Casuarina light poles fail the test of time
By ED SOUTHORN
CASUARINA Beach residents have been left in the dark and fearing for their safety over the strange case of the disappearing streetlight poles.
The aluminium poles have turned brittle due to salt damage and some have been missing for more than 12 months, according to the Casuarina Residents Association.
The poles were removed by Country Energy because they are a safety risk or because they fell over.
Country Energy has been seeking an urgent meeting with Tweed Shire Council, trying to sort out who pays the spiralling cost of removing and replacing the poles.
Only some of the poles have been replaced, leaving many Casuarina residents without proper street lighting.
Council yesterday advised it was aiming to have all the missing poles replaced within six weeks.
Dodgy light poles is the second recent bizarre problem for the Tweed Coast new village, after council erected a shadecloth screen across dead trees illegally poisoned to create ocean views not far from Casuarina's new Santai resort hotel.
Santai developer Resort Corp has denied any involvement in the tree vandalism. Council last month offered a $15,000 reward for information on who poisoned the trees.
Casuarina Residents Association spokesman Bob Dagworthy said the dangerous light poles were revealed when a tradesman's truck bumped a pole and it fell over.
Mr Dagworthy said he wrote to Tweed Shire general manager Mike Rayner in January after waiting more than 12 months to have the poles problem sorted out.
Mr Dagworthy's letter said shire staff had been unable to "give any assurances this matter would be promptly resolved".
Mr Dagworthy told the Daily News there was "classic bureaucratic duck shoving" going on between Tweed Shire and Country Energy.
Some Casuarina residents believe their darkened streets are a safety hazard, after a woman and her children renting a home in Mr Dagworthy's street were burgled.
"Council says its Country Energy's reponsibility and Country Energy says its Council," Mr Dagworthy said.
"As I'm talking to people, they say yeah, a pole near our place has gone, too.
"Council and Country Energy have to get together and resolve this."
Mr Dagworthy said residents want all the missing poles replaced.