A drop-in session was held in Bodalla on Monday 9 May 2022 from 3pm to 7pm at the Bodalla Memorial Hall to provide the community an opportunity to learn more about the project, ask questions and talk directly to the project team.
On arrival at 3pm the considerable line up of locals were split into two groups. The first were the business owners, and the second comprised of community, which turned out to be two representatives of the CWA and a representative of the local Aboriginal community. Without any hesitation the invitation was extended to the three to enter the meeting room and hear what the RMS had to say. Taking control of the meeting was Ben Stainer, who handed out a detailed option to the RMS and others in the room. For the next hour the RMS representatives learnt of the history of the town, the years of concerns raised regarding a safe place to cross, the Bodalla Town Plan, the Council's footpath strategy and the Boomerang Walk the town has planned that will fit in with the community need for safer passage from one side of the highway to the other.
The RMS representatives listened, and then advised that the feedback gathered during this additional consultation will be considered by Transport for NSW and will help inform the future of the project.
The RMS suggested that each of the attending businesses complete an on-line questionnaire and make a submission saying if they agreed or disagreed with their design. This raised the ire of the room with comments clearly advising that no-one was in favour. To make the point very clear the room was invited to stand if they said NO to the pedestrian crossing design on the table. As one they stood leaving only the two RMS representatives seated along with Mayor Mat Hatcher who abstained as he was invited to observe the meeting.
Above: a solid show of hands to say no to the design on the table. The RMS advised that the $600,000 funding for the crossing they had intended to install would now be lost as it only has the life expectancy of a financial year. The general response to this remark was that the community is happy to wait until there is a design before them that represents the needs of the whole community as well as visitors to the town. The RMS left with a copy of the Boomerang Walk and the understanding that the Bodalla community and businesses wanted the best options for the town rather than a short term fix that did more harm than good. For additional questions regarding this project contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 4253 2698