Project history

The Sapphire to Woolgoolga upgrade is 25 kilometres of four lane divided roadway with a continuous alternative local road between Sapphire and Woolgoolga for local traffic.

Planning process

In September 2001, Roads and Maritime Services began investigating a route for a dual carriageway upgrade of the Pacific Highway from Sapphire to Woolgoolga.

Environmental assessment

The environmental assessment process considers all relevant environmental matters in the development of the proposal and the assessment of its potential impacts.

Issues that emerge from the investigations and community consultation are considered by the project team.

Issues identified by the Director-General of the Department of Planning are in the following areas:

  • Planning and land use
  • Traffic and access
  • Noise and vibration
  • Biodiversity
  • Heritage
  • Economic and social impacts.

These issues are described in the environmental assessment document on the project documents page and on the Department of Planning website.

To view or download all documents associated with the planning and environmental assessment of the Sapphire to Woolgoolga upgrade go to the project documents page.

Department of Environment and Water Resources referral

Roads and Maritime Services has completed an environmental assessment on the preferred route for the Sapphire to Woolgoolga upgrade. As part of the assessment process, Roads and Maritime Services made a referral to the Federal Department of Environment and Water Resources. This referral related to the potential impact that the Proposal may have on endangered flora and fauna species under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act. On 16 January 2008, the Department of Environment and Water Conservation found that the Sapphire to Woolgoolga project was not a controlled action.

Documentation included in the Department of Environment and Water Resources referral and decision can be found in the project documents page.

Project approval

Approval for the Sapphire to Woolgoolga upgrade was granted by the NSW Minister for Planning on 13 January 2009. The Chief Executive of the NSW Roads and Maritime Services subsequently agreed to proceed with the construction and operation of the project subject to the conditions set by the Minister for Planning, Roads and Maritime Services's project priorities for upgrading the Pacific Highway and funding.

Community and stakeholder involvement

The project team has involved the community and stakeholders in all aspects of the development of this project. Community involvement has included information sessions, meetings, letterbox drops, newsletters and advertisements.

Community and stakeholder consultation will continue to play an important part in the design and construction of this project.

All information relating to the planning, environmental assessment and community involvement for the Sapphire to Woolgoolga upgrade is available on the project documents page of this project website.

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