Have your say: Letters to the Editor

Fixing the mess?

We need Councillors that are determined to fix the Hilltops mess.

Hilltops has been a loser – so bad that Young’s most popular tourist destination is refused permission to install a coffee machine! Millions of waste has been accepted by Hilltops.

Following a request to the then Hilltops Council Administrator, I have made requests in accord with the Freedom of Information Legislation to the Hilltops Council General Manager for explanation of the wastage that I believe has occurred on TR78N – the Olympic Highway.

If my estimates are reasonable the waste is somewhere between $1 and $2 million. 

One might hope that an Administrator with aspiration of higher office might have shown some interest in fixing the mess and demonstrating enough business ability to leave a more efficient Council than she found.

The forced Council amalgamations are unfortunate. 

Despite the information being in the Hilltops Council business papers and thus the public domain Council have not meaningfully responded to my request. 

I was advised on August 24, 2017 that the answers to my requests are sitting on the desk of Mr. Lindsay Tanner, Regional Director of RMS Wagga.

It is reasonable to assume Council and State Roads have stuffed up otherwise they would have attempted to clear any misconception.

The Apps Lane intersection was to be a small part of a grant of $1.45M announced on April 26, 2016.

Work was to commence immediately and be completed by end June 2016. 

It is probable the budget was for $400,000 which given the work was not necessary would have been bad enough.

It is again near certain that the “real trouble started” with a wet Winter delaying the start of work. 

Then apparently Hilltops Council work did not meet specification so they were not paid for the job which is still not completed – now 14 months overdue.    

Several years ago about 1 km of Shirrenden Hill Olympic Highway about 9kms from Young was completely rebuilt.

About a year later the work was ripped up and redone despite the road being about the best section of highway we had.

The explanations given seem unlikely and requests for proof have not been rewarded.

Gossip suggests that the reason could be that the design was incorrect and the road not constructed to necessary highway width.

The hill is the longest and steepest between Wallendbeen and somewhere north of Cowra perhaps 140kms.

Neither Council nor RMS seem to have had the wisdom to install an essential overtaking lane. 

At my front gate on the Belowra Rd is a large box culvert over a normally small creek below which was a spillway to take water down a five metre fall. 

It seems Council do not inspect their assets.

They were advised of damage four or five years ago and then in the late winter of 2016 but still not up to repairing in a timely or cost effective manner.

In the absence of reasonable proof it is probable the waste on the highway is at least $1.5 million. 

The continued erosion of Belowra Road creek should cost the Council a good $200,000 more than if the work had been carried out in a timely manner.

Why is it that I a private individual has to pry to determine the wasted money & loss by both Hilltops & the States taxpayers. 

Hilltops Council needs Councillors that want to fix the mess.

Dugald Walker

Young