We didn’t bully, Purtle insists

Mulwala Progress Association president Rob Purtle says the 1300-plus signatures collected from Mulwala residents is proof many favour the green route bridge option. Picture: MATTHEW SMITHWICK

Mulwala Progress Association president Rob Purtle says the 1300-plus signatures collected from Mulwala residents is proof many favour the green route bridge option. Picture: MATTHEW SMITHWICK

MULWALA Progress Association president Rob Purtle has challenged claims by Corowa mayor Fred Longmire about the group’s tactics in the Lake Mulwala bridge route debate.

Cr Longmire accused green route supporters, who include the progress association, of being intimidatory and abusive towards locals.

He said people were being misinformed.

Corowa Council backs the grey route.

Mr Purtle confirmed he was at the Vic-Roads information session at Club Mulwala on Thursday which led to Cr Longmire issuing a press release on his concerns.

But Mr Purtle said his association had not bullied anyone.

“I can categorically say we haven’t intimidated or abused anyone,” he said.

“I did talk to a local on that particular day and again after the Corowa mayor raised his concerns — we agreed he was putting his views across and I was putting mine across.

“Apparently his wife did get questioned over Easter why her beliefs were that they shouldn’t have the green route.”

Mr Purtle has previously addressed Corowa Council on the bridge route.

He was surprised Cr Longmire felt it necessary to issue a press release.

“Like us all, he has his views and so do we,” Mr Purtle said.

“The reason why Corowa Council wants the grey route is because 80 per cent of the traffic goes that way now.

“We are all passionate about what we believe, but the words chosen by Cr Longmire are just too strong.”

Mr Purtle said 1300-plus signatures from Mulwala in support of the green route was evidence of what the community wanted.

“The numbers we collected in our submission tell us the people of Mulwala want the green route,” he said.

“They also want to keep the old bridge.

“The local people want to keep it to use and for historical purposes.”

Green route community group spokesman John Lawless also denied any intimidatory behaviour.

“The group is very confident that common sense will prevail after this round of community consultation,” he said.

“We went to the community for the green route and saving the present traffic bridge for walking and cycling and got an overwhelming response.”

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