Bega Valley Shire Council is calling for expressions of interest from members of the community interested in participating in the Cuttagee Bridge advisory group.
The call for input comes three months after a well-attended community rally on the timber bridge flagged a lack of public consultation and an appeal for council to consider options other than demolition and replacement.
At the time, local resident Sheena Boughen said the rally was "a rallying call" on the future of the iconic bridge, which is listed on the council's heritage register.
"The thinking is limited and we want council to accept our offer to explore other ideas," Ms Boughen said at the April event.
"There's a whole range of ways of dealing with this issue and we want to show how constructive engagement should be done."
Late Friday, BVSC issued a media release asking for interested people to join an advisory group, which would "have a key role in representing the community and providing advice to council on issues surrounding this important project".
"Cuttagee Bridge is structurally failing, and we know there is strong community interest in not only how to address the immediate problems, but also how to sustainably manage it into the future," Acting director of assets and operations Ian Macfarlane said.
"We need to weigh up cost and potential funding mechanisms against a number of competing principles including risk and safety, durability, economics, heritage and tourism values, and environmental issues, but our goal is to work with the community to find a solution for Cuttagee Bridge."
Mr Macfarlane said one of the first tasks for the advisory group would be to review the documentation that council had already commissioned and provide input into what it considered to be the best way forward.
"The recommendations of the group will be presented to council at key decision points, along with technical reports, independent expert advice and any other relevant material."
The following criteria will be considered as part of the advisory group selection process.
- Independence from council and its staff.
- Relevant professional qualifications, knowledge and expertise, such as (but not limited to) engineering, social policy, culture, heritage, logistics, business, tourism or other similar areas.
- Relevant local knowledge and/or demonstrated strong local community connections within the Bega Valley.
- Direct impacts of the project on the person, such as whether they are a resident of the immediate area, a regular user of the route, or a rural business enterprise owner in that area.
- Willingness to be inducted as a council volunteer and adhere to the NSW Local Government Code of Conduct.
- Current/prior experience with similar committees is valued, but not necessary.
To register your interest in becoming a member of the community advisory group, go to begavalley.nsw.gov.au/cuttagee-bridge-eoi and submit an application by August 15.
Applicants will be notified of the outcome of the process from September 6.