RTA upgrade plan to road 'full of holes'

BELLINGEN Shire Council is poised take on the RTA over the controversial upgrade plans for the Waterfall Way at Cameron's Corner.

At their meeting today councillors will vote on whether to support their planning department's recommendation to reject the RTA's preferred realignment option 'due to the degree of impact the work will have on ... a Coastal Floodplains Endangered Ecological Community'.

In his report evaluating the RTA's recently released Review of Environmental Factors affecting the site, senior planner Daniel Bennett concluded while the REF adequately covered the breadth of issues required by legislation, 'many of the conclusions are subjective judgments capable of a wide range of opinions'.

Mr Bennett wrote that although the council had approved the route proposal in 2005, the listing of the wetland as an EEC in the interim was a significant development that had not been given adequate recognition in the reconsideration of the proposal.

The RTA's preferred option would see almost 10 per cent of the wetland cleared to make way for the realignment.

The council will also vote on whether to 'encourage the RTA to amend the design to eliminate any encroachment on the adjoining wetland and its EEC including, if necessary, consideration of a lower speed rating'.

Shire residents campaigning for the conservation of the wetland have also rejected the REF, describing it as 'woeful'.

“This report is full of holes,” spokesman Tim Cadman said.

“On the one hand it says road works would ensure hydrology remains unchanged, yet on the next page it says the realignment will have adverse effects, including changing the hydrology. This report offers the community nothing but a Clayton's choice regarding options for damaging the Cameron's Corner wetland.”

The group plans to release its own discussion paper offering a range of alternatives in the coming days.

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