A MEETING last Wednesday between RTA representatives and Bellingen Shire councillors to discuss the proposed upgrade of Cameron's Corner on the Waterfall Way has been described by the mayor as “constructive”.
Cr Mark Troy said a number of councillors put forward a strong case for the minimisation or removal of any impact the proposed upgrade might have on the wetland at the site.
“No-one is saying the road doesn't need an upgrade given the increase in traffic in recent years,” Cr Troy said.
“The accident statistics the RTA presented certainly showed both Cameron's Corner and Marx Hill as accident-prone.
“Councils have been lobbying for safety improvements along the road since the 1990s...but the issue of the endangered communities in the wetland is a more recent addition.
“I hope we can have a win for everybody with an improvement of the safety of the road and a reduction or removal of the wetland impact – maybe I'm an optimist.”
He said the other important issue at Cameron's Corner was that of flooding, which the RTA was also seeking to improve.
“It was an open and cordial meeting. The RTA has assured us they will discuss the findings of the new Review of Environmental Factors (REF) when it is released.”
Yesterday an RTA spokesperson said the RTA planned to put the review of environmental factors and the detailed design for Cameron's Corner on display for community feedback.
“This will be done as soon as the REF is finalised, which is likely to be early next year,” the spokesperson said.
“Community consultation is an important component of all major road projects and all feedback will be considered before the proposal is finalised.”
The RTA said it acknowledged the community's concern about the potential impact of improvements on a “small section of Swamp Sclerophyll Forest, which is listed as an endangered ecological community under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995.