More talks on Grafton bridge

A ‘COMMUNITY involvement plan’ including ongoing discussions will be introduced to allow Grafton residents to express their views about a new Grafton bridge.

A group of concerned Grafton residents were given that assurance after they met NSW Transport and Roads Minister David Campbell in Sydney this week.

Mr Campbell said the meeting provided an important opportunity to talk to local people about the proposal.

“I have asked the RTA to review all the issues highlighted by the Grafton community during the initial stage of consultation and to look at ways we can best work with the community to assess the most appropriate location of a new bridge,” he said.

“An issues paper will now be prepared on the discussions held during the community workshops, comments raised at information sessions, and information received from submissions and correspondence.”

He said the RTA would arrange further meetings and information sessions as soon as possible.

Details of these meetings would be made available by the RTA to ensure everyone has a chance to had their say.

Working Party of Concerned Citizens chairman Kim Dahl, who attended the meeting with the group’s secretary Sue Hillery, said they wanted the options for any new crossings to be directed away from the Grafton CBD.

Mr Dahl said several key people at the meeting, including the general manager of the RTA’s development program branch (major infrastructure), Steve Arnold, expressed concern that certain community consultancy protocols were not followed.

“Firstly they didn’t give us enough time to discuss the options, we had a month,” Mr Dahl said.

“Six years ago the consultation was done – now consultation happens after the decision has been made.

“We feel we had a good audience with the minister and haven’t wasted our time.”

He said the minister fell short of demanding the RTA look outside its study area.

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