Pub­lic de­bate was needed on new Sutton bridge

Otago Daily Times - - EDITORIAL -

THE Dunedin City Coun­cil has avoided any pub­lic de­bate of op­tions for a re­place­ment bridge at Sutton.

The Opus op­tions re­port, dated March 3, 2018, only be­came pub­lic in the agenda for this week’s in­fra­struc­ture ser­vices meet­ing. A de­ci­sion was to be made then.

The orig­i­nal bridge was a fine ex­am­ple of our en­gi­neer­ing past. This city needs to bet­ter pro­tect all her­itage sites. The coun­cil must in­clude the pub­lic in that de­bate.

The coun­cil’s trans­port group de­ter­mined ‘‘no de­fin­i­tive rea­son’’ for the bridge col­lapse in 2017. Pho­to­graphs of the bridge taken in the 1980 and 1993 floods con­firm it can with­stand such events in the ab­sence of any scaf­fold­ing.

The trans­port group, its con­sul­tant and con­trac­tor, were all given am­ple warn­ing of the ex­treme weather fore­cast with time enough to mit­i­gate the risk to the bridge. A re­view of the site ev­i­dence will con­firm the cause.

A poor show­ing by the coun­cil on both ac­counts. Rod Ma­cleod

Al­bert Town

Poi­son­ing with 1080

WHY is the Gov­ern­ment at war with nature with its Bat­tle for our Birds project?

A $3.4 bil­lion ac­tion to erad­i­cate pos­sums end­ing with three­quar­ters of the bird pop­u­la­tion faced with ex­tinc­tion and the rest with de­ple­tion. This con­firmed by the Min­is­ter of Con­ser­va­tion, who finds it ac­cept­able to kill an­i­mals in­dis­creetly with 1080 and leave their toxic car­casses to rot and leach into wa­ter­ways.

A vet­eri­nar­ian re­cently stated poi­son­ing was like be­ing ex­posed to 48 hours of elec­tri­cal shock be­fore ter­mi­na­tion.

These ac­tions would be li­able for pros­e­cu­tion if com­mit­ted by any­one other than the State.

The 1080 war is not about con­ser­va­tion but about power. Power to make money.

Most of all it is power over nature. A clumsy at­tempt to de­ter­mine what should live and what should die.

The re­sults are all too ob­vi­ous.

D. L. Langer

Gore

[Abridged]

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