Hawkesbury Council is calling on the NSW Government to save Windsor Bridge from demolition.
This afternoon, Mayor Barry Calvert was joined near the site at historic Thompson Square by fellow councillors, Federal Macquarie MP Susan Templeman and other supporters, to launch the campaign to have the old bridge retained as a public walkway/cycleway.
Cr Calvert urged the community to raise its collective voice now as the bridge had been slated for demolition later this month.
"After 146 years of steadfast service, our State heritage listed Windsor Bridge has been retired as a roadway and consequently slated for demolition," he said in a prepared statement.
"The bridge belongs to the community and as a heritage item it belongs to all of the people of Australia. It should not be torn down just to save a few dollars.
"We're asking the State Government to put a hold on the demolition of the existing structure to fully explore the vast opportunities the infrastructure can provide for Windsor."
Demolition of the river crossing had been endorsed under the controversial plan for its replacement.
Cr Calvert said that the NSW Government had spent millions building a pedestrian bridge in Penrith, and yet seemed determined to tear down the Hawkesbury's ready-made pedestrian bridge in Windsor.
"We want the State Government to support us in working with the local community - we want to do this for the long term benefit of the community; they have already experienced losses in the fires and floods, we want to avoid any further losses," he said.
"We have also asked the State Government to tell us all the costs associated with both the retention and demolition options and to make this information publicly available."
Ms Templeman, who has been a supporter of various community groups involved in protecting the old Windsor Bridge and Thompson Square, said the matter was extremely important.
"There are people who have spent days and days of their lives here to save Thompson Square," she said, referring to members of CAWB, who famously manned a 24/7 tent in protest for many years.
"That fight is lost and now they are equally determined to put their energy into saving a bridge that's more than 130-years-old and not just for the sake of it but for the use it could be to the community.
"The [old Windsor] bridge could be a fantastic community asset. It's one thing to have pedestrian access on the new bridge, but you're walking and riding bikes right next to cars.
"If you could use the old bridge for a variety of things, but really pedestrian access, you've got a really family friendly safe way for people to enjoy both sides of the river here."
Also speaking at the launch was CAWB's Harry Terry.
There is a petition online for those wanting to add their support to save the old bridge. To add your signature visit www.change.org/windsorbridge
The Gazette is still awaiting comment from State Hawkesbury MP Robyn Preston.