SHOALHAVEN Councillor Andrew Guile has criticised council’s decision to possibly walk away from the Crookhaven Heads lighthouse project.
He said council needed to look at other alternatives to try and conserve the historic structure.
“Council has not budgeted for the management of the area, it is after all crown land and therefore is a state government responsibility but council should not be walking away either,” he said.
“Council virtually presented the state government with an ultimatum that they need to fund it or it would absolve itself of all responsibility.
“I didn’t support that motion and believe we’ve got to stay in the game.
“Already there has been a tremendous community effort to save this historic structure.
“The navy has been involved, as has the media and the community has contributed and I think for council to now wash its hands of the project and walk away sends a poor message.
“Ultimately the state government has some responsibility to fulfil but council also needs to be committed into the future to work with the state government.”
One idea Cr Guile did propose was enlisting the support of the Green Army, which the new Member for Gilmore Ann Sudmalis was a passionate supporter of during the recent federal election.
“My initial thought is that programs like the Green Army could be better used in the region for a project like this,” he said.
“I have been talking to groups as to what other options might be available and that includes the use of the Green Army.
“But certainly we do need further support from the state government.
He said he was unaware of what had happened to the $100,000 state government funding council received for the project in 2010.
“I know council did some minor maintenance in the area on the walking tracks but a lot of work was carried out by work crews from the South Coast Correctional Centre, but they now also have had budget cuts and they are finding it difficult to continue which is a blow for our local community,” he said.
“I would say some of the money funded council’s investigations in to what is going on out there and they always tend to be expensive.
“We don’t need more bureaucratic reports we need to see action on the ground to restore this fantastic potential tourist feature to its former glory.”