School crossing only a Clayton?s
By UTE SCHULENBERG
THERE it was, as if by magic, a pedestrian crossing, complete with signs, outside the gates of Nambucca Heads Primary School on Monday morning.
Within hours it was gone again.
Now it has been dubbed the Clayton's Crossing.
The president of the school's Parents and Citizens (P&C) Association, Cathy McCullagh, said parents had been asking the Nambucca Shire Council for the crossing for months.
"When I came to school on Monday, there it was!" Mrs McCullagh said. "All the kids were using it.
"The amazing thing was drivers were seeing the signs and actually stopping at the crossing. It was very well done."
Nambucca Shire Council and the local police were less impressed.
The director of operations, Mr Bruce Redman, said the arrival of the crossing certainly took the council by surprise.
"Our main concern was for the safety of the children," Mr Redman said.
"The area is just below a crest of a hill, which is an unsafe place for a crossing."
The person or persons involved clearly knew what they were doing.
The lines were correctly spaced and pedestrian crossing signs had been removed from other council sites to signal the new zone.
"Police are investigating and we are looking at charges of theft and malicious damage, as well as council charges of breaching the Roads Act, vandalism and jeopardising public safety," Mr Redman said.
But Cathy McCullagh is unfazed.
"We still want this crossing," she said.
"We have no idea who did this, but they have done our cause a huge favour with all this publicity.
"We sent out 1600 flyers a couple of weeks ago, so it could have been anyone.
"We will be calling a public meeting soon to raise community awareness even further."
Nambucca Heads police inspector, Mick Toomey, said police were concerned about the false sense of safety created for the children.
"It looked so real, but if anyone had been hit, there would have been all sorts of enforcement issues," Mr Toomey said.
"We have given all the signs into police possession and they are being analysed."