Albury Council has put on hold road works leading to its own waste management facility on a 5-4 vote which included the support of the mayor and deputy mayor in rolling the staff recommendation that a $1.24 million tender be awarded for the project.
Deputy mayor Amanda Cohn on Monday night successfully moved awarding the tender be postponed and alternative designs which would have less environmental risks including the impact on hollow bearing trees in the area and the potential scrapping of widening of Centaur Road between Overend and Mudge streets.
Cr Cohn was supported by councillors John Stuchbery, David Thurley, Murray King and mayor Kevin Mack with Henk van de Ven, Graham Docksey, Alice Glachan and Darren Cameron in favour of awarding the tender to Longford Civil.
Cr Cohn said environmental impacts were greater than originally thought.
"We were originally told nine trees were being cleared, then it was revised to 18," she said.
"We've now been made aware 98 trees in fact are at risk, 46 of those are natives, four hollow bearing trees will be lost, two from direct clearing.
"What I would really like to see is a consideration of alternatives, particularly whether this project can be carried out by just omitting the road widening.
"If this project was put forward by an external developer these are the sorts of questions we would ask.
"In this term of council we've asked developers to revise (development applications).
"The same standards should apply when it's our own project."
Cr van de Ven said the road works were critical.
"it is quite clear from the report there is very little evidence of those hollow bearing trees presenting any opportunity for threatened species to inhabit and the offsets are more than enough," he said.
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Cr Stuchbery said he was disappointed there wasn't an alternative put forward by staff.
"None of the councillors supporting Cr Cohn's amendment don't want the road to go ahead," he said.
"But we want it to go ahead in a way that causes less damage to the environment."
Acting chief executive Brad Ferris responded to questions on the road design needing to be 11 metres wide.
"It is about nine metres (presently) and it is based on the type of traffic we are receiving on that road, in particular heavy vehicles going to the waste management centre and going through a hairpin curve," he said.
"There are two hollow bearing trees on the edge of the road.
"There wasn't an opportunity to move it further to the north.
"The trees present a road safety issue at the moment as well as being in the alignment of the new road."
Mr Ferris said all options were explored at the "forefront" before detailed design were undertaken.
The budget for the works was $2.31 million and Longford Civil's bid was $682,000 cheaper than the next highest submission.
Cr King applauded Cr Cohn for raising her concerns.
"She has gone through the fine details, she has found discrepancies, found misinformation presented to us," she said.
"It is not about cobbling things together, tweaking things when they are done."
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