Call for unity in drive on highway plans

By Megan Kinninment

Opposition to Pacific Highway upgrade proposals, targeted last night at a meeting in Byron Bay, was summed up in a comment by one speaker: "The RTA has tried to divide and conquer us ... we are here tonight to say: No more."

This was the call-to-arms issued from the Byron Bay Bowling Club, where 80 people met to support a plan to unite the Byron and Ballina shires against the RTA's new Pacific Highway routes for the Tintenbar to Ewingsdale upgrade.

The meeting follows a similar forum at Newrybar Hall last Thursday, at which 200 people reached consensus on a four-point plan that would see an end to the community division caused by the highway upgrade route options.

Under the group's unity plan, the existing Pacific Highway would be upgraded to a class-A highway along the same route, interstate truck freight would be moved to the New England Highway, the Government would start investigating alternative inland freight routes and rail options, and an immediate start to the Ballina bypass would be supported.

Addressing the meeting last night, Coopers Shoot property owner Tony Gilding urged the community to join together.

A similar public meeting will be held in the Ballina RSL Bowling Club tonight at 7.30.



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