Waterfall way upgrade questioned

RTA representatives faced a thorough grilling from Bellingen Shire residents during an information session about the Waterfall Way upgrade on Thursday.

From 2pm Paul Lenard, Claire Everett and Sonia George fielded a barrage of questions from up to 40 people mainly about the controversial re-alignment through wetlands at Camerons Corner.

Two major concerns were, firstly, a seemingly premature comment by environmental consultants that the wetlands would not be 'significantly affected' by the work and, secondly, whether community consultation was actually incorporated into RTA decisions.

Bellingen resident Caroline Joseph said it was suspicious for conclusions to be drawn about impacts given the Review of Environmental Factors (REF) was not yet complete.

Ms Everett said a draft REF was done and there were early indications about the impacts.

“If the impacts, however, are found to be unacceptable we either try to mitigate them or the project does not proceed.”

She said the RTA was responsible to the public and community consultation was important.

“Otherwise we would not be here today.

“All these comments will feed into the REF, which will then be on public display for 21 days for further comment. No decision will be made until all these phases are completed.”

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