State government says bridge is council’s duty
THE ownership of the Bloomfield Bridge is at an impasse.
While the state government built the bridge, the Department of Main Roads and Transport has told the it was wholly the responsibility of the Douglas Shire Council.
The council says it has no intention of taking responsibility for the structure.
“The state government’s decision to build a bridge to service the community of Wujal Wujal is the responsibility of the state government,” DSC chief executive Linda Cardew said.
“Douglas had no involvement in the decision, the construction or the funding of the bridge. The state government has repeatedly advised councils to not accept unwanted infrastructure as a gift that imposes an unnecessary financial burden on the council. Douglas has taken that advice on board.”
The bridge, which was completed in 2014 was given to the DSC in 2015 — something the local government has resisted since the original decision, saying that it was too much of a financial burden on ratepayers to maintain for little gain.
It had been built to replace a level causeway nearby that had been damaged by a cyclone in 2011. The DSC did not exist when the original causeway was damaged or when it was decided it would be replaced with a bridge. The Cairns Regional Council had responsibility of the area at the time.
The DSC says no memorandum of understanding existed between the CRC or the DTMR regarding the bridge’s responsibility.