Despite the chillly weather 20 residents gathered this morning at the southern end of Congo village to meet with Councillor Anthony Mayne who chairs of the Shire’s Road Traffic Safety Committee.
Above: Congo residents met to send a message to Council and Traffic NSW saying they want a 60km speed limit for Congo Road South. The meeting felt it would be safer for walkers, cyclists and horse riders who regularly use that section of road as it winds through Eurobodalla National Park to the village. Photo Gillianne Tedder
A spokesperson for the residents said "The community welcomed the opportunity to share our concerns about Council’s proposals for the widening and sealing of Congo Rd South.
"The community appreciates that the road planners have listened to some of our concerns, but feel the proposed speed limit of 80km will be unsafe as walkers, cyclists, horses and visitors regularly use this section of road through the National Park.
"The community is also concerned the removal of trees that will accompany the road widening will be detrimental for the locally endangered population of Greater Gliders and other wildlife in the National Park.
“Look they’ve made a good start, they’ve taken on our suggestions about canopy connections and that’s good news, but they could do a lot better. If we care about the future we should lower the speed for our environment and safety.
"It’s not going to make any difference time wise - it’s only a kilometre - and it goes through the National Park," adding "Why not have it 50 or 60kmph for that last stretch, slowing down the traffic as it gets into Congo? This area is a nature tourist destination - as well as endangered animal habitat."
Above: Councillor Anthony Mayne met with Congo residents who are concerned that under current proposals for widening and sealing the road will be unsafe for walkers, cyclists and horse riders who regularly use this section of road as it winds through Eurobodalla National Park to the village. Photos Gilliane Tedder
Councillor Mayne was told the last time the road was sealed it was widened and the canopy opened up so much that it created a barrier to movement for all animals and especially all the different gliders in the area. "We should have the foresight to look after what we’ve been blessed with in this area. Surely we can do more to look after these special creatures for now and the future. Here’s hoping common sense will prevail” said resident Ian Cruickshank.
Councillor Mayne commented "It’s terrific to hear your thoughts and passion for your local area. This community clearly cares deeply about their local environment and the safety issues here. This is a magnificent part of the coast and I appreciate your concern for the wellbeing of the local residents, tourists and wildlife."
"I’d encourage the community to actively get engaged on this: write letters to your local councillors, your state and federal representatives to make them aware of the issue, and to demonstrate how important this is to you and our tourism industry. It’s the biggest industry in our shire and it’s based around nature.
"I think it’d be helpful to have an on site meeting with council, I’ll be taking that message back to council," said Councillor Mayne