Call to action on bypass

By PETER CATON

FORMER Tweed Mayor Warren Polglase has called on council administrators to "get off their butts" to resolve the growing row over the Tugun bypass.

Mr Polglase said one or all three of the administrators who replaced his council should talk directly with Queensland Main Roads minister Paul Lucas.

And he warned their request for the NSW Government to hold a Commission of Inquiry into the road, which the Queensland Government wants to get underway urgently, would simply "not happen".

The row over the controversial road deepened over the Queensland Government's axing of an interchange to cater for traffic from future suburbs around Cobaki Lakes and Bilambil Heights. Instead Queensland Main Roads will only allow an overpass connecting into Boyd Street and funnelling 30,000 vehicles a day onto the current highway through Tugun and only provided Tweed Shire Council pays for it.

In a terse letter received by the council only hours before Wednesday's meeting, the Main Roads Department called on the council to drop its objections to the road "as a prerequisite of proceeding with a Boyd Street overpass".

The administrators refused to do so.

Mr Polglase said he had previously travelled to Brisbane for a two-hour round-table meeting with Mr Lucas, Gold Coast mayor Ron Clarke and other officials. He was confident an overpass paid for by Tweed developers could later be upgraded to an interchange, but that would not happen immediately because it would add to the environmental impact of the bypass.

Mr Polglase said the Queensland Government simply wanted to get on with building the bypass in advance of the next state election. He said the letter from Queensland Main Roads "would never have arrived if there had been "better communication" between the administrators and the minister.

"They should get their butts up there and talk to Lucas," he added. "The Commission of Inquiry won't happen. The Queensland Government isn't going to sit back and take that."

A spokesperson for NSW Planning said the issue of "appropriate assessment" would be considered when the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority submits its application for the road.



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