Trouble over bridged waters
MOY Pocket's old timber Pickering Bridge has rarely had so much attention.
The question of whether it should be preserved, now that it is about to be replaced by a massive concrete structure nearby, will be considered by Sunshine Coast Regional Council today.
And it will again come before the Gympie Regional Council at its next general meeting, after the issue was deferred at yesterday's general meeting.
Faced with a staff recommendation that preserving the bridge would be unjustifiably expensive and likely to set a precedent for the potentially costly preservation of other structures, Gympie councillors yesterday were also presented with a 1200-signature petition calling for it to be retained.
Acting Mayor Tony Perrett explained the council needed more time to reach a decision.
Mary Valley Councillor Julie Walker moved that the bridge be retained, but the motion to defer won. The council is expected to reach a decision at its next meeting in early December.
Sunshine Coast councillor Greg Rogerson, whose council controls the Kenilworth side of the bridge, is believed to be a preservation supporter.
There has been a strong move to keep the old bridge for pedestrian use once the new higher two-lane bridge becomes operational later in the year.
Spokesperson Ian Mackay said he welcomed the council's decision for a more detailed look at the merits of the proposal although he had hoped the council would have done this already.
"The report presented to council only dwelt on the costs to council and failed to recognise the benefits and safety features of the proposal," he said.
"It was very inadequate."
"What council has here is a unique opportunity for a great river access point, in a situation where the costs can be shared by several parties," he said.