The council has agreed on a road map as a step towards a solution to the Rawdon Island bridge issue.
It comes after severe damage in the Rawdon Island bridge's pile foundations was identified and the bridge closed to traffic on July 5 as a safety measure.
Only emergency vehicles and foot traffic are permitted to cross. Port Macquarie-Hastings Council has measures in place to help manage the impacts caused by the closure.
A decision at Wednesday's [July 21] council meeting set out range of actions from here on in.
The council has requested its chief executive officer, Dr Clare Allen, to progressively undertake investigations and assessments to determine the most appropriate path forward with respect to emergency, short, medium and long term solutions.
The local state MPs will be urgently contacted seeking assistance through the Australian Defence Force (ADF) for advice and assistance about potential repairs to the deck support to enable weight-limited use of the bridge while longer term solutions are implemented.
The CEO will also immediately contact Lyne MP Dr David Gillespie, advising him of actions so far and seeking support in securing financial and technical assistance, including possible assistance from the ADF.
Dr Allen will also identify feasible funding options.
Rawdon Island resident John Stewart said he thought the council was doing the best it could given the circumstances.
Mr Stewart said the bridge closure added a couple of hours to his day.
"We are by no means the worst affected," he said.
"People in business are probably the most impacted."
The bridge, spanning the Hastings River, provides the only road access to Rawdon Island with about 50 households impacted by the closure.
Electrician Peter Young moves between the island and mainland multiple times a day for work.
"I've got plant and material I can't get off the island," he said.
"For us, it's not that bad but a lot of other people are doing it hard every day."
Deputy mayor Lisa Intemann said council staff were putting in an "out of the box" effort in dealing with yet another disaster hitting our area.
She described the bridge matter as "not an ordinary job for council".
Cr Intemann said first and foremost, the council must get solutions and keep the community well informed, and for the community to hear that council was being responsive to its needs, because this was so disruptive for people's lives.
She said some people were coping OK, some were inconvenienced and some people were really suffering.
The council must respond and respect that and keep people up to date in quite fine detail, Cr Intemann said.
All reasonable steps will be taken to urgently facilitate safe and workable access solutions for the community and impacted individuals.
The CEO will compile a timeline of all emergency, short, medium and long term options and their likely delivery, noting any matters still to be decided and their dependent conditions, updated weekly to all stakeholders.
Cr Peter Alley said it was going be a very expensive problem and the council motion brought the matter to the attention of the local state and federal members in a formal way, it equipped the CEO to take action and put the matter on a track to resolution.
Cr Geoff Hawkins said in most respects, the staff had done a very good job from a standing start and he didn't want to lose sight of that.
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