Statement by Andrew Woodward – Labor for Cowper
8 May 2018
Revealed – the Coffs Harbour Bypass Con Job
In an embarrassing blow to the Federal Government on the day of the budget, the NSW Government has confirmed that the second largest infrastructure announcement in Scott Morrison’s budget won’t commence until 2020 at the earliest.
What the government and the Nationals have done with the Coffs Harbour Bypass announcement is a disgrace. It is like saying to a child, here’s what you’re getting for Christmas – in three year’s time.
Yesterday the Federal Government was heralding funding for the Coffs Harbour Bypass of $971 million as evidence of action. While funding for this project is welcome and long overdue, what they haven’t told anyone, until now, is when the project will start.
Will it start in 2018? No.
Will it start in 2019? No.
Will it start in 2020? Maybe.
“Maybe” because of their form with the current Pacific Highway upgrade. Completion of Coffs Harbour to Port Macquarie upgrade is running a year late and won’t be completed until the end of this year.
How do we know that tonight’s budget announcement is a con job? It has been revealed by the NSW Minister for Roads, Mel Pavey.
In a video interview on the Coffs Harbour Advocate, she said in part:
“We’re going to be dual carriageway by 2020 (in reference to Woolgoolga to Ballina) and then starting on the Coffs Bypass. We are still yet to do our final business cases as well go out to market. So we’re still absolutely yet to determine a date. We’ve always said we will come back to the Coffs Harbour Bypass once we have finished the Motorway, the dual carriageway. So that date of start is yet to be finalised. Still a bit of work to do.”
This is exactly the timetable outlined in Senate Estimates by the Department of Transport in October last year (see link below).
Once again, Malcolm Turnbull and Luke Hartsuyker have had a truth bypass. They owe the people of the Coffs Coast an apology for this con job.
Luke Hartsuyker should be considering his position. If he doesn’t leave of his own accord the angry people of Cowper will do it for him.
Audio of the video (May 2018)
ABC Story on infrastructure (May 2018)
Updated: 8 May 2018