BRIDGING THE GAPS
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