Prime Minister inspects Coffs stadium ahead of major upgrade
ANY theories that teenagers aren't interested in politics and wouldn't know who the Prime Minister was if they saw him were put to rest in Coffs Harbour today.
Malcolm Turnbull was at the C.ex Coffs International Stadium this morning to officially open a new integrated transport hub as well as inspect the plans for the upgrade to the Stadium's spectator facilities.
The visit was at the same time that more than 225 under-12 and under-14 girls were at the stadium for the Telstra State SAP Championships for Girls.
The reception the Prime Minister received was enormous with the young girls and family members lining up to say hello to Mr Turnbull and take some selfies.
While our nation's political leader took extra time to speak with those who wanted a small piece of his attention, Mr Turnbull was here on official business with Cowper MP Luke hartsuyker and Coffs Harbour City Council mayor Cr Denise Knight.
A new, multi-purpose asphalt surface has been installed at the southern end of the ground which can be used as an additional carpark and also for the siting of team tents, toilet trucks, ice recovery tents and other temporary facilities during events.
It will also be used as parc ferme during the Kennards Hire Rally Australia in November.
The project cost $1m and was jointly funded by the Australian Government's National Stronger Regions Fund and Coffs Harbour City Council.
The Prime Minister said he was very impressed with both the new and planned facilities.
"We're delighted to be providing funding to support the upgrades here that we're opening to the car park and the bus access but looking forward to the much larger project that the Mayor has taken us through, the expansion of the stadium," Mr Turnbull said.
The transport hub also features a new bus and taxi terminus on Stadium Dr to improve traffic flow to and from the venue, as well as pathways connecting the Stadium entry and exit gates that will make it safer for pedestrians and people with limited mobility.
In addition, a new cycleway links into the existing cycle lane on Stadium Drive, providing a single, dedicated route for cyclists.
Mr Turnbull also touched on the upcoming construction that will see a major expansion of spectator and player facilities on the western side.
"It looks like a really first class project," he said.
"$13 million, the Federal Government is contributing half and that is a consequence of the tireless advocacy of Luke Hartsuyker who is a passionate local member."
NOON: PRIME Minister Malcolm Turnbull has this morning inspected works on the Pacific Highway while touring Coffs C.ex International Stadium ahead of a major upgrade.
Mr Turnbull has seen first-hand the progress on the Kundabung to Kempsey section of the highway in the company of Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker and NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight and Member for Oxley Melinda Pavey.
The 14-kilometre being upgraded to four lanes of divided road between Barrys Creek in Kundabung and the South Kempsey interchange is jointly funded by the Federal and State Governments to the tune of $230 million.
Mr Turnbull then travelled on to Coffs Harbour to inspect the Federal Government-funded redevelopment works of the Coffs Coast Sport and Leisure Park, ahead of Rally Australia's return to Coffs Harbour in November.
The Federal Government is also assisting Coffs Harbour City Council to fund a $13 million upgrade of the stadium.
EARLIER: PRIME Minister Malcolm Turnbull is scheduled to visit the Coffs Coast today.
Mr Turnbull will attend a media opportunity in Coffs Harbour later this morning with Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker.
It is understood the Prime Minister will start the day with a visit to Kempsey where he will make an announcement on the Pacific Highway prior to travelling on to Coffs Harbour.
More details on the Prime Minister's visit to Coffs Harbour will follow throughout the day.