Singing Bridge refuge island goes ahead despite community concern

Contractors forming up the new islands mere days after the vocal ‘Community Conversations’.

RECENT contentious roadworks at the foot of the Singing Bridge have caused several community groups to lament the often slow and impenetrable bureaucracy that gives painful birth to such projects.

Community concerns centre on issues such as the impregnable nature of inter-governmental agencies and their perceived lack of communication with the public.

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Paul Bendy, a senior member of several community groups, shared his concerns with NOTA.

“Can you imagine some poor soul on their mobility scooter who has gotten as far as the refuge island, with vehicles shooting past in front and behind, waiting for a break in the traffic?” Paul asked rhetorically.

“The new refuge islands, which went up remarkably quickly, represent an attempt to avoid trying to deal with other bureaucracies, ending up with an unworkable and dangerous solution.

“More importantly, this situation does not address the real issue of government departments being agile and able to work together to serve the people as they are meant to.”

Crown Lands and NSW Maritime were cited as two of the chief agencies that have a potential stake in the Singing Bridge crossing situation, but they are not alone, as locals have called out a host of other government bureaucracies they claim routinely fail to get the job done.

Recent telecommunications network problems in and around the Myall Coast have also brought to light the strong dependence such government offices have upon smartphone apps and other online tools in delivering essential services, but are rendered useless when the internet or mobile phone networks are down.

Several senior citizens have expressed that they find such apps difficult to use at the best of times, echoing Mr Bendy’s sentiments that the bureaucracies need to eliminate inefficiencies all round, and focus on doing their job for the government and the people.

“If the real problem is addressed through better working consultation between government departments, I am confident that the Tea Gardens crossing will be fixed, and one day we will see an elevated boardwalk passing under the bridge approach, similar in concept to what already exists on the Hawks Nest end,” Mr Bendy said.

By Thomas O’KEEFE

The islands are in, along with a host of ‘keep left’ signs to alert motorists coming on and off the bridge.

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