ATTACK SITE: The footbridge on Grafton bridge spanning the Clarence River. Photo: JoJo Newby
ATTACK SITE: The footbridge on Grafton bridge spanning the Clarence River. Photo: JoJo Newby

Safety fears same as past

GWEN Appo has every reason to fear the Grafton footbridge.

In 1997 her then-14-year-old niece was brutally attacked and stabbed in the face with a screwdriver while walking across.

While she survived the attack, Mrs Appo took that opportunity to see some safety measures installed on the bridge.

Two years and a whole lot of lobbying later, lights were installed on the footbridge thanks to the dedication from Mrs Appo and community members.

When The Daily Examiner ran a story about a report tabled by Grafton TAFE students earlier this week that highlighted the dangers of the footbridge and some recommendations to improve its safety, for Mrs Appo it was like deja vu.

"We had the same issues then as we do now," Mrs Appo said.

"We got the lights installed, but we had also asked for security cameras but we didn't get that."

Mrs Appo said while her plate was too full to take on another round of petitioning, she encouraged other community members to take action to get the footbridge made safer.

"Why not push it? It's been a long time since the last one and when we did it the council and police were really supportive," she said.

She said it was a dangerous path and something needed to be done.

"It's not just at night time either. Things happen during the day and we need to lessen them," Mrs Appo said.

"The issue with the footbridge is that when you're down there, no one can hear you scream."



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