Qld puts squeeze on Tweed

By PETER CATON

THE Queensland government has pulled out a trump card in a bid to bludgeon Tweed Shire Council into accepting the controversial 'C4' route for the Tugun bypass.

In a letter bearing yesterday's date the Queensland Main Roads Department warned the council it would only allow an important overpass serving new urban areas of the Tweed if the council withdrew its objections to the route through envi- ronmentally-sensitive land west of the Gold Coast Airport.

The council's administrators very politely refused to back down - but almost in the same breath agreed to the overpass which could carry 30,000 vehicles a day.

Chief council administrator Garry Payne described the Queensland letter as "a very strong request" and said the council was "not prepared to bargain".

Even so he and fellow administrator Max Boyd agreed to tell the Queenslanders they will support the inclusion of an overpass over the road.

In February now-sacked councillors voted to oppose the $360 million road unless a full interchange is built at Boyd Street, Tugun to allow traffic from future development in the north of the shire at Cobaki Lakes and Bilambil Heights to get on to the Pacific Highway.

A reply drafted by Mr Boyd warns "it should not be construed that this council... unreservedly supports this project".

And the council is persisting in calls for the NSW government to hold a public inquiry into plans for the road.

The Queensland government letter, signed by a senior bureaucrat, called on the council to "withdraw their objection to the Tugun bypass as a prerequisite of proceeding with a Boyd Street overpass (as a separate project)."

"It is intended," the letter continued, "that the design geometry of the overpass would not preclude a possible further full interchange".

Mr Boyd said the administrators were not prepared to back away from earlier opposition, but had taken advice from staff.

And he accused the Queensland government, which only two weeks ago advertised it is yet to undertake an Aboriginal heritage study along the route, of "not being fair dinkum about the processes since the early stages".



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