Saturday, May 25, 2024

Coffs council calls on NSW Govt to fix unsafe footbridge

City of Coffs Harbour Council has announced it will formally call on the NSW Government to replace the State-owned footbridge at Moonee Beach, which it says is unstable and a public safety risk.

Council says the dilapidated timber bridge was found to be unstable and a public safety risk, and was closed to the public in November 2022. 

Mayor, Paul Amos wants the Government to demolish the old bridge, quickly start the development application process for a new structure, and to fund a new replacement bridge. 

The Council last week voted to back a Mayoral Minute which will see Council write to NSW Property Minister, Steve Kamper, to press for action. 

Council will also support the Coffs Coast Regional Park in its efforts to lobby the State for a new Moonee Beach footbridge, the Mayor said.

“This situation has been dragging on for far too long leading to increasing frustration for residents and visitors.” 

City of Coffs Harbour Council Mayor, Paul Amos.

“Even if the State acts now it’s going to be quite some time before a new bridge can be in place. So we’re writing to Minister Kamper in the hope he can get things moving to fix this situation,” said Mayor Amos.

The old bridge crosses Sugar Mill Creek between Crown Land managed by Reflections Holiday Parks and the Coffs Coast Regional Park. The footbridge itself is owned and controlled by Crown Lands. 

In a statement, Crown Lands advised it is preparing a development application for lodgement with the Council seeking to remove the bridge subject to planning approvals and availability of funding. 

“The bridge is dilapidated and structurally unstable with eroded piers and worm damage, and is not considered viable for repair,” a Crown Lands spokesperson said.

“There is an alternative access point to Moonee Beach to the south off the Rutile Trail.”

Mayor Amos said the bridge’s closure prevented the local Landcare group from reaching the headland for environmental work and jeopardising the protection of sensitive Aboriginal cultural heritage, he said.

“Crucially, the off-limits footbridge has created a ‘missing link’ in the Solitary Islands Coastal Walk tourist attraction for the community and visitors.”

“City of Coffs Harbour wants to see the urgent lodgement of a development application for the demolition and replacement of the bridge – with the funding in place to restore this asset for the community,” Mayor Amos said. 

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