Council voted against a motion brought by Cr Percy Thompson to review any decisions made on the proposed Rylstone footbridge, including taking a bus to inspect the site.
At the May meeting Cr Thompson pointed to the cost of the estimated $500,000 cost of the project.
“We’re talking about an amount of money around half a million dollars, as councillors we’re responsible for the spending of the ratepayers’ money,” he said. “And I really believe that we shouldn’t be spending this amount of money on a footbridge there. I’ve talked to a lot of people at Rylstone and they’ve indicated to me that a number of people want the footbridge but a huge amount don’t.”
Cr Peter Shelley said, “once again I find myself fighting for the safety of our kids and community”.
The reason I want council to have a look is because I don’t know if everyone’s up to scratch with the bridge that’s already there.Cr Percy Thompson
And added that they’ve applied to the state government’s Stronger Country Communities Fund – the recipients for Round 2 of which will be announced in coming weeks.
“This has been going for five years, we’ve had public meetings, community consultation, massive community support, council inspections, money put into the budget and taken out, and lobbying our state member,” he said. “And finally we get council support subject to grant funding and with the support of our local members of Parliament we applied for the funding and we’re this close. We’re not talking about ratepayers’ money and if the state government is going to give you $500,000 for a safety, community-driven issue you’d be an absolute fool not to take it.
“The latest round of community consultation - which included the entire council area of Mudgee, Rylstone, Kandos, Gulgong, and everywhere else – the bridge was number three priority out of everybody. I don’t know who Cr Thompson is talking to regarding the huge amount of people who don’t want it. Every bit of evidence - every petition, every email, every letter – has shown massive support for this safety issue.”
The motion was also to inspect a smaller metal footbridge closer to the showground.
“The reason I want council to have a look is because I don’t know if everyone’s up to scratch with the bridge that’s already there,” Cr Thompson said.
Cr Shelley said, “that comes out at the other end of town”.
The motion was lost 6-2 [deputy mayor Paul Cavalier absent] councillors Thompson and Esme Martens voting in favour.