Federal Labor is 100 per cent committed to delivering the Coffs Harbour Bypass.
Bypass Version 1.0
The federal government announced $971 million in funding for the Coffs Harbour Bypass on 8 May 2018. This is known as Bypass Version 1.0.
In the same week, Labor announced it would honour that commitment in Government. Labor’s announcement was covered on the front page of the Coffs Harbour Advocate on 12 May 2018.
You can hear the original announcement on ABC Radio.
There’s no new funding commitment from a state government required at this time because the state allocated its $200 million in early 2015.
The only ‘new money’ is $971 million from the federal government announced by May 2018 and, as stated, Labor has agreed to that.
Bypass Version 2.0
On 15 January 2019, the state government, and not the federal government, announced what’s known as Bypass Verison 2.0, inclusive of “tunnels”.
We still don’t know if there is an additional cost for the tunnels as announced on this day. The Nationals are keeping this secret.
And the government has many questions still to answer about the Bypass Version 2.0.
Are the tunnels zero dollars, tens of millions of dollars or hundreds of millions of dollars? They know. And we know they know. Again, the Nationals are keeping this secret.
If there is an additional cost, we need to know. Where’s the money coming from? Will it be included in the federal budget on 2 April 2019? Apparently, it will be. The secrecy has to stop.
Labor’s position on Bypass Verison 2.0
The NSW Government must now come up with a revised design, inclusive of three tunnels; cost it, and obtain community support for version two.
When we see what’s proposed, at what cost, and we know what the community thinks of it, we will be in a position to consider it.
The true cost of the revised Coffs Harbour Bypass needs to be included in the federal budget to be delivered in April. The NSW Nationals candidate for Coffs Harbour, Mr Singh, on 30 January 2019 said he ‘assumed’ this would be the case (see 31 January 2019 news release).
When we see the design, the cost and the community’s view to both, we will be in a position to consider it.
We’re not considering anything that:
- A – hasn’t had all of the work done (like reports on the impact residents (particularly noise), the built environment, the natural environment, Aboriginal heritage, agriculture, the local economy and housing prices.)
- B – hasn’t been designed
- C – hasn’t been reviewed by the community
- D – hasn’t been costed
- E – hasn’t been released by the government
No responsible or credible government, opposition, party or candidate would agree to fund something sight unseen. Labor is not in the business of writing blank cheques.
The ball is with the federal and state Liberal and National parties. They have botched this to date and have much work to do. The shamble has to stop.
Federal Labor is 100 per cent committed to delivering the Coffs Harbour Bypass:
- The commitment to the $971 million is locked in and has been on the record for nine months.
- If there is an extra cost, the current government needs to provide for it in this year’s federal budget on 2 April 2019.
- When we see a full proposal from the current government for any extra costs, we will consider it.
We are proud of our record on the Pacific Highway. The former federal Labor Government invested $7.9 billion on the Pacific Highway – six times the amount the former Howard Government invested over 12 years. The current government has only pledged $971 million for any Pacific Highway works, that being the Coffs Harbour Bypass and that doesn’t start until 2020/21 financial year.
The Nationals need to stop the truth bypass in Coffs Harbour.