At the March 2016 council meeting, five of the Clarence Valley’s councillors (Lysaught, McKenna, Hughes, Howe and Kingsley) voted against seeking a report into the cost of repairing the intersections at Cameron and Jubilee streets and Hillcrest Road and Jubilee Street, Maclean.
However, last week, repairs were carried out at the corner of Jubilee and Cameron streets, following the erection of signs warning motorists that the intersection was a “traffic hazard ahead”.
The matter was first raised by Cr Jim Simmons, who declared at the February meeting that he would no longer vote, “as a matter of principal” to accept the monthly works report.
“It’s in a disgraceful condition and it’s been like that for a long, long time,” he said at the time.
Councillor Margaret McKenna, who initially supported a request for a report on fixing the roads, best summed up the councillors’ reasons for opposing the council officer’s recommendation – to provide a report into the cost of the works.
Referring to advice from staff given at a councillor workshop, she said that staff “gave a very good reason … with regard to why the intersections weren’t done”, she said at the March meeting.
“It certainly didn’t seem like it was a deliberate action [to not repair the road] – in that the straight road is easy to do and that the corners and the intersections get more wear and tear on them and can’t structurally hold up to just a bit of patching.
“We’ve been told that this work will eventually be included in the [highway upgrade].
“The trucks are going to be using it, which is not a good thing in the short term, but we’re going to get a good result in the end, I’d hope.”
Before debate commenced on that day, she asked works and civil director Troy Anderson if he was able to estimate how much time staff would spend on preparing a report and if there were “any sort of cost guideline” to help her make a decision.
“If you said that the cost of these works is going to be in the ballpark of $50,000 it would make a difference, as opposed to S250,000,” she said.
Mr Anderson said it would “be very hard to put an amount of officers’ time associated with that”.
He said, however, that it would be “safe to say” that the cost of repairing the road would amount to “six figures”.
Councillor Simmons told the Independent that he was happy that repair work had been carried out, but wondered what was “intended with the rest of the road and the part up at the top of Jubilee Street”.
Clarence Valley Council’s works and civil director, Troy Anderson, said work on the intersection was part of scheduled maintenance and was undertaken in the interests of traffic safety.
He did not comment on the cost of the works or what specifically brought the repairs to fruition.