Lift­ing bridge ‘a win for ev­ery­one’

South Western Times - - News - Kate Field­ing

MONTHS of lob­by­ing and heated dis­cus­sion came to an emo­tional end on Tues­day night when Bun­bury City Coun­cil took nearly an hour to de­bate the fi­nal height of the Koom­bana Bay foot­bridge.

After four pas­sion­ate dep­u­ta­tions – in­clud­ing one from Bun­bury MLA Don Punch – and an­i­mated ar­gu­ments from coun­cil­lors which prompted a warn­ing from Mayor Gary Bren­nan for re­spect in the cham­bers, the coun­cil voted 10-2 in favour of rais­ing the bridge by 1400mm.

The de­ci­sion fol­lows a strong push from the boat­ing fra­ter­nity and cash and in-kind sup­port to the tune of $140,000 from com­mu­nity mem­bers and busi­nesses to raise the struc­ture.

The move will cost about $500,000 and will push the com­ple­tion date to Jan­uary 31.

A vo­cal ad­vo­cate to raise the bridge, boat­ing leader Noel Sey­mour said the com­mu­nity wel­comed the de­ci­sion and the move would ben­e­fit the whole city.

“We ob­vi­ously think it’s go­ing to be a good suc­cess for the city of Bun­bury, not only for boat­ing but for tourists and as an en­try state­ment,” Mr Sey­mour said.

“It re­ally was a great last-minute ef­fort of the com­mu­nity work­ing to­gether. It wouldn’t have hap­pened with­out those who of­fered to fi­nan­cially sup­port it.”

Act­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Mal Os­borne will now ne­go­ti­ate with Bun­bury Yacht Club, Pi­a­cen­tini & Son and Hal­i­fax Crane Hire over of­fers of cash and ma­te­rial do­na­tions.

Mr Sey­mour also ac­knowl­edged the coun­cil and Mr Bren­nan had fol­lowed the “due process” and said it was a “good re­sult”.

The fi­nal de­ci­sion was even­tu­ally made after a mo­tion to keep the bridge at its ex­ist­ing height was voted down five to seven.

It is ex­pected the bal­ance of the cost will be cov­ered through un­al­lo­cated in­ter­est re­ceived from grant funds in­vested for the project, project con­tin­gen­cies re­main­ing at the end of the project and the bal­ance from the As­set Man­age­ment and Re­newal Re­serve.

Mr Bren­nan said yes­ter­day the coun­cil had made a “prag­matic” de­ci­sion and would now get on with the project. A ser­vice foot­bridge over the storm surge gates in The Plug will also be raised by the Depart­ment of Trans­port.

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