COFFS BYPASS: Coffs Mayor Hits Back At Andrew Fraser Comments about Council

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COFFS BYPASS: Coffs Mayor Hits Back At Andrew Fraser Comments about Council



The Coffs Harbour Bypass continues to get some locals hot under the collar.

The latest, Coffs Harbour Mayor Denise Knight, after she disputed claims that the Council are refusing to display the preferred design for the project in their foyer.

On Wednesday morning, State MP Andrew Fraser told Triple M, he had written to Coffs Harbour City Council about displaying the design in their foyer, but was now talking with RMS to find an empty shop to put the display in.

When asked if Council had refused, Mr Fraser said, "I haven't heard from Council, so at the end of the day, we have to do something ourselves I think".

Coffs Harbour Mayor, Denise Knight hit back about her frustrations with the State Member's comments.

"I'm pretty angry with this, that the local member gets on the radio and just tells a bare faced lie", Cr Knight said.

The Mayor told Triple M that while Mr Fraser claims the council refuse to put the plans up in the council foyer, that they are up in the foyer, and have been for some time.

Cr Knight said they had to wait for the RMS to send them the plans.

"We had to wait for the RMS to pull their finger out to send the plans to us!"

"Maybe Andrew Fraser needs to go into council and have a damn look and see what we've got", Cr Knight said.

The Mayor did confirm that once the full display similar to that at the consultation session is sent to them, they will display it in the Council foyer.

"Of course it will, we are co-operating as much as we can".


Late on Wednesday afternoon, Triple M received a statement from the Coffs Harbour City Council.

Council's General Manager, Steve McGrath said that, "Council have been very proactive in trying to facilitate Mr Fraser’s request. We contacted Roads and Maritime Services on numerous occasions asking for the display information to be supplied to us, and offering to assist in any way to help display this information in Council’s Customer Service Centre”.

He said that brochures and other material is on display, but pointed out that it is a State Government project, not a Council project.

"It needs to be stressed that the Coffs Harbour Highway Bypass project is an RMS / State Government project, it is not a Council project; however Council has offered and will assist.”

“This is a significant project for our city and as such should have a robust community engagement framework".

While the Mayor told Triple M that when a model of the display is sent to Council it will be displayed, the General Manager said that "given this is a State Government project I encourage Mr Fraser to explore other options for community engagement on the project including manned displays where the community’s questions can be answered by qualified staff”.