Harwood?s biggest test
By ADRIAN MILLER
HARWOOD has survived much in its 150-year history.
Through floods, fires and thunderstorms, the village has always been able to bounce back through the strength and determination of residents who love their piece of paradise.
But residents fear if the RTA has its way, it could all be gone.
With the proposed upgrade of the Pacific Highway, a new bridge is planned at Harwood which, according to residents, could destroy their community.
Harwood residents met with RTA representatives and SKM personnel last week to raise their concerns for the village's future should the upgrade proceed in its current form.
But resident Kerry Bindley said they shouldn't have bothered.
"It was not a productive meeting ? basically it was a waste of time," she said.
Ms Bindley said the RTA sent two inexperienced people to the meeting who could not answer the questions put forward by the residents.
"It was obviously a token of a meeting just to say 'we've given Harwood their meeting'," she said.
Ms Bindley said townspeople had major concerns about the scale of the bridge which would be built and the impact it would have on Harwood.
Ms Bindley said she believed the village would be destroyed if a new motorway was built.
"Morpeth Street itself has the pub and the school which will go and on the other side is the catholic church which will go as well ? in effect it will wipe out the whole village," she said.
Another Harwood resident at the meeting said the RTA had a lot to answer for.
"I left the meeting in absolute disgust," he said.
"They seem to have a hidden agenda and it seems as though money and politics win at the end of the day and the people get stuffed."
Ms Bindley said the RTA could build the highway through areas which would not affect residents, but it refused to do so.
"With their route proposal they are making no effort to slightly deviate or avoid houses," she said.
"They could go through vacant land, but instead they are going through houses."
The RTA could not be reached for comment yesterday.