WINDSOR BRIDGE FIGHT
The new Windsor Bridge mat be delayed for months after the judge reserved his decision at last week’s hearing of a court case against the state government.
Community Action for Windsor Bridge (CAWB) were in the Land and Environment Court on October 22-23, challenging Planning Minister Brad Hazzard’s December 2013 approval for Option 1 for Windsor Bridge.
The case has been in court since April, and the bridge cannot be built until the case is determined.
When a judge reserves their decision, it means they want further time to consider the verdict. This is usually a month and up to six months.
CAWB’s Kate Mackaness and Pete Reynolds sat in the courtroom for the entire proceedings along with their pro-bono legal team. Ms Mackaness said the case may not be determined for several months.
But even if CAWB wins, she believes the government may keep going with what she says is a “bad project”.
“Rather than rehashing their current mistakes, the government should take this opportunity to create a genuine transport solution for the region.” Ms Mackaness said.
“This is the first challenge to a new planning law introduced by the state government. The case was detailed and I have no expectations regarding outcomes… but one way or another lawyers will cite CAWB vs the Crown for many years to come.”
The $65 million Option 1 plan, favoured by the RMS and state government, would mean the demolition of the current historic bridge and the construction of a replacement bridge 35 metres downstream from the existing one. Approach roads to the bridge would include one going through historic Thompson Square.
“The Minister has never bothered to provide the public with reasons for his decision to authorise the RMS to use Thompson Square as the cheapest option for this crossing of the Hawkesbury rather than bypass Windsor” CAWB member Pete Reynolds said.
The Gazette asked Riverstone MP Kevin Conolly for a comment on the court case. “Roads and Maritime Services awaits the decision on the Windsor Bridge Replacement Project,” he said.