Monday 6 February 2017
Bega Valley Shire Council regrets the distress that has been caused by the removal of rope swings on the Yowaka River, south of Pambula.
Responding to road safety concerns, Council removed a number of new and historical rope swings from large gum trees on Nethercote Road last week.
Terry Dodds, Director Transport and Utilities said it was the newer rope swings closest to the bridge over the Princess Highway that escalated the situation.
“Local concerns had been raised with us about people backing utes up to those swings and using them as a launching platform,” Mr Dodds said.
“Because of the narrowness of the road, these vehicles presented a risk by obscuring passing traffic and people.”
It is only an issue for Council because the trees are growing on a road reserve, land Council is responsible for. Before removing the swings Council sought advice and discovered that a number of regional councils had faced the same issue.
Following that advice and research a qualified arborist was contracted to inspect the trees and remove the swings.
“We understand the attraction of a place like this, we live here too and look to enjoy the local environment,” Mr Dodds said.
“In the end we have a duty of care, a responsibility to do what we can to limit risk to people; it’s an important part of being a land and asset manager.”
Bega Valley Shire Council acknowledges we should have proactively advised the community of the issue and the actions required. We apologise for not doing so.