Elements of Anna Bay’s 7 Day Makeover fall into disrepair

The bus shelter that was one of the main focuses of work for the Anna Bay 7 Day Makeover, where the community came together to make change in Anna Bay.

 

THE Anna Bay 7 Day Make-Over was conducted two years ago.

It cemented the community together and made changes in attitudes, pride of place and created greater ownership for the township.

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Leah Anderson, President of the then Tomaree Business Chamber spoke at a Port Stephens Council Public Access and requested a 7-Day Makeover after seeing first hand the difference that one had created at Tuncurry.

Council bought in and Creative Communities were engaged to deliver the community project.

Locals stood shoulder to shoulder with Council staff, volunteering to transform the township.

Toilets were cleaned and painted, bridges were literally built.

As part of the Makeover, the local bus shelter was revamped at the instigation of ideas and funds raised by the community.

The Anna Bay Fishing Club raised money for the bus shelter artwork, which was painted by local mural artist Rhys Fabris, and donated a further $1,000 to the makeover.

Now the bus shelter is taped off with a large crack having appeared in the brickwork.

Community members are more than a little upset that the bus shelter that they have put their time, effort, energy and money into may now be at risk.

The question is being asked: was the structure checked for safety prior to the makeover and what can be done to save it?

Leah Anderson, who advocated for the makeover through Business Port Stephens, told News Of The Area, “”The Anna Bay 7 Day makeover was one of the most amazing community experiences I have ever been involved in.

“When I saw these makeovers happening in other communities, especially Tuncurry, they really caught my attention.

“So to advocate for this from the business chamber, and have Anna Bay transformed by the community was heartwarming.

“Anna Bay finally had the attention they were longing for after being the forgotten and neglected community by Port Stephens Council, for so many years.

“I have to say, it saddens me to hear that one of the key makeover structures being the bus shelter at the now famous Anna Bay entrance sign has cracked brickwork and is taped off, unable to be used.

“I urge Port Stephens Council to show the community how much they valued their donations of time and money into the makeover and spend the money required to fix this structure without compromising the makeover artwork and assisting in getting it back to its former makeover glory.

“It is also a good lesson to learn that Council should be looking closely at the existing local infrastructure prior to these makeovers, ensuring it is fit for purpose to be part of the makeover, and so that it will be a long lasting example of community engagement and pride.”

 

By Marian SAMPSON

 

The bus shelter is now deemed unsafe and the community has concerns that it may be demolished.

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