Resident: bridge removal latest in 'demolition derby'

A PROPOSAL to remove a historic suspension bridge connecting two sections of Westward Park, Grafton, has drawn fire from a resident.

Grafton's Mike Gorrie described Clarence Valley Council's decision at its March meeting to remove the bridge as the "latest chapter in our council's demolition derby".

Mr Gorrie said the bridge, built as part of the 130th anniversary of local government, was a part of the city's history.

"It is adjacent to the memorial plaques for the 49 mayors since 1858, and was opened with much fanfare during which descendants of all past mayors travelled from all over Australia, to plant trees in remembrance of our forebears," Mr Gorrie said.

"A rotunda, donated by the timber industry, was also opened among the magnificent stands of mature trees in both parks.

"The footbridge is a safe pedestrian link across Alumy Creek, servicing the netball courts, Olympic pool, Grafton High and Infant schools, Grafton Playgroup, Girl Guides Arboretum, See Park etc., and of course the residential areas to the north and south of Alumy Creek.

"It is widely used by park recreationalists, young families, dog-walkers and school children."

At the March corporate governance and works committee meeting, councillors voted to allocate another $13,000 to $15,000 in the council kitty to meet a quote of $28,000 to have the bridge repaired.

But a week later, at the full council meeting, they voted unanimously on a motion from Cr Craig Howe to remove the bridge if there were no objections from the public.

Mr Gorrie has urged people who want the bridge to remain to make submissions to the council.

"I urge you to take a few minutes and write or email Council and object to this nonsense," Mr Gorrie said.

"If you care, make sure you get it in by the closing date, May 15."



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