Inquiry into fallen bridge wanted
THE businessman who organised the public grilling of Mayor Brad Carter in Mount Morgan says he’ll be happy if councillors order an independent inquiry today into what caused the town’s historic swinging bridge to fall.
Dick Needham says he was disappointed Cr Carter walked out on the 150 residents who attended the meeting.
“The meeting was viewed by the vast majority there as productive and positive. That the mayor felt he had to walk out was an over-reaction, one many thought to be premeditated,” he said.
The meeting called for an independent investigation into allegations council contractors used an excavator near the bridge’s anchor points as it crashed on to the river bed.
Today Cr Carter will attempt to persuade his colleagues they should sanction just that.
He’s tabled a notice of motion for an inquiry into the specific allegations of deliberate sabotage.
“These continued comments are damaging to council and its employees, undermine the integrity of council and have been reported nationally and outside the immediate community of Mount Morgan,” says the background to his notice of motion.
This morning’s council meeting will also receive a report from Gavin Steele, the general manager of infrastructure and planning, which repeats the assertion that a council work crew was excavating shallow post holes to install a barricade.
The report says there is no evidence the posts and footings were impacted by the machinery used to excavate the post holes.
Cr Carter said earlier that if it cost $10,000 to get an outside agency to investigate the allegations it would be money well spent.
An action group lobbying for the full restoration of the bridge has called for the structure to be lifted from the river bed as a matter of urgency to prevent further deterioration.
Mr Needham said: “We urge councillors to find a way to restore this iconic structure.”