Silence is acceptance, so have your say on highway

THE Daily Examiner and two of its sister papers, The Northern Star and Coffs Coast Advocate, will host a regional community forum, 'There must be a better way', in Grafton on Thursday.

This historic joint initiative by APN mastheads on the Northern Rivers will allow readers to voice their legitimate concerns about proposed Pacific Highway upgrade routes.

It also is an opportunity to explore alternative options such as upgrading the Summerland Way to take road freight between Grafton and Bangalow and into South East Queensland.

Opposition spokesman for the North Coast and Ballina MP Don Page, together with Clarence MP Steve Cansdell and Lismore MP Thomas George, will outline 'The Page Plan' for an inland highway route.

NSW Roads Minister Joe Tripodi, who this week promised to give the plan serious consideration albeit with some reservations, yesterday was invited to attend.

Invitations also have been emailed to spokespeople for various communities affected by the RTA routes, NSW Premier Morris Iemma, the RTA's Pacific Highway Office, Opposition Roads Spokesman and NSW Nationals Leader Andrew Stoner, other State and Federal MPs, trucking industry leaders, local mayors, and Clarence Valley councillors.

We issue an open invitation to any member of the public within our readership areas to come and have your say on Thursday afternoon.

The forum will be held at Grafton High School's Multi Purpose Centre, Fry Street, opposite the Grafton District Services Club carpark, from noon until 2.30pm.

Examiner editor Peter Ellem will chair the forum with Northern Star editor Russell Eldridge and Coffs Coast Advocate editor Lee McDougall moderating proceedings.

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