Dubbo Regional Council vote to stop the River Street Bridge

VOTE: Narormine's Kylie Thiel addresses Dubbo Regional Council about concerns surrounding the River Street Bridge at the July council meeting. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE
VOTE: Narormine's Kylie Thiel addresses Dubbo Regional Council about concerns surrounding the River Street Bridge at the July council meeting. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

Dubbo Regional Council will look at ways to stop the River Street Bridge after a divided vote on Monday night.

An extraordinary meeting of council was held to make a decision on the project after the initial vote in July was deferred.

But after hearing from six speakers at the meeting who were against the bridge, councillors made their choice.

One speaker was Kylie Thiel who discussed how the final decision would impact Narromine, and that the council should consider a bypass instead with the $140 million.

"At the moment the congestion problem at Dubbo have caused interstate trucks to turn off the highway and use council owned roads like the Tomingley-Eumungerie roads," she said on Monday night.

"The sheer costs to the Dubbo, Narromine and Gilgandra councils to maintain this 100 kilometre stretch of road that has no safety speed cameras, nor weigh bridge, these costings should be added to the River Street Bridge proposal."

The council were voting to say they opposed the bridge and wanted to investigate ways in which it should be stopped.

Councillors Jane Diffey, Kevin Parker and Anne Jones did not agree. However, they were outvoted by the other seven councillors.

There was a large cheer from the gathered crowd as the motion was passed.

A report on ways the River Street Bridge can be stopped will be presented at the December council meeting.

Council will also continue to talk with the NSW government about other traffic issues with the city.

Councillor John Ryan said the council was listening to the residents who had been vocal in their opposition to the bridge.

"We need to stand firm and we need to let the state government know that we're not going to lie down and take this," he said.

"We need to let the residents of Dubbo know that we're 100 per cent behind them when it comes to doing whatever we can in our power to scuttle what is a totally ridiculous and immensely flawed project."

But while all six speakers spoke of the need for a bypass, Cr Parker said it was a separate issue.

"Surely we all understand the word bypass. I'm not sure how a bypass would be [beneficial] during flood times. This second bridge proposal was first and foremost not planned to be a bypass. It's primary purpose was to provide a second high level crossing during floods," Cr Parker said.

"Sure, it will be sued on a daily basis during not flood times and that would also assist with the movement of traffic throughout Dubbo because as we know traffic has gotten busier.

"The government has set aside money for this particular project, if it was to be stopped now...it would take many years for it to start again."

Mayor Ben Shields said his concern was that the bridge did not ease congestion at the intersection of Whylandra and Victoria streets.

"I believe residents want a clearer run through that important West Dubbo intersection and they also want heavy vehicles taken out of the CBD. The proposed River Street Bridge doesn't do either of these things," he said.

"I think it is important that council continues to push for a low-level crossing in South Dubbo, which would provide some relief for residents in this area."

A report on ways council can stop the River Street Bridge will be presented at the December council meeting. Council will also continue to talk with the NSW government about solutions to Dubbo's heavy traffic.