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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Congo Road North: The wheels of bureaucracy grind slowly

As we approach summer the issue of Congo Road North remaining closed to all but Emergency vehicles reminds us that the community were invited, in May this year, to offer submissions and to attend a round table meeting to establish if there was any way forward where the historic, and much used, northern Congo Road access could remain open. Congo residents were hoping that, following the unforseen closure that was a result of Council's failures over decades and than in more recent times via their ineptitudes around community consultation, the road might be re-opened in such a way that met the approval of all affected parties. It was hoped that in May 2022 the issue might be solved by the coming summer influx of tourists and the impending risk of bushfire. In recent weeks there has been only disappointment as Congo residents witnessed the erection of the following signs that left them with little doubt that the North Congo Road issue was a long way from being resolved, dashing any hope they had for access over the coming summer.

Council advised the community on16th May 2022 via a media release: Congo Road solutions to be explored

In summary the Council said: - The community is being asked to offer up their solutions to the Congo Road north conundrum - All residents of Congo are invited to participate, saying the new Council will make a decision about the future of the road, but first councillors want to hear from the community to make sure all potential options are explored.

- the aim of the engagement was to establish a set of viable options developed with the community and the landowner.

- “Council can then evaluate and finally vote on those options taking full account of the legal and cost implications of whatever options are produced. - After the workshop, submission makers will have an opportunity to consider and verify Council’s responses and make final feedback. Councillors will then look to make a decision at a Council Meeting. On November 2nd those who made a submission received a letter from Council thanking them for making the time to provide a suggested outcome to the closure of Congo

Road north.

As per their commitment in May 2022 Council wrote saying "Council staff have now completed a preliminary review of the suggestions received from the community. While some suggestions may seem straightforward, all have many and complex issues that need to be closely considered as we move forward. These include a range of environmental, community and financial implications.

With your help, we are now ready to take the next steps to discuss the suggestions

together." Council then goes on to advise that there will be a workshop, as was promised, and that all Congo residents are invited, along with those who made a submission saying:

"The workshop is an opportunity to come together as a community to review the suggestions and the information prepared by Council staff in response. It is an opportunity to understand community perspectives, ask questions, and share information".

The workshop will be facilitated by a community engagement specialist where attendees can expect a hands‐on workshop and be asked to consider the core needs of

the community, and how these are reflected in the community suggestions.

Council then promises that, after the workshop on 17th November, a summary report will be prepared and made available for Congo residents and submission makers to consider and provide further feedback. As per their promise of May 2022, Council then advises "A report to Council will then be prepared with a view to determining future actions". Meanwhile Congo residents can rest assured that their only path out of danger, during a bushfire, is via the newly sealed Congo Road South that traverses through the highly volatile Eurobodalla National Park.


NOTE: Comments were TRIALED - in the end it failed as humans will be humans and it turned into a pile of merde; only contributed to by just a handful who did little to add to the conversation of the issue at hand. Anyone who would like to contribute an opinion are encouraged to send in a Letter to the Editor where it might be considered for publication

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