In a recent phone conversation with Pam Allan, chairperson of the Southern Joint Regional Planning Panel, she advised me that a Frogs Hollow DA community briefing is planned for noon, Wednesday, August 29. It will be held in the Bega Valley Commemorative Civic Centre. She emphasised that this will not be the determination meeting, but rather an opportunity for all concerned residents to openly voice their valid concerns, directly to the decision-making panel.
This is almost a month away, but it is essential that as many people as possible attend the meeting to express the consolidated opposition to the proposed monstrosity! I just hope the civic centre is big enough.
Ian Gordon, Toothdale
Thank you for featuring these stories written by Len Spindler. I have loved reading them and have great memories of my Pop telling me stories when I was young. Len is my grandfather and had a great love of the Bega district and his life there. I visited Bega as a child all the time and continue to visit to catch up with relatives. Also lived in Tathra for 12 months when my husband played football there and I worked in CBA.
Jenny Murray, Port Macquarie
Root of the problem
I am very much in favour of bicycle tracks, but I would like to bring several issues to your attention. The tree roots from the heritage fig trees are causing more and more extensive danger of tripping by lifting up concrete in front and along the side of houses. We were told a 1m deep concrete wall is considered as solution to stop the tree roots growing into the properties all along Bega St, which would be where the bike track is planned.
It simply would make sense to do that at the same time, when this area has to be dug up and flattened for the concrete bike path, instead of destroying the new bike path when finally money is available for the damage repair caused by the tree roots and perhaps again for the NBN!
Children are using that part as walkway to school. Neighbours are walking their dogs at daytime and night with very little lighting only on the other side of the road. A court case and compensation payments for damages would become far more expensive than adding the necessary work now at the same time, while preparing the bike track.
Another concern is that children walking along that bike track, or riding their bicycle to school on their own have to cross all the driveways along the planned stretch.
When cars back out of their driveways and can’t look past the fences between properties, children are very much in danger, as they are not of sufficient height to be seen in advance. That would be a daily danger during school terms, while on the other side of the road, there would be enough space to just draw a white line on the sealed road to give bicycle riders some space and safety from cars on the road. That would be much cheaper.
The existing forest track down Evans Hill would only need to be widened and levelled/smoothed, not even sealed to be perfectly useful and comfortable as a bike track, just the first stretch added close to the road. It would be good to ask existing bike riders if that would suffice their needs.
That modification would save a lot of money, which can be then freed for the remaining stretch of the bike track towards Bega for more dangerous bits along Jellat flats, where the road is too narrow to allow safe bicycle riding.
It would also save a lot of concrete, which is very high in CO2 pollution and therefore bad for our environment and our climate.
If the existing plan is going ahead, it would be good to not simply remove existing vegetation, but if possible lift the plants carefully up and leave them for two weeks along Bega St for Tathra residents, who have lost their gardens during the fire and would love some established plants.