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What we’ve been up toThe Moruya Bypass Action Group has been busy since May 2021 when Transport for NSW released its Options Report which identified their preferred bypass route. On this page you will find copies of our submissions, letters, presentations, media releases and more. These provide more detail about our concerns with the preferred bypass route and the route selection and community consultation processes.
JUNE 2021 JULY 2021 AUGUST 2021 SEPTEMBER 2021 OCTOBER 2021 NOVEMBER 2021 DECEMBER 2021 JANUARY 2022 FEBRUARY 2022 MARCH 2022 APRIL 2022 MAY 2022 JUNE 2022 JULY 2022
LettersWe wrote to Transport for NSW requesting more information about the consultation and assessment processes for the bypass and asked for an extension of time to consider this material and include it in our submission.
We prepared and circulated a template to assist the community in making submissions to Transport for NSW.
We sent a submission to the Moruya Bypass project team in Transport for NSW This submission was also sent to:
- Andrew Constance the Member for Bega and NSW Minister for Transport & Roads
- Paul Toole NSW Minister for Regional Roads & Transport
- Michael McCormack Federal Minister for the Department of Infrastructure & Transport
- Fiona Phillips Federal Member for Gilmore
Moruya Bypass Action Group members also sent individual submissions to Transport for NSW and relevant politicians
Presentation to Eurobodalla Council
We delivered a presentation to a full meeting of Council asking that they write to relevant Ministers as well as Transport for NSW to request the creation of an independent co-design committee for the Moruya Bypass which would include community stakeholders and residents, as well as government representatives. The committee would work collaboratively to identify and recommend a route for the bypass which would be shared with the wider community for feedback.
Council Minute recording the unanimous decision by Council to support Moruya Bypass Action Group’s request
Council letter to Andrew Constance Minister for Transport & Roads outlining Moruya Bypass Action Group’s concerns about the impacts of the preferred bypass route and requesting the formation of a co-design committee
Julie Morgan was interviewed on local radio station 2EAR FM about the Moruya Bypass Action Group’s concerns with the preferred Moruya bypass route and the lack of genuine community consultation.
‘Moruya Bypass Action Group say It's a long way from done and dusted’ appeared in the Beagle.
Our e-petition requesting that Transport for NSW review their preferred bypass route goes live
Our hard copy petition circulated just prior to lockdown and attracted 183 signatures
We commenced surveys of the Moruya business community to find out what they think of the preferred bypass route.
Our media release ‘Widespread concerns over community consultation and selection process for the Moruya Bypass’ was picked up by the Beagle
The South Coast News/ Daily Telegraph published a story about issues of transparency and genuine community engagement with the selection process for the preferred bypass route ‘Moruya Bypass: Residents say Transport NSW ‘rushed’ on bypass route’.
We wrote to Transport for NSW asking for the consultation report that they promised to provide following the release of their preferred bypass option.
We also wrote to Barnaby Joyce, Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development asking that Federal funding for the Moruya Bypass be conditional on the project being undertaken based on genuine community consultation and a comprehensive assessment of all short-listed route options.
Julie Morgan was interviewed by Paul West on ABC SE about the Moruya Bypass Action Group’s concerns in relation to the COVID risk associated with Transport for NSW’s survey teams coming to the Eurobodalla during lockdown.
Deb Stevenson did an extended interview on 2 EAR FM about our concerns with Transport for NSW’s selection process and community consultation for the preferred bypass route. This was followed by a series of short interviews with landholders who will be directly impacted by this route.
The Bay Post ran a story based on these interviews ‘Environmental surveys for Moruya bypass get underway’
The Beagle published an article ‘Moruya Bypass – Transport for NSW press ahead with their preferred route’
The South Coast News/Daily Telegraph published a story about the impacts of the preferred bypass route on people, businesses and the environment ‘Moruya residents say controversial bypass route threatens to destroy town’s livelihood’.
MediaOur media release Moruya Bypass Work Increases COVID Risks to Eurobodalla was picked up by the Beagle.
Julie Morgan was interviewed by ABC SE about the missing consultation report and COVID issues associated with Transport for NSW’s survey teams coming to the Eurobodalla during lockdown.
Flyers were printed and distributed informing people about Transport for NSW’s preferred route versus a shorter and less destructive alternative. There was a link in the flyer to our petition.
The Moruya Bypass Action Group’s website was launched in early October
MBAG was contacted by the Walbunja Aboriginal Corporation who challenged Transport for NSW’s Aboriginal Heritage survey methodology for the bypass in the NSW Land and Environment Court to discuss their concerns with the bypass.
Julie Morgan contacted Justin Field MLC and provided him with background on MBAG’s issues with the Moruya Bypass as well as questions for him to put to Paul Toole MP, the Minister for Regional Roads and Transport, at a Parliamentary Budget Estimates hearing https://www.facebook.com/JustinFieldIndependent/videos/568231937565801
Members of MBAG attended meetings of the Moruya Business Chamber to raise the issue of the Bypass and to ask questions about the Chamber’s Bypass sub-committee. MBAG now has a representative on this sub-committee. They also presented a preliminary report to the Chamber on the survey that MBAG is conducting with Moruya businesses about the Bypass.
We met with Andrew Constance MP our local member and former Minister for Roads and Transport. He provided some background to the funding for the Bypass and assurances that there was room for further genuine consultation about the route for the Bypass and its scale.
MeetingsMBAG members met with Ryan Park MP the Shadow Minister for the South Coast on the site of the preferred Orange Bypass route and outlined the impact that the Bypass would have both on people’s properties and more broadly on the environment and character of Moruya. He committed to raising the issue with Minister Paul Toole and offered to assist us in obtaining information from Transport for NSW.
We met with members of the Transport for NSW project team and Andrew Constance to discuss our issues with the Moruya Bypass consultation and route selection processes and our concerns about the impacts of the preferred route compared to a shorter, less destructive alternative which directly accesses the new Eurobodalla hospital. Transport for NSW acknowledged the poor timing of the project and that the consultation process could have been better. They committed to providing the community consultation report and some of technical information we had requested.
We attended a Zoom with Fiona Phillips Member for Gilmore and briefed her about our issues with the Bypass. She offered to assist us in getting information from Transport for NSW and said she would contact Paul Toole to discuss our issues directly with him.
We set up a Moruya Bypass display during the large rally in support of the Level 4 Eurobodalla hospital at Moruya’s Riverside Park where we talked to people about our concerns with the preferred bypass route, which does not provide direct access to the hospital. Our messages were picked up on national television and in the local media.
We wrote to Paul Toole congratulating him on becoming the Deputy Premier and urging him to exercise his ministerial powers to require Transport for NSW to engage in genuine community consultation and reconsider their preferred bypass route.
Council ElectionsMBAG emailed questions to all Council candidates asking for their views on the proposed Moruya Bypass and received responses from 7 of the 9 candidates. The Bypass was also raised at candidate forums.
Following intense rainfall and flooding in Moruya we put out a media release expressing concern about the potential impacts of the preferred Bypass route on the passage of floodwaters across the Moruya river flats. We questioned why detailed flood studies were only being carried out by Transport for NSW after the preferred route had been chosen, rather than choosing the best route on the basis of these flood studies. The Beagle ran the story.
Glenda Collins responded to a Letter to the Editor in the Beagle correcting some misconceptions about the bypass and MBAG. Her response was published in the Beagle.
Julie Morgan wrote to Julian Watson Director for the Princes Highway project to follow up on commitments that he had made at our meeting in early November to engage more fully with the community and to release the community consultation report as well as additional technical information relating to the bypass route options. Transport for NSW responded to say the community consultation report would be released in early 2022 and that once COVID restrictions eased that they would have a regular face-to-face presence in Moruya.
A request went out to the whole Moruya Bypass Action Group asking for volunteers to assist with stalls at markets and events over the Xmas-New Year period, however the spread of Omicron limited our ability to hold stalls during this time.
John Murray contacted Ian Carroll from the Burrill Lake Community Association to discuss the resignation of their members from the Co-Design Committee set up by Transport for NSW for the Milton-Ulladulla bypass. They discussed how MBAG could work with the Burrill Lake group to get some political traction for our common issues with Transport for NSW in the lead up to the State by-election and Federal election.
MeetingsMBAG members met with Fiona Kotvojs, the Liberal candidate for the Bega by election and Mathew Mason-Cox MLC, to talk about the Moruya Bypass and our concerns with the preferred route, as well as the consultation process. They agreed that the whole bypass process needs a reset.
MBAG representatives met with Matt Hatcher, the new Eurobodalla Mayor and briefed him about the bypass and our issues with the consultation process and choice of the preferred route. He shared our concerns and recommended we organise a similar briefing for the new council.
John Murray wrote to Julian Watson Director for the Princes Highway project on behalf of MBAG to follow up on our December letter and Transport for NSW’s subsequent response to that letter which committed to the release of the community consultation report and re-engagement with the community.
Deb Stevenson attended the Tuross Heads candidate’s forum for the Bega by-election and put a question to the candidates on behalf of MBAG about the Moruya Bypass.
MeetingsMBAG members met briefly with Sam Farraway, the new Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, and Fiona Kotvojs to raise their concerns with the preferred route for the Moruya bypass and the consultation process. They were assured that the long awaited community consultation report for the bypass would be released after the by-election in February or early March and that it would not include a recommended route. They were also told that the release of the report would trigger a 6 month long community consultation process, following which a non-negotiable decision would be made on a final route.
MBAG also met with Dr Michael Holland, the Labor candidate for the Bega by-election and briefed him about our concerns with the Moruya bypass. He said he was familiar with the bypass issues and, in particular, access to the new hospital. He said that we had his support and as the local member he would take the issue up in parliament. He has spoken to Jen Aitchison the Labor Shadow Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, who is also aware of issues with the bypass.
MBAG members attended briefing sessions for the new Eurobodalla hospital and questioned Health Infrastructure staff about access to the hospital. They noted that the preferred bypass route does not provide direct access to the hospital for emergency vehicles travelling from towns and villages to the north of Moruya.
MBAG members made contact with a community based mapping group who have prepared high quality 3 dimensional comparative maps of the Moruya bypass corridor options that illustrate the impacts of each one on the landscape, as well as properties. They have also prepared impressions of what the bypass will look like as it crosses the Moruya River floodplain. Their work appeared in the Beagle and will be used as part of a presentation to raise community awareness about the bypass. It will also appear on the MBAG website.
PresentationsDeb Stevenson presented to council on our issues with the Moruya bypass at the March Public Access Forum. All of the new councillors were present and they raised questions about the bypass which showed that they were unaware of what was proposed. They were directed to our website and invited to attend our community presentations to learn more. This presentation was published in the Beagle.
MBAG members met with Dr Michael Holland the new member for Bega and Jen Aitchison MP the Shadow Minister for Regional Transport and Roads to discuss our concerns with the preferred bypass.
MediaJulie Morgan interviewed by ABC SE following a press release in early April from the Minister for Regional Transport announcing that community consultation would re-open on 3 short-listed options for the Moruya bypass and a posting on the Transport for NSW website about community information sessions and small group workshops planned for May and June 2022. Later in April, Transport for NSW releases their Strategic Corridor Workshop Report as well as technical reports on noise, flooding and biodiversity.
Brett Stevenson registers to attend the Transport for NSW Flood Focus Group on behalf of MBAG. All MBAG members are encouraged to register for the community information sessions and workshops. Glenda Collins emails MBAG members with information about online opportunities to provide feedback on the bypass options including a corridor feedback form, business and town centre surveys and a Map my Comment tool. Some MBAG members tell us that they are unable to access these via their browsers. Deb Curtis contacts Dr Michael Holland and medical practitioners in Batemans Bay about access issues from the north to the new Eurobodalla hospital via the Orange and Yellow bypass options. Julie Morgan speaks to the communications manager for the Moruya bypass about difficulties members of the community are having engaging with Transport for NSW’s online consultation platform.
NetworkingMBAG emails all signatories to our petition to let them know about the latest round of community consultation and to provide them with links to the corridor online feedback form. MBAG members also prepare a fact sheet outlining the pros and cons of the 3 short-listed options which they hand out at MBAG market stalls in Moruya (SAGE markets and Moruya Country markets). MBAG engage with Transport for NSW staff running their own stalls at these markets to find out how, if at all, they are capturing feedback provided to them by the community.
MBAG members attend all nine of Transport for NSW’s traffic/noise, flooding and landscape/biodiversity workshops to ask questions and seek further detail about the impacts of the three short-listed bypass options. They note that the workshops are very poorly attended due to their timing, location and the requirement to register online to attend. Brett Stevenson attends 3 Flood Focus Group meetings (the 4 th one is cancelled) along with at least a dozen other community and business representatives. Most of the discussion is around historical flooding records and early flood modelling results, but there is a lack of detail about local flooding impacts of the short-listed bypass options.
Julie Morgan writes to the communications manager for the Moruya bypass outlining the challenges that the community are having trying to engage with the online consultation process and the lack of any real alternative. She also raises Transport for NSW’s failure to consult people in towns and villages surrounding Moruya, which is an important service centre, and the need for more comprehensive and inclusive consultation.
MediaJulie Morgan is interviewed on local radio station 2EAR about the shortcomings of Transport for NSW’s latest community consultation process. Deb Stevenson, Julie Morgan and Brett Stevenson are interviewed by the Bay Post about the Moruya bypass short-listed options and the consultation process https://www.batemansbaypost.com.au/story/7772193/only-25-of- traffic-will-use-planned-moruya-bypass-transport-for-nsw/
MBAG accepts an invitation to talk to the Tuross Head Progress Association about the Moruya bypass. Deb Stevenson presents to a large meeting of Tuross residents who know very little about the bypass and were not aware of the latest round of community consultation.
MBAG members set up an information stall at the Village Centre Batemans Bay where they hand out their fact sheet about the 3 short-listed bypass options, provide a computer so people can fill out Transport for NSW’s online feedback survey and encourage shoppers to sign the MBAG petition. An email is sent out to MBAG members, as well as all signatories to our petition, reminding them to have their say about the bypass options and providing a summary of the pros and cons of each option, as well as links to the online feedback survey. John Murray, Glenda Collins and Deb Curtis attend a Moruya Business Chamber meeting where the project and communications managers for the Moruya bypass present on the bypass options and the community consultation process. They raise some important issues and challenge some of the statements being made by Transport for NSW at the meeting.
Julie Morgan sends a 15 page submission to Transport for NSW on the Moruya bypass corridor options on behalf of MBAG.
MBAG writes to relevant state and federal politicians about the latest round of consultation for the Moruya bypass and attaches the MBAG submission.
MeetingsMBAG has arranged meetings with the Federal member for Gilmore and the State member for Bega to discuss the Moruya bypass and the latest round of community consultation.
MeetingsMBAG members met with the Federal member for Gilmore Fiona Phillips to update her about Transport for NSW’s third round of community consultation and to talk about funding priorities for major road projects in our region. We also ask her to follow up the consultation report which Transport for NSW promised us, but has failed to provide after a delay of over 12months.
The Moruya Bypass Action Group now eagerly awaits Transport for NSW’s Community Consultation Report following closure of the consultation period on 13 June 2022. Transport for NSW have committed to considering all submissions on the 3 short-listed options and addressing questions, as well as issues raised by the community in the report.
What next?We will continue our campaign and are busy on a number of fronts to make sure that our politicians and Transport for NSW hear what the community has to say and acts upon it.
AFTER ALL, WE ARE THE ONES THAT WILL HAVE TO LIVE WITH THE BYPASS FOR YEARS TO COME!
- We will keep distributing our flyers across the Eurobodalla
- We will attend markets and local events with our hard copy petition once lockdown restrictions are eased
- We will continue with our business surveys and produce a report summarising what the local business community thinks about the bypass route
- We have met with the Moruya Business Chamber and plan to meet with our local Federal Member, as well as community groups in our area to discuss route options for the bypass
- We will write to the State Government ministers who are now responsible for making decisions about the Moruya bypass
- We will use media releases to hold Transport for NSW to account about the way they are conducting the Moruya bypass project
- We will raise the Moruya bypass as an election issue at the local, state and federal levels