design

THE NATIONAL PARTY NEEDS TO STOP COMPLAINING ABOUT THE POOR REACTION TO THE COFFS BYPASS AND GET ON WITH A NEW DESIGN WITH REAL TUNNELS AND NOT TRENCHES

The National Party needs to stop complaining about how poorly the Coffs Harbour Bypass Preferred Concept Design has been received by the community.

The National Party should listen to Coffs Harbour City Council, Labor, Greens, residents and over 1,000 people in an online petition that they want real tunnels and not trenches. This week’s commentary by the National Party’s local elected officials has been at best embarrassing and at worst pathetic.

The three stooges from the National Party, Mr Hartsuyker, Mr Fraser and Ms Pavey are in today’s Coffs Harbour Advocate and elsewhere whining about how ungrateful the people of Coffs Harbour are about the bypass. They’re like spoilt brats sitting around the tree on Christmas morning distressed about not getting what they wanted from Santa.

They keep telling us we should be grateful for everything they’ve done for us. They keep telling us it is gold plated. They keep telling us there are two tunnels (there aren’t). They keep telling us it is costing $100 million a kilometre. They keep telling us this is the most expensive piece of the highway on the north coast (which is a lie). They keep telling us this is not the “El Cheapo” option. But they’re totally missing the point. They are totally out of touch.

Yes, we all want the bypass. Yes, we want trucks out of the Coffs CBD. Yes, we want a bypass with tunnels. But we want real tunnels. And we know these real tunnels will take 99.99 per cent of traffic that will use the bypass, including trucks. And we know these real tunnels won’t be as high, ugly, dirty and noisy as what the National Party is proposing.

Previous work was done by the Roads and Traffic Authority (the predecessor of the Roads and Maritime Services) for the former Labor state government and Liberal-National federal government. It indicates tunnels could be constructed for practically the same cost as the trenches. Report: LINK

The report discussed the pros and cons of trenches versus tunnels. The conclusion (pages 36 to 39) was that two-lane twin tunnels at Shephards Lane and Gatelys Road were roughly the same cost as trenches. In 2008, the trenches were said to be the same cost as a two-lane tunnel at Shepherds Lane and less than $5 million more for a two-lane tunnel at Gatelys Road.

When you consider that the number of homes requiring noise insulation reportedly will rise from 120 to 900 at the cost of $45 million instead of $6 million, you can see it makes good economic sense to invest in tunnels and maintain the amenity, lifestyle and property values of residents, as well as many other environmental, social and economic benefits.

If the National Party comes out tomorrow and says “we’re building the bypass with real tunnels as originally proposed for the $1.2 billion”, I will be the first to congratulate them. Again, I reiterate my call for the three stooges from the National Party to send Roads and Maritime Services back to the drawing board; asking it to come back with a design with real tunnels which are quieter, lower, cleaner and less of an eye-sore.

WEDNESDAY, 3 OCTOBER 2018