Fingal Link Road – let us know what you think.

The State Government has committed $188 million to the construction of a Fingal Link Road, and the RMS is currently in the planning stage before consulting publicly.  TRRA thinks it is important for the community to consider both the rationale for such a road and the pros and cons of alternative routes.  We invite comment on our discussion paper Click Here.  We will collate feedback and provide it to the RMS and Council as input to their planning process.

‘Have Your Say’ :HERE

This entry was posted in 2019. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Fingal Link Road – let us know what you think.

  1. Kassia Klinger says:

    Tomaree Ratepayers and Residents Association
    Fingal Link Road options

    Comments by
    Kassia Klinger 24 October 2019

    Congratulations TRRA on a well thought through discussion paper. It’s good to see the pluses and minuses in an easy to read table.

    SAVING MONEY AND HABITAT
    It’s clear that routing the proposed Fingal Link Road closest to its exiting pathway, ie Routes Three and Two, will be cheaper and have the least environmental impact.

    RISING SEA LEVELS
    On the minus side, Route Three doesn’t appear to consider increasing impacts of sea level rise and the existing beach erosion problems at Shoal Bay which will eventually mean the beachside road will be undermined by seawater and need to be re-routed.

    IMPACTS – Humans and wildlife
    Route Two would seem to be the best compromise. For many years home-owners, residents and investors have been expecting the Austral Street extension to go ahead. It seems the most sensible of the four options.

    While there may be some impact on the water filtration sand-beds on Hunter Water land to the North, there must be ways potential road-pollution threats can be managed via engineering solutions; ie capture and re-route into storm-water pipes or treatment.

    If Koalas and other endangered species live in/near the Shoal Bay sand beds area, as with other roads through high value conservation areas, special wildlife fencing and crossings will need to be installed to protect them, motorists, motor cyclists and bike riders etc.

    BUSH FIRES
    Are becoming more frequent and severe. In terms of escaping and surviving bushfires only Route Three closest to Shoal Bay beach would have the least danger from fires as it has the shortest amount of road travelling through bush and is only on one side of the road. This gives an opportunity for people in a bushfire emergency to abandon their cars/homes and head on foot towards the beach, just like people at Tathra on the NSW South Coast did recently. They sought safety in or near the sea.

    The other coastal option Route Four is non-sensical re fire safety as the entire route traverses the bush which is flammable. The coastline at the Fingal Bay end, excluding Samurai Beach further West, does NOT feature a sandy beach like Shoal Bay. To the East the coast is mostly high, rocky headlands with few safe ways to access the ocean.

    COST
    The two last options further South from Shoal Bay, Routes One and Four, would not only cost more, to local ratepayers to maintain the roadway due to increased road lengths and to NSW residents to fund the building works, they would both have the greatest negative impacts on native flora and fauna habitat.

    FLORA AND FAUNA
    Options One and Four would segment Tomaree National Park and Worimi Conservation Lands at a time when a wide range of members of the public are up in arms about dwindling habitat and our woeful native fauna extinction rates. Keeping Koala rangelands contiguous is essential for their survival which is already in question in Port Stephens.

    HOUSING
    Both routes One and Four seem to show opportunities for housing development, especially at the Nelson Bay end of Route One and the Fingal Bay end of Route Four. Any potential for housing development within National Park or Conservation Lands boundaries would be heavily frowned upon by most locals and visitors from both Australia and overseas.

    There would be a massive environmental battle and it would leave the State Government open to greater accusations of being poor environmental managers, depriving future generations of experiencing the magnificent natural wonderland. The negative publicity in NSW, Australia and internationally would tarnish the reputation of the area as an ecotourism hotspot.

    There would of course be those vocally in favour of more housing, especially by potential property developers and their ideologically driven supporters. The NSW Government would be advised to tread carefully especially at a time when trust in all levels of Government is at an all-time low. Australia has been recently reported as slipping on a respected international transparency index which indicates increased corruption.

    The optics of potential political interference and/or corruption could be electorally damaging not to mention if matters proceeded to Court. These dangers could be mitigated by opting for routes closer to Shoal Bay’s existing pathway ie Routes Three and Two.

    Adding to the problems a road in such a controversial area would generate increased supply of land and subsequent houses would lead to decreased property values for existing owner-occupiers and investors.

    SCENIC VIEWS
    Route Four would give wonderful ocean views however the financial and environmental costs don’t seem to outweigh potential benefits. There are already many kilometres of scenic drives along bays, beaches, coast, up to mountain-top lookouts, through bush and Mangroves in the area.

    OTHER MORE URGENT ROADWORKS
    Some would even question the need to spend such a large amount of money for a road with such limited need. There are other roads in the area which are in urgent need of work, they would become even more popular tourist routes, such as Foreshore Drive along the beautiful waterfront at Salamander Bay. It runs right along in front of the now (in)famous Mambo Wetlands.

    With a current price tag of $180 million for a road which is only really needed for six weeks of summer each year that equals a spend of $30 million per week for the first year. That’s a cost many in the State would find difficult to accept funding for the benefit of the few.

    If the money must be spent on a road then allocate it to the embarrassment that is Hexham Bridge. Complete the final leg of the Sydney Freeway from Beresfield to Heatherbrae, so it will join the Pacific Highway by-pass of Raymond Terrace.

    Any sensible person would conclude the large sums of money allocated would be better spent on schools, hospitals, public transport and other State Government services where there is a genuine need, not a confected one.

    CHEAPER ALTERNATIVE
    The main reason locals complain about the traffic and parking woes in summer could be improved with a quick, easy and cheap solution by arranging a FREE Beach Bus. The shuttle service could be offered as a hop on-hop of service during the school holidays and long weekends when The Bay’s roads and parking spots are clogged with holidaymaker and day-tripper traffic.

    Other Councils (ie Mosman in Sydney) listened to their ratepayers and residents. They found a workaround to alleviate the hot tempers experienced by visitors and locals alike. The service makes visiting the beach a much less stressful experience, used by both visitors and locals. It also makes accessing properties near the beach less difficult for neighbours when driveways can be and are often are blocked by thoughtless and desperate beachgoers.

    SUMMARY
    If the State Government is determined to choose one of these four options discussed I support the following routes in order of preference;

    1st CHOICE Route Two
    2nd CHOICE Route Three
    3rd CHOICE Route One
    4th CHOICE Route Four

    Kassia Klinger
    EcoNetwork Port Stephens Inc. retired executive committee member.
    BA (Journ), MMngmt (Sust L’ship)

  2. Ileana Clarke says:

    Route 1 seems the logic option for alternate fire escape?, although I am worried of the impact on flora and fauna. If this was given prime consideration this would be my choice.
    Route 2 is ok

  3. TRRA says:

    Change to original text – Route 1 is thought to be the one
    currently under consideration by the State Government (2019 E

  4. Warren Leadbeatter says:

    Route 1 is my preferred route as it gives quicker access to come and go from SB & FB 99% of the time.
    It also provides a faster alternative route to going via NB in busy holiday times, special events, in the event of closure of SB road and it has the least environmental impact as the route will be mostly along existing fire trails.
    It will provide faster access to NB road for residents travelling to Salamander Shopping Centre, Anna Bay, Airport, Newcastle etc.
    The suggestion of the road being closed in event of a fire is a moot point because this rarely happens even on NB road but it can happen on any road. The fact that it provides a quicker, alternative route the important point.
    The suggestion of this taking business away from NB is garbage as people will still go to NB as it is a main attraction to the area. e.g. marina, boats, restaurants, venues etc.
    The alternative Route 1 will be a great addition that will be used year round by tourists and locals alike.
    I am opposed to Route 3 as it is the do nothing option.
    I am opposed to Route 2 as it will do very little to solve the situation of a growing community needing better access to Nelson Bay Rd.
    I am opposed to Route 4 as it will have the most environmental impact through the National Park, it will only serve Fingal Bay and the cost would be far more than has been allowed.
    Regards
    Warren Leadbeatter
    Anna Bay

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