Road poses no conflict: Browne
Friday, 8th November, 2013
By Erica Visser
Deputy Mayor Marion Browne has dismissed public concern over City Council’s move to prioritise funding for a road that leads to a restaurant run by the Mayor.
The road to the top of the Line of Lode, Federation Way, has been in a dangerous condition for at least a year, with crumbling edges, deep potholes and large cracks at the side.
However, despite concerns over the safety of locals and tourists, Council rejected a State Government request to contribute to repairs earlier this year.
Councillor Peter Black had suggested that the upkeep was the responsibility of Crown Lands, which owns the Miners’ Memorial and Broken Earth Restaurant which in April was leased to Mayor Wincen Cuy’s private business.
But Council appears to have changed its tune, with plans to request that the State Government divert part of the $1 million promised to the scrapped heavy vehicle bypass plans to Federation Way.
The Government has said it would only consider transferring the money if Council presented it with a detailed plan of the costs for a project which was beneficial to the community.
Council management suggested the road as a priority along with the Eyre Street Film Studios, which need a power and internet upgrade.
Mayor Wincen Cuy left the room during discussions between councillors, but this has not stopped public criticism regarding the choice.
The BDT received calls from members of the public who were concerned over the matter.
Others took to the BDT’s Facebook page where most criticised the planned move and suggested the city’s roads were in desperate need of attention.
But Clr Browne said that the link between the road and the Broken Earth restaurant was not relevant.
“I think that you have to divorce the idea with the restaurant at the top,” she said.
“It’s the Miners’ Memorial, the lookout and the Big Chair that are the iconic tourist attractions up there that people value,” she said.
State MP John Williams said that he would lobby for funding for the road, although his previous efforts had been snubbed by Council.
He acknowledged the public backlash late last week, but said that Federation Way was in a shocking condition and action had to be taken.
“I’d like to push for funding for Federation Way. I know there’s been some criticism, but despite that, we’re putting tourists up there and it’s in a dangerous and poor condition,” Mr Williams said.
He estimated that the repairs would cost around $350,000.
Council has previously told Crown Lands that if the road was repaired to an acceptable state, it would take on the maintenance of it.