Mayor Gash corrects media reports into released concept plans
March 15, 2013
Shoalhaven City Council Mayor, Joanna Gash has addressed a number of inaccuracies circulating within the media following a report on recently released traffic concept plans.
The then Roads and Traffic Authority, not Shoalhaven City Council as reported in the media, commissioned engineering consultancy firm, SMEC to provide the concept plans in order to address traffic congestion along Illaroo Road and the Princess Highway.
Council were provided with a copy of the report by the RTA with extracts of the document included in a confidential Councillor briefing on the North Nowra Link Road project in December 2012.
The briefing included further information on the three North Nowra Link Road options, the Nowra - Bomaderry Structure Plan road connections, Illaroo School bus bay and various options for the treatment of Illaroo Road/Princes Highway intersection.
A Council resolution following the briefing saw Council subsequently release the briefing papers with all information made available to the public via Council’s website.
Shoalhaven City Council Mayor, Joanna Gash said that with the then RTA commissioning the SMEC report it was not for Council to be consulting with the local community on such matters.
“I was very disappointed to see today’s media article critical of Council for not engaging with local residents over a report, that Council did not in fact commission,” said Clr Gash.
“With the RMS commissioned investigation into a route for the third bridge crossing currently underway, I would assume that the RMS will be taking the opportunity to consult with landowners about these issues in the near future.
“It is Council’s understanding that the basis of the previous SMEC report would be very different to the currently commissioned study.”
General Manager, Russ Pigg said he had contacted Mr John Bryce to explain that the SMEC report had been commissioned by the then RTA.
“I have invited John to meet with myself and Council staff so that we can brief him on what information Council has,” said Mr Pigg.
“I will also be contacting the RMS and suggesting they also communicate with Mr Bryce and other affected landowners.”
Council will hold a public meeting on Monday 6 May to further discuss options for the North Nowra Link Road.
General Manager Russ Pigg also issued the following additional key points –
• Roads and Maritime Services always undertakes proper community consultation at the appropriate stage for any proposed major infrastructure project;
• Major projects undergo significant scenario testing at a conceptual stage and not all concepts progress to the next stage;
• The release of the concept plans by Council was not formally authorised by Roads & Maritime Services; and
• The SMEC report is now historic and it has not advanced any further.