Bangalow community prepares to fight for historic weir
PROPONENTS of retaining and repairing the Bangalow weir will look for the support of Byron Shire councillors on Thursday to reject a council staff recommendation to demolish it.
A new report advises that the council allocate $60,000 to remove a portion of the weir wall and "return Byron Creek to natural flow conditions".
It proposes putting a portion of the weir wall in the adjacent park with a plaque in recognition of the heritage of the weir and pool.
"This recommends complete removal of the existing historical weir wall," Bangalow Weir Group representative Terry Bleakley said.
"To add insult to injury ... the report suggests that a token chunk of the historic weir wall be placed on a pedestal in the surrounding parkland.
"Against all odds a small group of council staff has finally issued a report that virtually ignores the wishes of Bangalow residents."
For years council staff have been concerned about ongoing maintenance costs and liability if anyone swims in the creek.
"But with well-planned repairs, we expect low maintenance in future," Mr Bleakley said.
"Bear in mind it was the lack of council maintenance in the first place that led to the initial damage.
"As far as liability goes, people are always going to swim in public creeks.
"Isn't it better to make this one, a public amenity, as safe as we can?"
Another weir group representative, Christobel Munson, said the creek could not be returned to its natural flow because the council had deviated a section of it 20 years ago.
She said many councillors supported retaining it including Mayor Simon Richardson, who in a letter to the group in July said "repair of the weir would immediately benefit the entire Bangalow community".
"Bangalow weir is an integral part of the fabric of Bangalow," he said.