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'Buy a four-wheel drive': Council's advice on potholes

FIX OUR ROADS: Residents Murray Ings, John Sheldon, Ian Hooper, Gary Ryab and Michael Langham are calling on Lismore City Council to repair unsafe roads in the Jiggi-Georgica area, including landslide-ravaged Oakey Creek Rd.
FIX OUR ROADS: Residents Murray Ings, John Sheldon, Ian Hooper, Gary Ryab and Michael Langham are calling on Lismore City Council to repair unsafe roads in the Jiggi-Georgica area, including landslide-ravaged Oakey Creek Rd. Marc Stapelberg

LISMORE City Council's advice to those people living alongside pothole-riddled roads in Jiggi and Georgica is to buy a four-wheel-drive vehicle, as it attends to what it says are worse roads in the local government area.

Georgica resident Sue Phelan said this was the response she received when she expressed her major concerns for drivers safety on her local roads.

Ms Phelan along with other residents and local emergency service say after eight months of unusable roads and long dirt detours they need council's attention now.

Lismore City Council has responded by undertaking safety risk investigations and said repairs should begin the new year.

However, in council's Your Roads report in July, work on two of Jiggi's main roads should have started already.

Oakey Creek and Mountain Top roads were identified as two of the eight rural roads requiring immediate attention.

Georgica resident, Murray Ings said the delay is works was unacceptable.

"Does it take us to lose a life out here?" Mr Ings said.

"We've gone to council on numerous occasions and we don't get any truth on anything that is happening out here."

"They've been up here and graded it and actually walked off the job because it was that bad."

Mr Ings said landslips, erosion and potholes are making roads like Mountain Top Road, Gwynne Road, Oakey Creek Road, Billen Road and David Road extremely dangerous.

Landslips on Oakey Creek Road are so bad the rumours spreading say the road will never reopen.

Captain of the Jiggi Valley Fire Brigade Jerry Grace said the detour created by this road closure could easily be the difference between life and death.

"Our response time to incidents is at least tripled," Mr Grace said.

"Just as importantly, the conditions of the roads up the valley are a matter of life and death."

Council's Civic Services Manager Darren Patch said Oakey Creek Road is the most difficult and expensive road in the LGA to repair.

"Investigations into options and geotechnical surveys have been under way," Mr Patch said.

"As soon as a suitable option is decided on, contractors will be engaged."

Mountain Top Road has also been identified as a huge risk factor by locals, as two school buses make up to 8 trips a day avoiding unbarricadoed landslips and an eroding bridge.

Mr Patch said Mountain Top Road was identified for flood funding and work on the major landslips will begin in early 2018.

"Council is not aware of any major safety risks but will investigate now that residents have identified a concern," Mr Patch said.

Residents said it is most frustrating to see roads in the CBD with less damage receive more attention than their roads.

"We just want our roads fixed, we know the funding is here but where are council?" Mr Ings said.

Topics:  jiggi lismore city council lismore flood damage lnscouncil northern rivers roads



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