By Melissa Blewitt
The Maitland Street Project is set to resume after works were stopped for a period of time when concerns were raised in relation to possible impacts on Aboriginal cultural heritage by a member of the Local Aboriginal Lands Council.
“On Friday, 30 April, Council received a direction from the Biodiversity and Conservation Division of the Department of Planning Industry and Environment to cease work on the Maitland Street project,” Lachlan Shire Council’s Director Infrastructure Services Adrian Milne explained.
“This was based on concerns raised by a member of the Local Aboriginal Lands Council. These concerns were based around the belief that the road works could impact on an area of Aboriginal cultural heritage.
“Lachlan Shire Council engaged the services of a specialist Environment and Heritage consultant to complete a site walk over and thorough investigation and consult with the representative from the Local Aboriginal Lands Council to clarify their concerns.
“The outcomes of the investigation highlighted that no aboriginal objects were recorded within or near the work area.”
The findings of the investigations were provided to the Department of Planning Industry and Environment on Monday, 10 May, and Council has now received confirmation that works can recommence. The works will begin again next week, after the road crew completes its current job and moves back to Maitland Street. Mr Milne said Council understood community concerns, but processes had to be followed before works could begin again.
“We are certainly keen to get the earthworks on Maitland Street completed as soon as we can, so we can open the road up to traffic,” he stated.
The Maitland project is funded through a combination of Fixing Country Roads and Roads to Recovery grants.
“At present, the expected completion date for the project is the end of June,” Mr Milne said.
“However, there is no urgent need to complete the work by the end of June for the purpose of expending the grant, however, we are keen to complete the work as soon as possible to minimise inconvenience for the public.”