The Valley rallies

Arcadia Valley residents band together to address the lack of action on improving the Clematis Creek crossing.
Arcadia Valley residents band together to address the lack of action on improving the Clematis Creek crossing.

A GROUP of Arcadia Valley residents have banded together out of pure frustration at the lack of action being taken to improve the Clematis Creek crossing.

The troublesome crossing has caused business in the region to come to a virtual standstill, with some producers being left with no income for the past nine months.

Purbrook grazier David Smith, who chaired the group’s inaugural meeting, said it was a reluctant step residents were forced to take when they realised they were getting nowhere as individuals.

Mr Smith called on the CHRC to act immediately on the situation, which he said had left residents in a desperate state, and even forced him to enrol his eldest daughter into distance education because they were unable to transport her to Prep in Rolleston.

“We need action, council keep saying we are going to get help, but it never seems to happen,” he said.

“A lot of people have missed a full turnover.

“As individuals, one of us would be ringing up every day or so to find out what’s happening, and it always sounded like something was going to happen but never did.

“We realised that if we banded together, we might finally get heard.”

Mr Smith said fellow resident and group secretary Bloss Hickson was instrumental in bringing local concerns together, and created a submission that was handed to the Central Highlands Regional Council.

The submission details the importance of Arcadia Valley Rd, on which about 60 people live south of Clematis Creek across 19 properties.

Due to tick infestation, a number of the properties were forced to send cattle north, which they were unable to do in several cases. In the meantime, cattle that could not get out were becoming overweight, which caused producers to be penalised at the saleyards.

“They have the money there, we know they do, we’ve been told that it’s locked in for about a year now, and they have had windows when they could have done the work,” Mr Smith said.

According to the CHRC, about $2.5 million has been earmarked for road repairs in the Arcadia Valley.

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