I AM one of hundreds of residents extremely concerned by the proposed routes, and lack of community information and consultation, for the Woodburn to Ballina Pacific Highway upgrade.
My concerns include: Even though the study area encompasses a large part of Meerschaum Vale /Bagotville, our community was not advised about the 'Community Information Evenings', hence did not have any input at this stage.
The members of the Community Liaison Group (CLG), bound by confidentiality agreements, could not relay information to the community.
How can a 'Community Liaison Group' liaise with the community if they cannot talk?
Proposed routes were announced on May 23, but we only received imprecise RTA 'maps' on the 27th. As submissions close on June 20, there is too little time for well researched submissions.
We have had no access to studies performed, but have been advised by members of the CLG that they are seriously flawed.
The RTA is paying lip-service to the need for community consultation: it shows complete disregard for the communities involved and pays no heed to valid concerns raised.
What is the rush? How can a public body be permitted to ignore legitimate public concerns?
THIS may seem a bit pedantic, but I believe one of the main causes of confusion in the Woodburn to Ballina Highway Upgrade Debate is incorrect wording in the proposal.
According to Webster's Dictionary an upgrade means 'to move to a higher grade'. What is actually hap- pening is a bypass of the townships of Woodburn, Broadwater and Wardell.
Bypass is described as 'to go around instead of through'. Given this misuse of the meaning of words, it would appear as if deception was the main agenda proposed by the RTA.
When this issue was first raised months ago, my wife and I read through what we saw and given that we live 800 meters from the existing highway did not see how it could affect us directly.
How wrong we were. At the recent meeting at Meerschaum Vale I asked 'How can you justify any of the routes suggested'. The response given was totally inadequate as it simply didn't answer the question. The solution - find another route. The conservation value of this area can not be eroded any further.
Jobs in agriculture are sorely needed. This whole thing appears to pander to the trucking industry. Please look for other options.
M and J Gray,
WHAT a pathetic sight it was to see those two old fogies standing by the roadside with buckets and shovels in their hands (Advocate, 2/6).
If they were fair dinkum about wanting a bypass they should have been holding up a sign saying 'Vote for Bob Carr'.
THESE two old men with their buckets and shovels should get real (Advocate, 2/6).
This is a National Party electorate and the State Government is not going to throw money our way for a bypass without first looking after their own voters. Let's face it, the National Party rednecks in this area would not be on Bob Carr's Christmas-card list.