Advertisements on road surfaces will be trialed for six months in Parramatta after the council supported a controversial plan that lacked support from the Roads and Maritime Service (RMS) on safety grounds.
On July 28, councillors approved a proposal from Road Ads to paint advertisements onto Parramatta intersections, despite a council report which recommended rejecting the plan due to safety concerns.
The plan was also not supported by representatives from the RMS, Parramatta police and Parramatta MP Geoff Lee.
We could get $50,000 within two months if the model works and it's safe. I think we should trial it on every road in our local government area.Lord mayor John Chedid
During the debate, lord mayor John Chedid said the company was "certified by the government" and offered Parramatta a ‘‘perfect opportunity’’.
"We could get $50,000 within two months if the model works and it's safe. I think we should trial it on every road in our local government area," Cr Chedid said.
"This could be a money spinner for us, an opportunity for extra income to put back into the community," Cr Paul Garrard said.
Cr Steven Issa said he was comfortable with the plan and the applicant had produced "their own safety report" from an "independent consultant".
If it's a six-month trial, then I'm concerned about safety for six months. I find this very, very odd.Parramatta councillor James Shaw
But Cr James Shaw said Cr Issa's reliance on an applicant's word above the council's consultants set a dangerous precedent.
"If it's a six-month trial, then I'm concerned about safety for six months. I find this very, very odd," Cr Shaw said.
Cr Julia Finn said safety concerns aside, the ads would be "tacky" and "unsightly".
The vote occurred during a rescission motion at the end of the meeting, which overturned an earlier decision to reject the development application.
Road Ads spokesman Caleb Myers, who addressed the meeting, said the plan was to apply "simple" and "iconic logos" to road surfaces.
"Roads have always been a source of cost, our process will for the first time turn council roads into a source of revenue," Mr Myers said.