Road survey gets rejected

A proposal for a roads survey has been rejected by Wakefield Regional Council.

Cr Peter Bowyer had called for a survey form to be drafted for possible circulation to primary producers, rural dwellers, commercial and industrial interests and others outside town boundaries.

It would have gathered ratepayers’ views on possible road closures, road “recategorisation”, road widths and tree clearance for farm equipment to help councillors to provide a rural road network “that is fit for purpose”.

Cr Bowyer told the latest council meeting that this could be done before increasing spending on unsealed roads.

Only two other councillors – Cr Greg Stevens and Cr Terry Williams – backed the move which was defeated.

Cr Bowyer said his move would provide the “best possible” unsealed roads.

He said narrow roads with overhanging trees put emergency service crews at risk.

“Individuals have a better idea of roads which can be closed,” he said.

Council chief executive officer Jason Kuchel said the framing of questions in any survey was important “to get the result back in a meaningful way”. He said a “number” of staff would be required to develop a useful survey form.

Cr Barry Smith said he was unsure whether the necessary information would be gained from a survey.

“I think it will cost quite a lot of money to get it drafted,” he said.

“I wonder whether we should be doing a report first ... I wonder whether we are jumping ahead a bit.”

A division was called with Cr Bowyer, Cr Stevens and Cr Williams voting in favour of the move and Cr Smith, Cr Darryl Ottens, Cr John Wood and Cr David Lamond voting against.