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Byron Shire
January 22, 2022

McGoughans Lane Council fiasco

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Robin Gracie, Mullumbimby

The lack of maintenance to McGoughans Lane makes it a difficult area to navigate in the best of dry times; however, during wet periods, the laneway has become increasingly dangerous for use by pedestrians and motorists. Numerous approaches have been made to Byron Shire Council (BSC) regarding the condition of McGoughans Lane, the lack of adequate drainage, and the blocking of the drains. This is a highly used thoroughfare by commercial vehicles, local motorists, and pedestrians, and has had increased usage over the past two years given new developments along the laneway. BSC has not worked on the laneway to deal with this increased usage and water-flow problem.

It is clear that there has been a failure of effective action in addressing this situation seriously and the allocation of money to reseal and restructure needs to be prioritised. The last pothole filler in the laneway was working in wet weather, and the fill was washing away. Is this really the best BSC can do to address this increasingly deteriorating and dangerous situation?

Sending further band-aid pothole fillers to the Lane in an attempt to ‘show’ that BSC are dealing with the situation delays the inevitable need for resurfacing and drain reconstruction. It also creates a highly aggravating band-aid situation for the residents who feel that Council does not take this situation seriously.

The ‘Kollective Approval Package’ for Stuart St, Mullumbimby, originally included and guaranteed the full sealing of the Lane. I would like to know where that money was reallocated or why the council did not hold The Kollective to the original agreement, which was to reseal the entire lane in order for the DA to be passed? The council’s decision not to hold The Kollective to the original agreement is one factor that has left McGoughans Lane residents in a dangerous situation that is getting worse over time.  BSC actively stopped an opportunity to resolve this situation. Many people did not object to The Kollective DA in Stuart St as they felt the laneway resealing addressed one of their concerns. It is clear that BSC does not prioritise the safety of people in the McGoughans Lane area, or making the laneway functional at an acceptable level for both motorists and pedestrians.

The increased deterioration of the laneway has resulted in floodwater backing into the houses joining the lane. BSC have received numerous letters about this increasingly deteriorating and dangerous situation. BSC needs to be held accountable for any accidents or deterioration of property that may occur in this area owing to floodwater or road structure.

Often councils only act after the fact when faced with litigation to rectify a dangerous situation. If you are impacted upon negatively in any way by the lack of drain maintenance and sealing in McGougans Lane, it’s time to approach Council and also consider your legal options.

Next time vote for a council that will prioritise the basic infrastructure needs of the residents, including addressing drainage from floodwaters in the area.

People are no longer misguided by the word ‘green’. This label does not represent in any way a council whose actions are reasonable and responsible.


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