If the Far South Coast’s Cuttagee Bridge is one of your favourite historical landmarks, then Bega Valley Shire Council wants to hear from you.
Council is calling for expressions of interest from members of the community interested in joining the Cuttagee Bridge Community Advisory Group.
It has been a tumultuous year for the bridge.
In March 2021, council resolved to replace the single-lane Cuttagee Bridge with a two-lane concrete alternative, but the news was met with swift community opposition.
The move came after the NSW Government’s Fixing Country Bridges Program announced it would provide $16.8 million to replace a number of the Bega Valley’s ageing timber bridges – including $7.5 million for Cuttagee Bridge.
But in June 2021, council announced it would continue to plan for an upgrade to the bridge while also investigating alternatives to the current proposal, in response to community feedback.
Council will also ask the NSW Government to take over responsibility for Tathra-Bermagui Road, including care of Cuttagee Bridge.
Bega Valley Shire Council’s acting director of assets and operations, Ian Macfarlane, said the advisory group will provide advice to council on issues surrounding the bridge 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,” he 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 will be to review the documentation council has already commissioned, and provide input into what members consider to be the best way forward.
The recommendations 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 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 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.
Register your interest in becoming a member of the Cuttagee Bridge Community Advisory Group by clicking here and submitting an application by 15 August, 2021.
Applicants will be notified from 6 September, 2021.