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Byron Shire
February 25, 2021

Highway signs won’t attract visitors to hinterland

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A clear and oft stated goal of the NSW government is to develop the growing Queensland visitor numbers to our area but sadly the just released for comment signage plan for the Tintenbar to Ewingsdale upgrade does not assist in this goal.

While we all welcome the RMS adoption of the suggested name ‘Hinterland Way’, the real issue will be getting visitors to take a decision to exit the highway and discover the Hinterland charms.

Our area is a prime candidate for visitors from Brisbane to take their first rest and safety break. They will not do this unless it is clear that there are easy ways to rejoin the highway. The RMS does not provide this information and many travellers will likely stay on the highway and reach fatigue.

The directional signs to the Hinterland Way which could have been attractive and enticing are boring and ineffective. This is a lost opportunity to deliver benefits to the fledgling Hinterland small scale tourist segment.

In addition, Bangalow residents will have to put up with more traffic noise in Granuaille Rd after the RMS decided to bow to Lismore pressure and signpost the St Helena Hill-Bangalow-Lismore road option as the first option for travellers from the north.

The RMS enjoys a unique power position in NSW with no dispute resolution process, no independent review system and protection from court action by virtue of the ‘Critical Infrastructure Act’.

The decisions of one person in the RMS determine business survivors and non survivors from the highway bypass.

The lack of an independent review process is a travesty of justice in NSW.

We can be assured that if this was an issue that directly affected politicians’ pockets the process would be far more open, consultative and transparent.

In my view our elected representatives need to get more involved to ensure the ongoing viability of the businesses and villages affected by this upgrade and the signage package.

A meeting of all parties together in the one room would be a good start.

Tony Gilding, Knockrow

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