Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

A Deadly Learning Curve for Councils

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

A Deadly Learning Curve for Councils

Article excerpt

THE news about our roads is not all bad, as a neighbour pointed out.

When my children have finished learning to drive on Dunoon Road out of Lismore they will have come up against every road hazard they are ever likely to encounter in their adult lives.

Sadly, two well-tended clumps of flowers along the road show where two young drivers never made it to adulthood.

As a parent I am only too well aware of the risk that my offspring could join them.

Our local politicians - State, Federal, and local council - must accept full blame for the state of affairs. Over the years they stood by as the State Government handed over roads to our council for maintenance, while simultaneously reducing the funds available.

Spend a couple of days driving around NSW and you will find that most councils have been able to deal with this state of affairs.

Almost anywhere but the Northern Rivers you will find relatively wide, safe, well-maintained roads and frequent signs of major roadwork, even in remote areas. Clearly, local representatives there have been able to convince Macquarie Street to open the purse strings.

When billions of dollars are being frittered away on city road projects of dubious merit (the Iron Cove bridge is a recent example), how hard can it be to make the case that a tiny fraction of that amount could transform the road system here?

Unlike many of the projects that occupy our local members, this is not about something that is 'nice' to have, but something that is essential for the health and wellbeing of our residents and visitors.

Roads that are safe for our young drivers, roads that provide access for emergency services in all weathers, and roads that maintain local employment opportunities by promoting the efficient operation of business. …

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