Statement by Andrew Woodward – Labor for Cowper
8 May 2018
What’s the truth about the Coffs Harbour Bypass?
The National Party PR machine was in full swing yesterday on the so-called “announcement” for the Coffs Harbour Bypass. In the 24 hours since the announcement, we still don’t know:
- When does it start?
- When does it finish?
- What’s the route?
- What’s the cost?
- Who’s paying what?
- What’s changed from the original plans?
- What they’ve cut out to shave 20 percent of the cost?
Hopefully, the Budget papers released at 7.30 pm will reveal this.
As late as October last year, the Luke Hartsuyker was mugged by the truth in Senate Estimates. A senior public servant in response to Labor questions told Senate Estimates that there was no start date, no business case, no plan, no estimated cost and no allocated funding for the Coffs Harbour Bypass. Of course, a Business Case, that to this date remains secret, has been submitted. We need this business case released. We need complete transparency on this project.
The Department of Transport last year said the logical time to start the works would be when the remaining sections between Woolgoolga and Ballina are completed in 2020. Is this still the case? So does work start 2018/19, 2019/20 or 2020/21?
Since then, Luke Hartsuyker has been under intense pressure from Labor and this has finally forced the government to act.
This funding is in the Budget. It is committed. As far as I am concerned the money is already there and the Government should get on with the job. They have a year until the next election so they should get cracking now.
The Coalition is the Government at present and not Labor. They have committed money. The should get on with it. Labor will make its commitments clear closer the election.
But the Government should stop worrying about politics and get on and deliver this project. People just want bypass to be built. As the Labor candidate, that is what I want too.
- Release from October 2017 where Hartsuyker was sprung in Senate Estimates
- Release from 7 May 2018 on the Bypass re-announcement
Updated: 8 May 2018