Broadwater gets say on highway bypass
By HELEN JACK
BROADWATER residents had their say on Tuesday night when the RTA rolled into town to explain its plans to upgrade the Pacific Highway.
Concerned the new and improved highway will wipe out their small township, and with the town surrounded by national park and valuable agricultural land, an alternative route for the four laned carriageway proved a dilemma.
Close to 150 residents filled Broadwater's Community Centre carefully and articulately expressing their concerns to RTA delegates who diligently noted each on a map of the area.
If the highway were to maintain its route residents were concerned that:
- A Koala colony, whose territory spans the existing highway at Broadwater National Park, would be decimated.
- The ecosystem of The Barrage in the Tuckean Swamp and associated wetlands would be endan- gered.
- Heritage listed homes and farmhouses situated close to the highway would be in danger of be- ing destroyed.
- School children at Broadwater Public School, that is situated close to the existing highway, would be subjected to highway noise and pollution as well as causing access and safety concerns for students and their families and guardians.
Alternatively, residents could see some benefits if the highway bypassed the town.
Some residents suggested that a highway bypass could offer its business community a chance to develop a tourist industry similar to Bangalow.
However, property owners, whose land falls within the study area for the highway upgrade, will be in limbo until the RTA finalises the high- way's route in mid-2006.