Cr Glenda Mather with Reef Street residents Kevin and Sharyn Cowan and Jenny and Graham Pocklington.
Cr Glenda Mather with Reef Street residents Kevin and Sharyn Cowan and Jenny and Graham Pocklington.

Bright street light saga drags on

HOW many councillors does it take to change a light bulb?

Some troubled Zilzie residents living in Reef Street are hoping the answer is two.

Livingstone Shire councillors Glenda Mather and Adam Belot attended a scheduled meeting in the street on Monday night to inspect a problem street light there.

The issue has been an ongoing one and given this week’s meeting was arranged by the council, with all councillors invited, Cr Mather said Livingstone’s response was a “slap in the face” to local residents.

Cr Mather said she was particularly disappointed that Mayor Bill Ludwig did not attend the meeting and she also took aim at “well paid” council staff whom she said should never have let this issue get to the council table.

Cr Ludwig said he was unable to attend due to family commitments and added the mayor could not be at every meeting.

He also said he was comfortable prior to the meeting with the knowledge that three councillors had indicated they would attend.

“We didn’t need a whole council team there to go and look at a light bulb,” Cr Ludwig said.

Cr Ludwig said he believed a council officer was going to be present at the meeting but Cr Mather said her and Cr Belot were Livingstone’s only representatives.

Cr Mather had previously inspected the site and spoken with numerous residents about their concerns, and she again made the 80km round-trip to attend the 7.30pm meeting this week.

“Cr Belot and I waited until 8.30pm, a full hour, hoping the mayor would show, but in vain,” Cr Mather said.

“The mayor’s total disregard for his no-show, lack of communication, or apology to his fellow councillors who did show, was unforgivable, especially since he had arranged it.

“This problem is so simple to fix, I just don’t know why it has been turned into such a drama.

“It has come to the council table and gone off the rails.

“But it should never have come to the council table - we pay staff good money to deal with these things and they’ve failed to deal with it.

“In fact, they showed contempt to residents by telling one of them they could pay (to get the problem fixed).”

As reported in The Morning Bulletin earlier this month, several Reef Street residents have, for the past 18 months, had a problem with a street light opposite their homes which is seemingly the type used at ­intersections which transmit a more powerful and wide-reaching beam.

Resident Kevin Cowan previously told of the frustration with trying to get the problem fixed and the negative health and lifestyle impacts experienced as a result of the bright street light.

Cr Mather identified five homes in the area which had been affected and described the light intrusion as an “assault” on nearby residents.

On Friday Cr Ludwig confirmed that a council officer had previously inspected the site and it had been identified that the wrong type of light had been used in this case in Reef Street.

A solution to the saga is not expected ahead of the first council meeting in the new year, on January 21.



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