On Thursday 15th October 2009, a meeting was held at Marlee Hall between Greater Taree City Council (GTCC) and local residents regarding the impending reduction in load limit on Marlee Bridge from 25 tonne to 2 tonne.
Over 200 concerned residents attended this meeting which included presentations from the Mayor Mr Paul J Hogan, General Manager Mr Gerard Jose, several councillors and management.
This meeting was the first community meeting convened by Council to explain the need for the reduction and outline the possible solutions. A copy of the material presented by Council can be obtained by emailing email@example.com
Many residents voiced their frustration and disappointment at the situation for a number of reasons including:
- lives of local residents will be put at risk as emergency vehicles (such as ambulance, police, fire and rescue) will be delayed by the extra travel time,
- local businesses will experience increased financial pressure due to the additional costs that will be charged for deliveries and collections,
- local businesses relying on tourism will struggle or go bust as the detour will discourage visitors to the area,
- local children will have less time for homework and outdoor activities as they will have to spend an extra 40 minutes on the bus each day,
- local residents will experience higher costs for goods and services due to the additional delivery time.
It was agreed following the meeting that
- council receive a further report on alternative intermediate treatment for Marlee and Duffs Bridges, prioritisation of all bridges within GTCC region requiring replacement and to identify funds necessary
- council to seek support from State and Federal Members
- council to work closely with the community via the Tourist Drive 8 Action Group (td8 action group)