BELLINGER RIVER BRANCH, AUSTRALIAN LABOR
Statement by Andrew Woodward, President
24 October 2017
LUKE HARTSUYKER HAS A TRUTH BYPASS OVER THE COFFS HARBOUR BYPASS
The Member for Cowper, Luke Hartsuyker, has let fly with a mind boggling and embarrassing response to confirmation that the Coffs Harbour Bypass is not on the federal government’s construction program.
A senior public servant yesterday in response to Labor questions told Senate Estimates that there was no start date, no business case, no plan, no estimated cost and no allocated funding for the Coffs Harbour Bypass. The transcript speaks for itself (and can be watched on the Coffs Harbour Advocate web site).
Today, in the Coffs Harbour Advocate, Mr Hartsuyker accused Labor’s Anthony Albanese of being ‘fast and loose with the truth’ when sharing facts from the Senate Estimates hearing. An inspection of the transcript confirms Mr Albanese’s account of the exchange.
Once again, we have Luke Hartsuyker doing a truth bypass on the Coffs Harbour bypass. He needs to be honest and confess to misleading the people of Cowper. He’s been caught out, once again.
After 16 years in the job and nothing to show for it on the bypass, he’s reverted to just making things up about it. The truth is he’s had nothing more than than informal chats with others about the project and it hasn’t reached the stage of formal evaluation by Canberra.
Mr Hartsuyker repeatedly gives every indication the Coffs Harbour Bypass is a priority for the Government:
- Coffs Harbour Advocate, 24 October 2017: ‘He wants the bypass to start’ “as quickly as possible”.
- Coffs Harbour Advocate, 23 April 2017: “Mr Hartsuyker said he can’t say with any certainty what is in or out of the budget but he’s confident that when Scott Morrison reveals this country’s economic and fiscal outlook, including expenditure and revenue estimates for the current financial year, the budget year and three forward financial years, any funds set aside for the project Coffs Harbour has waited more than a generation for will be hidden.”
- News Release: 23 March 2016: “The Coffs Harbour Bypass is a step closer…”.
- News Release: 23 October 2015: “Construction of the Coffs Harbour Bypass will…”
I would take the word of senior public servant over Luke Hartsuyker any day. What’s worse, is that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull played along with Luke Hartsuyker’s silly charade when he visited in September.
Both Mr Turnbull and Mr Hartsuyker knew the truth; mislead the people of Cowper with fancy word-work and gave the impression that this was a priority project. The facts presented in Senate Estimates are unambiguous and prove it isn’t even a formal project.
Mr Hartsuyker needs to stop bypassing the truth about the bypass and be honest with the people of Cowper.
Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee
23 October 2017, Canberra, Partial Transcript. Source CCA
Senator: Can you please advise if the Federal Government has seen a detailed plan for the Coffs Harbour Bypass.
DTRD Official (Sarah Leeming): “We have not Senator. There hasn’t been a formal approach to the Australian Government for funding for the Coffs Harbour Bypass.”
Senator: “Is there any discussion about a commencement date”?
DTRD Official: “It is a bit premature. A logical time to do that is around 2020. If there was a decision to fund it”.
- Coffs Advocate, 24 October 2017
- Coffs Harbour Advocate, 23 April 2017
- News Release, 23 March 2016
- News Release, 23 October 2015
Update 26 October 2017
Updated: 26 October 2017