Long-time Mogo business owners have come out against Eurobodalla Shire Council’s plans to revitalise parts of the small bushfire-affected village, describing the new developments as “a disaster waiting to happen”.
Mogo Nursery owners Phil Mayberry and Gayle Smith are among those upset by parts of the proposed Mogo Village Activation Plan.
“It came out of the blue,” said Mr Mayberry.
“We started scratching our heads. Do we need a b-double roundabout next to the car park?”
Council’s plans include new traffic lights on Annett Street and the Tomakin Road turn-off, and a b-double roundabout next to the car park on Charles Street.
Council is also working closely with a private development team planning a bus depot on the other side of the proposed roundabout to house school and general public transport buses.
“Council remains open to working with the developer and other nearby landowners to ensure appropriate access to Tomakin Road,” said a council spokesperson.
A major mountain bike trail is also being constructed as part of the plan, with council already having hired contractors to form the tracks.
The mountain biking tracks are expected to bring an extra 45,000 visitors to the town per year, boosting the economy by $10.1 million per year as a result.
While welcoming the Mogo Activation Plan initiative, business owners are worried it lacks new car parks. With an increase in visitors coming to Mogo for the mountain bike trails, car parking spots which could be used for local businesses are expected to be taken up by riders.
Discussing the proposed development at this month’s Mogo Village Business Chamber meeting, some business owners said they felt council had ignored their input regarding the town’s rebuild from the Black Summer bushfires.
They also expressed concern the proposed bus depot would cause major traffic delays on Tomakin Road, especially during peak traffic times.
Some claimed Mogo residents and businesses were not notified of its possible construction, including home owners whose properties will back onto the new bus depot.
Mr Mayberry and Ms Smith said they first objected to a development application (DA) proposal for a bus depot in Mogo 20 years ago, saying it would be an issue for traffic pollution in the small village and would bring environmental problems.
They were shocked to discover the proposal was approved in 2018.
“We are quite angry about it,” said Mr Mayberry.
While the DA for the bus depot has been approved, the fate of the other developments will be left to the new council to decide after next month’s local government elections.
A Eurobodalla Shire Council spokesperson said the plan is currently on public exhibition until 1 December, 2021, to enable the community to provide feedback.
“Following the exhibition period, the new council will consider the draft plan along with the community’s feedback next year,” said the spokesperson.
The Mogo Village Business Chamber will meet again later this month at a community barbecue to gather the opinions of Mogo residents and inform them of council’s proposed plans.