Costs could halt road restoration

LIGHTHOUSE Road is one step closer to being completed.

The problematic Byron Bay thoroughfare has not been fixed since a storm caused considerable damage five years ago, causing anger among the community who have to travel through makeshift traffic lights and a one-way road.

But residents can rest assured Byron Shire Council is one environmental step closer towards the restoration of the road.

Council recently received a review of environmental factors (REF) from the NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (DECCW) in relation to the Lighthouse Road stabilisation works.

The REF is the environmental approval for the road's upgrade plan – one of the few required before work commences.

However, the council still has an issue with a requirement that will leave it with the responsibility to upgrade and maintain stormwater drainage around Lighthouse Road and monitor water quality.

A report compiled by council staff states there may be ‘significant costs' involved with two of the conditions handed down by DECCW, including the monitoring of ponding water at Clarke's Beach.

The council's executive manager of community infrastructure, Phil Holloway, said the report was seeking council support, as staff did not have delegation for some of the REF conditions.

“Acceptance of the conditions will commit the council to potential ongoing costs relating to stormwater ponding on Clarkes Beach, which is not currently council-controlled land,” he said.

DECWW informed it is ‘in the opinion' council maintenance to the pond would only be required every five years and would attract minimal cost.

Mr Holloway said if council endorsed the report recommendations today, the RTA would be requested to approve the scope to enable construction tenders to be called as early this month.



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