While everyone on the campaign trail for the seat of Upper Hunter in the May 22 by-election is talking up their Singleton bypass credentials and extolling its virtues, those most affected by its construction, are facing losing their home and farm of more than two decades.
Maurice and Clare Bulter love their Whittingham farm where they grow lucerne and and graze beef cattle on 34 acres of prime Hunter River irrigation flats.
Unfortunately for the couple, both aged in their late 70s, their farm is right bang in the middle of the Singleton bypass as it starts its deviation from the New England Highway just south of town at the intersection with Newington Lane.
In earlier plans their home was not included in the bypass design but a visit a couple of weeks ago from government representatives seeking their agreement to sell their property to make-way for the bypass Mr Bulter says the plans now include their home being demolished.
"We haven't a choice now we have to sell up and move out and once we sign those papers we only have three weeks to vacate the property," he said.
"Where are we going to find a property like this with prime irrigation land, house and outbuildings out of flood reach and just five minutes to town?
"I know we can't find another property like this and we are going to be compulsory acquired if we don't sign the papers. And we don't even know what we are being paid."
According to the couple their treatment, from all levels of government involved in the bypass project, has been bitterly disappointing.
The decision to have the bypass go through Whittingham rather than follow the Golden Highway to the west of the town has also upset them.
"So many residents along the highway through Whittingham have enough trouble now trying to get on and off the road let alone as the traffic increases, " Mr Bulter said.
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