'Someone will get hurt': fight over Bundaberg footpath
"AT THE end of the day, someone is going to get hurt."
Motel owners Tom and Gail Bartowiak have accused Bundaberg Regional Council of not doing enough to ensure the footpath outside their business is safe.
The Kalua Motel, on Hinkler Avenue in North Bundaberg, is a popular place to stay for people who come from country areas for medical treatment here and Mr Bartowiak fears someone less mobile may soon have an accident due to holes and ridges on the path.
But the council has confirmed the footpath "meets an acceptable standard based on a safety inspection" and has told him in order to fast-track an upgrade to a concrete standard, he must foot half the bill, about $10,500.
"(A council worker) thinks I want to beautify the footpath. It's not like that," Mr Bartowiak said.
"I have wheelchairs going past and it's rough.
"I often see wheelchair users on the side of the road because it is better than the footpath - and that's an accident waiting to happen."
While the path has been repaired, Mr Bartowiak said there were still uneven surfaces that could be difficult for wheelchairs and walkers to navigate.
"I want them to fix it properly, not supply a band-aid solution.
"I've paid $16,000 in rates every year and all they've done is empty my bins each week."
Bundaberg Regional Council's budget for extending pathways is $2 million this financial year, but the section of footpath is not currently on the council's three-year capital budget program.
The 50% payment "partnership arrangement" has been utilised with other businesses on a number of occasions across the region, a council spokesman said.
While the footpath would remain the property of the council, "the contributor gains the benefit of the improved surface".
The council did not answer the NewsMail's question of who would be liable if someone was injured from tripping on the path.
"In many instances residents across Bundaberg and the broader regional area do not have constructed pathways," the spokesman added.
"Council is required to assess projects on a priority basis in its expenditure of community funds."
Reports of hazards on council infrastructure can be reported by phoning Bundaberg Regional Council on 1300883699.