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By Duncan Horscroft on May 9, 2017 in News

Photo: James Hutton

It’s becoming increasingly obvious that our councils are more focussed on development than fixing local problems such as dangerous manhole covers and crumbling footpaths.

One example of the lack of ongoing concern is ‘no-man’s land’ at the southern end of St Thomas Street, where Boundary Street turns around.

Numerous emails and phone calls expressing local residents’ concern surrounding a protruding manhole lid, collapsed Telstra pit and a crumbling footpath have fallen on deaf ears.

Both Randwick and Waverley Councils seem to want nothing to do with the problems, which have already claimed a couple of victims, the first more than three years ago.

The most recent incident, in 2015, involved a German tourist who tripped over the protruding manhole lid and spent the rest of her holiday with her arm in a sling.

Local resident Gina [surname withheld] has been in touch with Waverley Council on numerous occasions, but still nothing has been done.

“I contacted the council in early March 2015, notifying them of the accident to my German friend, asking if I should seek legal advice regarding the matter,” she said.

“They replied saying that the matter was ‘allocated for investigation’ and a few weeks later told me the matter had been ‘finalised’. It’s been more than two years and we have still heard nothing.

“It was lucky my friend had travel insurance as she had to see a specialist about the injury to her shoulder.”

A reply from Waverley Council Customer Service told Gina it was a matter for the council’s insurance co-ordinator and was subsequently told it was not Waverley’s responsibility, but a matter for Randwick Council.

They also advised her that the ‘trip hazard’ on the footpath was to be painted and earmarked for replacement. More than two years later the paint has faded, the Telstra pit is still a major hazard, as is the crumbling footpath on the corner.

In the interim a new footpath on both sides of St Thomas Street had been laid, but only down as far as the intersection of Boundary Street, leaving five houses with an old footpath out the front.

Last October Gina asked the council to address the three ‘trip hazards’ and was told “an officer will investigate and attend to your request as soon as possible”, with the enquiry to be finalised last November.

The main contention seems to be that both sides of Boundary Street are in two council areas, although residents on the eastern side of St Thomas Street, where Boundary Street meets, pay their rates to Waverley.

It appears that this is not so much a grey area, but more a black and yellow one, which is the colour of the Boundary Street sign that bears the Waverley Council logo.



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