Hole is a safety concern for Medowie Residents

Resident Jade Smith with his young son, who fears for the safety of children in the street.
Resident Jade Smith with his young son, who fears for the safety of children in the street.

The recently completed kerb ramps installed on many street corners around the Boyd Oval area have been a welcome addition to the community’s infrastructure.

But the kerb ramp installed onto the corner of Maple Close and Grey Gum Street in September has become nothing but a hindrance for surrounding residents.

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The construction of the ramp appeared to be problematic for council workers assigned to construct the new kerb ramps, and the site was left unfinished, with an open hole next to the new ramp and sidewalk, leaving wires and cables exposed.

Residents nearby have made multiple phone calls to Port Stephens Council to have the site finished, but are still waiting for a response, leaving them frustrated and angry about the potential safety risk.

After the first phone call to alert Council to the problem, Council workers were sent out to erect makeshift barricades and fencing designed to stop residents from entering the area where the cables and wires are exposed via a large hole in the ground.

The makeshift nature of these barricades acted as a bright flashing light to vandals who are constantly targeting the area, moving the barricades away from the exposed cables and opening up the hazard.

Local residents Kelly and Jade Smith said that this is a dangerous situation and that more direct action should be taken.

“After the first call, the Council sent someone out to erect a barricade, but it gets moved every weekend and all that is left is a big hole with wires hanging out. It’s not good enough,” Kelly Smith told News Of The Area.

“The residents are always the ones out there doing repairs.”

With summer school holidays, the number of children walking, riding and running past the Maple Close/Grey Gum Street corner will no doubt increase thanks to its close proximity to Boyd Oval, the skate park and tennis courts.

News Of The Area contacted Port Stephens Council on the residents’ behalf and spoke with Deputy Mayor Chris Doohan, who said, “I applaud Council for improving the infrastructure of our area and enabling our paths to be used by those with mobility constraints.”

“The issue concerning this particular ramp is news to me, and I will endeavour to get a resolution as soon as I can.”

“The response from Council on these types of issues certainly can be varied due to other agencies (Telstra, Water, Ausgrid, etc), conflicting priorities and costs, but when there is a safety concern this should be actioned appropriately and I will certainly ensure this is addressed as soon as possible,” he said.

News Of The Area will follow up on this request for completed works.

By Rachael VAUGHAN

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