News

Bypass needs thought

Woodburn will become a gateway for traffic visiting the Lower and Mid Richmond once the bypass goes through.
Woodburn will become a gateway for traffic visiting the Lower and Mid Richmond once the bypass goes through. Samantha Elley

A NEW era is dawning for the riverside towns of Woodburn, Broadwater and Wardell as construction of the new Pacific Hwy bypass looms.

At a public meeting on Thursday night at Evans Head, residents were told now was the time to start thinking about that future, even though the new bypass could be years away.

Bob Higgins, from the Grafton office of Roads and Maritime Services, told the assembled crowd of nearly 40 people that, based on history, those towns and villages which anticipated what business would be like after a new bypass generally fared better than those that left it up to fate.

"It is all about timing on how well you can capitalise from the bypass," he said.

Richmond Valley Council manager John Walker said his council was "open for business" and was eager to play a part in promoting the towns but needed on-going, sustained interest from community drivers.

"We need strong chambers of commerce," he said.

"We need voices, we need points of contact. The message we are getting is that it is never too early to plan for a bypass."

Mr Higgins would not be drawn on when the bypass would start, saying only that previous projects must be completed first - including Ballina to the border, Raleigh to Woolgoolga and Port Macquarie to Raleigh.

Current government funding includes $600m set aside to prepare for the 155km Woolgoolga to Ballina upgrade and Mr Higgins said that money would be spent buying the remaining 200 properties that lie in the way - 200 have already been purchased - carrying out geotechnical surveys, base line environmental studies and pre-loading soft soils such as those found adjacent to Tuckombil Canal.

Mr Higgins told the assembled group business could expect a surge during construction and, of course, a downturn right after.

Between 3500 and 4500 workers would be associated with the highway project over a three to five year period. Between 30-40% could be local residents employed on the project.

With large service centres planned for Ballina and Maclean, there will be no more reason to stop for fuel at Woodburn, so the town will have to re-invent itself.

"After the high of the construction phase there is a slump," he said.

"Where to go from there is up to the community."




7 most expensive (and cutest) puppies on the Northern Rivers

Border collie puppies for sale in the Rosebank area.

How much would you be willing to pay for a gorgeous pooch?

New plans for former motorbike shop in South Lismore

FRONT: Plans for the South Lismore motorbike business to be changed to a gym.

Development application will give the site a new purpose

Lismore mayoral candidates scored by anti-fluoride group

Fluoride has been a divisive issue in the community.

Will a new Lismore council mean a change of heart on fluoride?

Latest deals and offers

Willy Wonka star, Gene Wilder dead at 83

A still of Gene Wilder in the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Social media has already lit up with tributes to the late actor.

Falls tickets go on sale

Cold War Kids wow audiences at Falls Festival in Byron Bay despite the soaring tempratures and humidity. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

General sale starts at 9am

Gladstone couple's spontaneous Gympie Muster wedding

Craig Oglesby and Brenda Strong celebrate their wedding at the Gympie Muster with punters in front of the Main Stage.

The Gympie Music Muster was the perfect place for a wedding.

Australian Survivor's Peter: I'm no quitter

Australian Survivor contestant Peter Fiegehen.

ILLNESS forces castaway's early exit from Samoa.

Diva's sister on soliciting charge

FILE - In this May 14, 2016 file photo, Mariah Carey attends the 27th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, in New York. Carey will appear on the Oct. 5 episode of the Fox series, \"Empire,\" the network confirmed Monday at a TV critics bi-annual press tour. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

Mariah Carey's sister has been arrested on charges of prostitution.

Tom Cruise private jets his gym kit around the world

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise charters private to take his gym kit around the world

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m