No joy for residents

llan Cowley is mad!

Mad that after five years the collapsed section of walkway at Lighthouse Road Byron Bay is still no closer to repair.

The Lighthouse Road resident said that next Wednesday (June 30) would be the fifth anniversary since the walkway was washed away by Byron Shire Council’s failure to provide adequate stormwater drainage to the original construction.

He said that since that time locals and visitors had continued to be seriously inconvenienced by council’s inaction.

“In that five years other regions such as Olivier Road bridge at Lismore has been washed away, and replaced, the 25-metre crater in Bellevue Hill Road in Sydney has been repaired,” Mr Cowley said.

“I was told a road washed away in Noosa in the same storm event as ours and was replaced within six weeks.

“Meanwhile we are met by excuses, delays, obfuscation, and nothing else.

“This is despite the fact that the repair is to be funded by a state disaster relief fund established within days of the washaway.”

Mr Cowley said residents of Wategos Beach must be incensed.

“How can they expect emergency vehicles to quickly access them?” he said.

“Residents of Lighthouse Road have to put up with the incessant noise from braking, accelerating tooting drivers driven mad by the temporary traffic lights.

“We fought for over 20 years to get the walkway built.

“We were all so delighted when it was finally finished, an iconic addition to one of the most beautiful sites and sights on the eastern coast.”

Mr Cowley said there has been a singular lack of will, of good governance, of even decency in council’s failure to drive the repair forward.

He has invited other ‘angry’ residents to join him at 7.30am on the walkway opposite No Name Lane next Wednesday.

The council’s community infrastructure executive manager told The Byron News that approvals required from numerous state departments for design and natural disaster funding had been exhausted.

Mr Holloway said the council would this month be submitting its final review of environmental factors (REF) to the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) for sign-off and approval.

“This is effectively the second time council has gone through this process,” he said.

“In early 2008 only one tender was submitted for the reconstruction work.

Due to the high cost of the tender it was not accepted as additional funding was not available from the RTA.

“As a consequence, an extensive geotechnical design review was completed. But the redesign has required another round of approvals.”

Mr Holloway said the council would also be submitting the final detailed design of the road to the RTA this month.

It was hoped that tenders could be called at the end of the year.

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