Council is taking the right path

Peter Winkler, Supervisor of the Coffs Harbour City concrete gang, works on repairing a stretch of footpath near Coffs Creek at Park Beach, where the accident happened.
Peter Winkler, Supervisor of the Coffs Harbour City concrete gang, works on repairing a stretch of footpath near Coffs Creek at Park Beach, where the accident happened. Rob Wright

COFFS Harbour City Council has reacted swiftly to a tourist's complaint about an unsafe footpath.

Council workers were on site on Monday morning digging up large sections of the path between Coffs Creek and Park Beach Reserve's caravan park.

Tricia Comerford's husband, retired council engineer Laurie Comerford, emailed the council on July 20 after his wife tripped and fell on a broken section of footpath in Ocean Pde, leaving her with a bleeding knee and elbow.

Mr Comerford said his wife tripped on a 30mm lip in the concrete and he had noticed a few other significant lips on the same footpath.

After receiving only an automated acknowledgment from the council, Mr Comerford decided to take the matter further on July 31, contacting both the council and the Coffs Coast Advocate to say his wife still could not bend her knee properly and he had now heard of other people who had fallen after tripping over high lips on local footpaths.

He said the process of dealing with complaints seemed to have gone backwards since his days of working at councils.

But the council was already hard at work on the case.

A council spokeswoman said the site was inspected on July 21, the day after the Comerfords complained, and on July 22 it had been agreed that the footpath between Coffs Creek and Park Beach Holiday Park would be removed and replaced.

On July 25, a Protection of the Environment Act environmental investigation and inspection was carried out and by July 29, a Part V assessment was issued enabling the council to carry out the work.

Removal work began on Monday morning, August 4, to replace the offending walkway.

Mr Comerford, who is still holidaying at Park Beach with his wife from their home in Chelsea in Victoria, said he that was glad the council's failure was just in communication, not in action.

Topics:  coffs harbour city council, footpath, park beach

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