MOSSMAN LIGHTS PROTEST
CALL TO HALT WORK:
CONCERNED Douglas Shire community members protested outside of Woolworths yesterday morning in a bid to halt the installation of traffic lights.
Council yesterday decided to protest and the community came, with more than 40 people braving the rain and early hour to make a stand against a decision by the Department of Transport and Main Roads ( TMR) and the developer of the new Woolworths complex on Front St.
Mayor Julia Leu spoke at the peaceful protest and said as a result the developers had agreed to meet with council tomorrow afternoon, along with TMR.
‘‘Council does not believe that traffic lights are warranted and we have requested an urgent meeting to discuss alternative solutions, including a roundabout or reverting to the original approval of a channelised intersection,’’ Mayor Leu said.
‘‘Yesterday I asked David Kempton to request the Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Scott Emerson, to intervene on our behalf, specifically for the works to be suspended to allow the new council to commission its own independent report by a qualified traffic engineer to investigate alternatives solutions and options.
‘‘There is a great swell of opposition for a number of people resisting the plan for traffic lights and it seems everyone is trying to pass the buck on this. While the Woolworths is increasing in area, we do not expect a substantial increase of population in Moss- man and we do not understand the need for traffic lights.’’
Councillors were able to decide if they wanted to participate in the protest and councillor David Carey attended the meeting with a placard, along with DeputyMayor Abigail Noli, who was at the protest with family.
‘‘There has been a lack of consultation. If TMR came to council and proved 100 per cent that traffic lights are the best solution council we could come to the public and explain that while it’s not ideal for the shire it’s the best of a bad situation,’’ DeputyMayor Noli said. ‘‘It’s all about being transparent and this council is focused on keeping the community informed, but how can we when they’re not being transparent to us?’’
Councillor Bruce Clarke said t he current sliplane was adequate.
‘‘ My background is in civil engineering and looking at the intersection I see no reason why we can’t revert back to the original plan with a wider intersection,’’ he said.
‘‘People are here protesting because they are worried about traffic congestion, especially in school hours. It’s a problem now and traffic lights might congest the intersection further.’’
Council had postponed development on Tuesday requesting evidence of vegetation removal permits after some trees were removed alongside Front Street, however while the protest was occurring work had recommenced.