Alstonville bypass outrage
By SAMANTHA TURNBULL
LLOMA MAYNARD was reluctant to buy a house on the Bruxner Highway but thought the investment would pay off once the Alstonville bypass was built.
"When we bought our home we were told the bypass would be done by 2004," she said.
"My husband and I invested in Alstonville on the basis of that promise."
Mrs Maynard was one of a small but dedicated group of protesters who gathered in the main street of the village yesterday morning to vent their anger over a State Government delay in funding for the bypass.
Premier Bob Carr visited the region four days before the last State election and promised residents the bypass would be completed by next year.
A spokesman for Mr Carr yesterday directed inquiries about the bypass to Roads Minister Michael Costa's office.
A spokeswoman for Mr Costa blamed the Federal Government for the delay after reducing funding to NSW by $1.5 billion over five years.
She said construction of the bypass was now expected to begin in 2006 or 2007.
Alstonville Bypass Committee president Bob Wilson said he was impressed by the group of about 30 residents who braved the rain for yesterday's protest.
"It shows we won't give up until we get our bypass," he said.
"We want to send a very strong message to Bob Carr that he has lied to the people of Alstonville and pulled the rug out from underneath them."