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Council has walked away from another public road issue


The Beagle Editor, Following upon the significant interest in maintaining Coopers Island Road, albeit with a gate across it, as a public road, I consider it timely to raise the Wagonga Scenic Drive issue again, see https://www.beagleweekly.com.au/post/is-council-walking-away-from-another-public-road-under-its-control

It would appear that the Eurobodalla Shire Council (ESC) lost interest in part of the Wagonga Scenic Drive back in 2010 having removed some of the signage in relation to the ‘tourist route’.

In summary, maintenance of the section of Wagonga Scenic Drive between Box Cutting Road and Red Knob Road, including Makins Creek Bridge, had been undertaken by Forestry Corporation NSW (Forestry) despite the section of the road being part of a public road which would fall to the ESC to maintain. For operational reasons Forestry are no longer involved in maintaining the road and the ESC has not taken back responsibility for maintaining the public road.

Not only is a public road no longer being treated as such but Forestry has been permitted to construct eight (8) mounds along the section of road and signs have been erected to exclude all but bike riders and bushwalkers (on whose authority can a public road become a bike and walking track?)

There arises a question as to access for the NSW Rural Fire Brigade. This section of public road runs north-south North-West of Dalmeny and North Narooma. Is this piece of road required in the event of bushfire from the North West of Narooma? (Closed and impassable public roads were found to be an issue in Victoria during an enquiry into relatively recent devastating bushfires.)

It would appear that by stealth, and without transparency, part of a public road has been groomed by Forestry and the ESC to ‘quietly’ become not a public road any longer. What once provided amenity for many, including tourists, will no longer be accessible, except to cyclists and walkers.

After over a decade of obfuscation the ratepayers of the ESC should be entitled to know the plan for this piece of road and the justification for the plan. Deirdre Russack


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