BRIDG­ING THE GAPS

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

I feel that I must com­ment on Mow­bray Bridge be­cause there is much con­fu­sion or de­lib­er­ate mis­in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing this is­sue.

It is firstly im­por­tant to say that coun­cil works to a plan and that plan is de­ter­mined by many in­ter­wo­ven fac­tors.

Coun­cil must be struc­tured, fol­low a log­i­cal se­quence of ac­tions, and it must have goals.

A coun­cil can­not func­tion if ad hoc de­ci­sions are made. Some­times, how­ever, things oc­cur to change short­term ac­tions but not the long-term goal.

Since de-amal­ga­ma­tion coun­cil has sys­tem­at­i­cally be­ing do­ing an au­dit of all its as­sets, in­clud­ing bridges; it was in Fe­bru­ary of this year that the re­port was done on the old Mow­bray River Bridge.

I was aware of the dis­re­pair to this struc­ture be­cause a lit­tle less than a year ago I was con­tacted by a life­long ci­ti­zen of the shire about the old Mow­bray Bridge.

He is a fish­er­man, and he pointed out that the bridge was in poor con­di­tion and he was con­cerned for his fish­ing spot.

I went and jumped around the bar­rier and even to my non-ex­pert eye it was ob­vi­ous that the bridge wasn’t in a good way.

I in­quired and I was in­formed that the con­di­tion was mon­i­tored but the proper struc­tural en­gi­neer­ing re­port was still to be done.

At that time of in­quiry by ‘Joe’ the fish­er­man, in­ter­nal coun­cil dis­cus­sions were that de­pend­ing upon the de­sire of the pub­lic and what ex­penses were ex­pected to be spent, any­thing could be con­sid­ered.

Work to re­pair or re­place the bridge could be con­sid­ered in cap­i­tal works for the next bud­get, and it was not a dif­fi­cult thing to do.

Th­ese gen­eral de­lib­er­a­tions arose from the sim­ple re­quest of one per­son. There was no pe­ti­tion or demon­stra­tion, no fuss.

Coun­cil has been get­ting on with firstly preserving the safety of peo­ple and then putting into place a pos­si­bil­ity of a re­place­ment — the log­i­cal se­quence of events that should be fol­lowed.

Coun­cil is sys­tem­at­i­cally work­ing to a plan of mak­ing all our as­sets safe and also pro­vid­ing struc­tures that the pub­lic de­sire.

Coun­cil will con­tinue to work through this par­tic­u­lar sit­u­a­tion un­til a sat­is­fac­tory so­lu­tion is found.

Abi­gail Noli, Dou­glas Shire Coun­cil­lor

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