News

Pacific Hwy to cut through 150-year-old family farm

OVER-RUN: Broadwater cane farmer Mark Byrne is concerned by plans to run a highway through the middle of his cane plantation.
OVER-RUN: Broadwater cane farmer Mark Byrne is concerned by plans to run a highway through the middle of his cane plantation. Marc Stapelberg

BROADWATER cane grower Mark Byrne is still battling against the Pacific Highway upgrade route that will go straight through his 150-year old family farm.

For at least a decade Mr Byrne has stood against what he sees as short-sighted option by Roads and Maritime Services.

Mr Byrne's ancestors started the farm on the northern outskirts of Broadwater in the 1860s and, despite having sold off bits and pieces, it still covered more than 60 hectares.

Mr Byrne says Roads and Maritime Services' plan for the highway upgrade would run part of the new road through his property, damaging the viability of a working farm while unused blocks with "for sale" signs on them sat next door.

Mr Byrne said he had been offered compensation for the land, but said the figure was too low and failed to account for the family heritage of the farm or the fact that he didn't want to sell.

A spokesperson for Roads and Maritime Services said the organisation carried out extensive investigations of route options for the Woolgoolga to Ballina upgrade between 2004 and 2009.

The service's preferred route was chosen based on environmental, social and economic factors.

"Roads and Maritime understands Mr Byrnes' concerns but, regrettably, land is required from his property for the highway upgrade," the spokesperson said.

Save Ballina's Koalas campaigners also wanted the proposed highway route changed.

Where it travels north to the west of the current highway after crossing the Richmond River it will go through the Blackwall Range, a nationally significant population of koalas, Lorraine Vass, Save Ballina's Koalas president said.

"This koala population is very likely already in decline. The last thing it needs is a national highway running through it," she said.

The RMS spokesperson said the route was chosen and approved with strict conditions by the State and Federal Planning ministers because it avoided Jali Aboriginal Land Council land, wetlands and the Wardell Heath, which provided habitat for threatened species including the olongburra frog, koalas and grey-headed flying foxes.

"Rerouting the highway would also have significant impacts on cane land and floodplains and would delay major building work," the spokesperson said.

The planned route minimised overall ecological impacts compared to other feasible routes by reducing impact on regionally significant agricultural land and noise and visual impacts on Broadwater and Wardell resulting in better amenity for the local communities.

The planned route was designed to minimise flooding impacts and provide better value for money for taxpayers by taking the shortest possible route through flood affected areas.

Topics:  broadwater farmer pacific highway upgrade



VOTE NOW: Which town has the best Christmas tree?

Casino's Christmas tree 2016.

It's your last chance to vote for your favourite

'This is not a statistic to be proud of. It is a disgrace'

A heavy vehicle driver was charged with mid-range drink-driving and driving unlicensed after his truck - which was carrying a large excavator - was pulled over.

POLICE have shown their disgust at recent road statistics

How much will Ballina Shire rates increase (if at all)?

A decision will be made this week on Ballina Shire rates for 2017-18.

It's decision time for Ballina's new council

Local Partners

Hacksaw Ridge wins big in first round of AACTA Awards

Luke Bracey and Andrew Garfield in a scene from the movie Hacksaw Ridge.

THE major awards will be handed out on Wednesday night.

Paris Hilton fumes at clumsy partygoers

A reveller spilt their drink on Paris Hilton's DJ decks

Winnie Harlow isn't a role model

Winnie Harlow insists she isn't a role model.

Felicity Jones proud of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story role

Felicity Jones feels it is "important" for a woman to head Rogue One

Kiwi's plea to Ellen DeGeneres to save bakery after quake

Ellen... we need your magic.

Family had to be helicoptered out after powerful quake

Seacrest: Things are "going better" for Kim and Kanye

Ryan Seacrest says things are "going better now" for Kanye West

Banks reclaim Gladstone homes as job losses bite

LONG FALL: Property experts Heron Todd say, based on key market indicators, Gladstone is still travelling to the bottom of the market, with property prices set to get cheaper.

Property valuers say Gladstone housing market hasn't hit the bottom

The million dollar property to test Mackay's market

This Victoria St building will go to auction Tuesday and investors will be watching closely to see how much it sells for.

'High profile architect designed CBD asset' goes to auction

Chinese locked out of Australian property market

The rules are different if you're a foreigner

The buyer was from China - the trouble started right there

Morrison signs off on new affordable rental model

Australia's Treasurer Scott Morrison speaks during a press conference after a meeting of the Council of Federal Financial Relations at Parliament House in Canberra, Friday, Dec. 2, 2016.

Scott Morrison signed off on development of a new financing model

Coast high-flyer's fight back from bankruptcy, $72m debt

Scott Juniper went from millionaire developer to declaring bankruptcy in2012, now he is back on top of his game again with new developments including this one in Coolum.

'Apocalyptic lending storm' causes financial collapse.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!