Budget make or break for bypass
Funds ‘must’ be included in Federal Budget, says Hartsuyker MP
IN THE lead-up to the Federal Budget, the case for the Coffs Harbour Bypass is reaching a critical point.
Nationals Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker this week prompted his own government towards a funding commitment, saying a commitment to the Coffs Harbour Bypass must be included in order to maximise the return on record investment in the Pacific Highway.
Mr Hartsuyker said he had been lobbying for government funding for the bypass for an extended period of time.
“I met with Deputy Prime Minister (Michael) McCormack within one week of him being sworn in as Minister for Infrastructure to brief him on the urgent need to fund the bypass,” Mr Hartsuyker said.
Mr Hartsuyker, Coffs Harbour City Council general manager Steve McGrath and Mayor Denise Knight last month met with the Deputy Prime Minister in Canberra to discuss the bypass.
“The exponential increase of traffic through Coffs Harbour is becoming untenable, with 12 sets of traffic lights stopping trucks and motorists on our local streets,” Mr Hartsuyker said.
“We have seen a 95 per cent reduction in road fatalities where dual-carriageway works have been completed.
“The Coffs Harbour Bypass will make our local roads safer.”
Mr Hartsuyker said he had spoken to Mr McCormack again this week about the pressing need for funding.
“The draft routes for this project were first released in July 2001 – nearly 17 years ago,” Mr Hartsuyker said.
“Our community has waited for this bypass for far too long.
“While there is more work to do before construction can start, it is absolutely vital the Coffs Harbour Bypass is funded in next month’s Federal Budget so work can begin as quickly as possible.”
The Federal Budget 2018-19 will be released at 7.30pm on May 8.
‘‘ THE EXPONENTIAL INCREASE OF TRAFFIC THROUGH COFFS HARBOUR IS BECOMING UNTENABLE, WITH 12 SETS OF TRAFFIC LIGHTS STOPPING TRUCKS AND MOTORISTS. NATIONALS MEMBER FOR COWPER LUKE HARTSUYKER
BOTTLENECK: Traffic jams are a common sight on the Pacific Highway at Coffs Harbour and local drivers are becoming increasingly frustrated by bypass funding delays.