Nowra woman calls for council funding for footpaths

Nowra resident Maureen Burns believes Shoalhaven City Council should spend some of the $7.1 million they are set to raise through its rate rise on footpaths after she took a tumble in Shoalhaven Street.
Nowra resident Maureen Burns believes Shoalhaven City Council should spend some of the $7.1 million they are set to raise through its rate rise on footpaths after she took a tumble in Shoalhaven Street.

NOWRA resident  Maureen Burns believes Shoalhaven City Council should spend some of the $7.1 million they are set to raise through its rate rise on footpaths.

The 73-year-old suffered a badly cut hand, grazes and multiple bruising after taking a tumble on the footpath in Shoalhaven Street, Nowra.

In early May, just two days after being released from hospital after suffering a heart complaint, Ms Burns tripped on an uneven piece of footpath just a few metres from her home.

“I walk Shoalhaven Street [between Junction Street and North Street] every day,” she said.

“I know the area and in particular the footpath well, I’ve lived here since the early 1980s.

Nowra resident Maureen Burns near the place on the Shoalhaven Street footpath where she tripped.

Nowra resident Maureen Burns near the place on the Shoalhaven Street footpath where she tripped.

“But this time I tripped on one of the many uneven parts of this footpath and took a nasty tumble.

“I really came a gutsa.”

She split the back of her right hand open and was thankful parents from the nearby St Michael’s School, including a nurse, and her neighbour came to her aid.

She was taken to hospital by ambulance.

More than two weeks on, her hand is still to heal and she has to visit her doctor each day to have the wound dressed.

She admitted she had not informed Shoalhaven council of her accident and said they were probably unaware of the problem.

I really came a gutsa.

Nowra woman Maureen Burns

“In all honesty, footpaths in the town are a disgrace and council should be doing something about them,” she said.

Some of the uneven footpath sections in Shoalhaven Street Nowra as highlighted by Nowra woman Maureen Burns who took a fall earlier this month.

Some of the uneven footpath sections in Shoalhaven Street Nowra as highlighted by Nowra woman Maureen Burns who took a fall earlier this month.

“You look everywhere, they are patching them with pieces of bitumen. The footpaths have splits in them, uneven patches and in many places are raised by tree roots.

“It’s extremely dangerous for older people and also young children.

“We have an ageing population which needs to be protected.”

It’s not the first time Ms Burns has been injured in a fall, she broke her left shoulder in a fall in Junction Street a couple of years ago.

“Council is happy to put up our rates and say they are going to spend a lot on roads, that’s fair enough,” she said “but they also need to allocate some funds to footpaths.

“They don’t seem to care what affect that [the rate rise] might have on pensioners.”

Council said the concrete footpath in Shoalhaven Street was being impacted by tree roots, with some sections being lifted.

Some of the uneven footpath sections in Shoalhaven Street Nowra as highlighted by Nowra woman Maureen Burns who took a fall earlier this month.

Some of the uneven footpath sections in Shoalhaven Street Nowra as highlighted by Nowra woman Maureen Burns who took a fall earlier this month.

“Council has been undertaking localised repairs to address these issues and will inspect to identify where further works are required,” a spokesperson said.

Residents are encouraged to report any concerns with pathways to council so they can be addressed.

Reports can be made by contacting council on 4429 3111, email council@sholhaven.nsw.gov.au or lodging a request on its website.