to accept that Coffs Harbour should be bypassed to the far west.
The answer was 'yes but not now'.
The urgency of a far west option is close to being upon us.
The planning of a 30km option including land acquisitions is a long-time process.
My suggestion is that we embrace the current plan, including tunnels of course and then immediately start campaigning for a far west bypass of Coffs Harbour.
In the history of planning stages of the highway design, the Sapphire to Woolgoolga upgrade was met with opposition at the time.
Time has shown that this development, whilst not perfect is a big improvement on what we were once saddled with.
The meeting with the design team were abandoned when council, at the time, took a stance on a far west option being the only acceptable one.
Issue isn't the trees on the roundabout
IN RESPONSE to Coffs Council and the RMS removing trees at the Englands Rd roundabout it is totally unnecessary and absolutely ridiculous to blame the trees on this roundabout for the poor skills of the truck drivers who crash there.
They are driving too fast and don't make the bend, the road camber is wrong on the northbound lanes.
There is plenty of vision around the roundabout for people to see - without removing the trees.
I'd say leave the trees alone and fix the damn road.
I'd say long hours behind the wheel also is a contributing factor so make a series of speed humps down the hill on the southern side of the roundabout (like the entry to Newcastle) to wake them up but leave the trees alone.
And cut the grass on the northbound Toormina, Sawtell exit on the right-handside of the roundabout where it does impede one's vision.
Note the trees have been trimmed, but you can't see the traffic coming onto the roundabout because of the tall grass.
Plants stolen from council gardens
OVER several days I've watched a small roundabout in Coffs Harbour's CBD be transformed from an uninteresting feature into an arid themed desert garden complete with rocks and desert plants.
The plantings were sparse, but carefully placed and the whole garden was a welcome change from the norm. Barely a week went by before the thieves gathered.
Plants that had been sourced, purchased and planted for this one garden to make Coffs Harbour better, have been stolen by some petty thief.
Some would-be super criminal launched a master plan and stole plants from this garden and then slunk away with their ill-gotten booty to giggle about their brilliant crime.
What sort of mastermind does this? Some fanatical collector that saw a plant in passing and decided life would be worthless if they didn't have it?
Some dedicated council hater that thought "I pay my rates and I deserve it " and then saw a chance to "stick it to the man?"
Or merely some small minded thief that saw something for free? All of whom I suspect exist.
And what did you do with your plunder? You took it home and stuck it in a pot and looked at it for 30 seconds. Then maybe next week you'll glance at it again for 10 seconds.
Maybe the week after for five seconds and then you'll forget about it.
If you'd left it where it was that plant would've helped bring enjoyment to the people of Coffs Harbour, but you think you deserve it more.
You may think that stealing from council gardens isn't like stealing from an old lady, which you've probably done too. You're not stealing from one person, you're stealing from 80,000.
If more plants are stolen there'll be none left. And the town will complain because there's a boring roundabout with nothing in it. But will you care? No.
No matter that we have a drab town with street trees broken by drunken idiots or kids play equipment covered in broken glass by vandals or gardens with no plants because they were stolen by thieves with entitlement issues.
That's all ok because all the plants are at your place where you can look at them for five seconds a week. Do you stupidly assume the council has an endless budget and an endless supply of plants to replace those stolen by a sad pilferer like you? They don't.
And those plants now won't be replaced. And if more are stolen it'll go from an interesting breath of fresh air to a bare featureless nothing. Because of you!
But you won't care because you get to look at your stolen plant for 5 seconds a week. If you vandalise, destroy and steal from any council instillation anywhere, what you have done is disrespected the town and become an enemy of our town, no matter how clever and superior you think you are.