I am not in possession of the full facts in regard to the Belongil rock wall saga so would not presume to comment until I am. In the meantime I would request that those not in full possession of the facts in regards the geography and history of the Byron Shire’s landslips do not use the Wilsons Creek community as a political football via the media.
Firstly, there were landslips all over the shire, not just in the Wilsons Creek region, for example Upper Coopers Creek (cut off completely for months), Federal and Possum Shoot.
Secondly, in the Wilsons Creek, Upper Wilsons Creek, Huonbrook and Wanganui region we have suffered nine significant landslips in the three years 2012-15. We estimate that some 600-800 people live in our valleys, fed by one main bitumen road. Two of these landslips have been repaired, three currently under construction, and four under assessment, design or monitoring.
Thirdly, and most importantly in the political footballing arena, the funds to repair the landslips are from state disaster recovery funds via the RMS, not ‘millions of council dollars for a handful of people’ as stated by John Vaughan in a recent Echonetdaily discussion.
This community worked respectfully and co-operatively with council via a Project Reference Group. The process has been slow, frustrating and tedious due to bureaucratic policy and procedure but unfortunately that is just the way it is.
If anyone was to drive west of the Wilsons Creek Primary School to the end of the bitumen road at Huonbrook, they would see that we haven’t been given any special funds from council to repair that actual road at all. I would argue that it still remains one of the worst in the shire. Having said that, we are aware of the current Byron Shire Council infrastructure backlog in funding, and will therefore continue to lobby respectfully for an increase in funding to reseal and maintain hinterland roads.
Ms A Maclean, Huonbrook