Port Macquarie Hastings Council notes deferral of projects, promises greater clarity

PORT Macquarie-Hastings councillors have promised to provide greater clarity to the community over deferred infrastructure projects.

At the Ordinary May meeting, Cr Lisa Intemann moved a motion, seconded by Cr Rachel Sheppard, to note Council’s 2023-2024 Operational Plan Third Quarter Status Report as at 31 March 2024.

Councillors also resolved to authorise the deferral of several infrastructure projects planned for the 2023-2024 period.

Cr Intemann highlighted the need for clearer communication regarding deferred or non-progressing projects.

“I have had discussions with Council about modifications to make it clearer in this report what the implications are for projects that are deferred or not progressing,” she said.

“The current report doesn’t provide the community with confidence or a clear path forward.”

Council staff assured that future reports would be improved to better inform the community about these implications.

Highlighted projects facing deferral or lack of progress include:
● Port Macquarie Airport Master Plan Review
● Community Infrastructure Transport
● Traffic Modelling for the Thrumster/Sancrox/Fernbank Creek Transport Network Plan
● Pembroke Road and Stoney Creek Road Upgrade
● Timber Bridge Replacement Program – King Creek Bridge upgrade

During the meeting, Cr Lauren Edwards raised a concern about the Thrumster Sports Fields, a project of significant community interest.

She questioned the allocation of $8 million, originally thought to be for land acquisition, now moved forward for construction.

“We won’t be doing work before acquiring the land,” Council staff clarified.

“The indication is that we will proceed with some work after the developer’s work is completed, but the voluntary planning agreement needs to be finalised, which is taking longer than anticipated.”

The carried motion aims to provide better clarity and progress assurance for the community on various important infrastructure projects and was unanimously supported by all eight councillors.


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