Six times Singleton Council voted to reject an application from Rio Tinto to close Wallaby Scrub Road but on Monday night they voted to give away our public asset.
Only Councillor Tony McNamara stood firm for the residents ot Bulga, and really all the ratepayers, in saying no to gifting to a multinational company what belongs to all of us, our public road.
Fours councillors who previously voted to keep the road open did a volte-face on Monday night. The question must be asked why, as nothing had changed, in the application since they rejected it on June 20, 2016.
People would have chosen to elect these four councillors based on their vote of last year. How disappointed will they be feeling now?
And it is not just any road. Wallaby Scrub Road, is part of our heritage Councillors, it was built by convicts in 1830s. It may be covered in tar today but its construction was by convicts something other Councils in the state think is worth preserving.
Not Singleton Council. But then again its the same organisation that has stood by and watched the destruction of so much of how heritage think the villages of Ravensworth, Warkworth, Camberwell and now mostly likely Bulga.
Unlike Singleton Council this paper has consistently argued that Wallaby Scrub Road should not be closed.
This was also the opinion of that state’s highest appeal court when it upheld an earlier ruling by the Land and Environment Court to reject the expansion of Rio Tinto’s Warkworth mine.
Having the convictions of your beliefs can prove personally costly but we think its a very important trait to possess if you are in the public sphere. We all feel pressure and can be attacked for holding strong views.
But thank goodness some people do, like Jack Mundey the unionist who used ‘green bans’ to preserve our heritage, most notably The Rocks. And we can look even closer to home in our very own Wendy Bowman who has withstood tremendous pressure to ensure her farm and its water is not sacrificed like Wallaby Scrub Road.
Pity our councillors, with the exception of Cr McNamara, did not follow Mrs Bowman’s example. However this is it unlikely as it is the same council that supports building, what can only be described as a heavy vehicle detour, across some of the best alluvial soils in the country.
Shame councillors shame.