Kempsey Shire Council have said they encourage the community to express their opinions in a peaceful act of active citizenship following the Point Plomer march yesterday.
Over 300 people marched along Point Plomer Rd in protest against council’s decision to tar the remaining 6.2km of unsealed road.
Kempsey Shire Council general manager Craig Milburn said council applauds the community’s passion.
“We are pleased that people are passionate and that everyone has respected each others views on the issue,” he said.
“It’s good to see the community engaged and we would never discourage people from expressing their opinions.”
Following the protest, Mr Milburn said it is unlikely council will reverse the decision.
“It would have to go back to council to change the outcome and there is no indication that they will do that at this stage,” he said.
“There is a number of people that don’t want the road tarred but there is a whole part of the community that do. Council made the decision by weighing up the options of cost and safety.
“The numbers of cars on Point Plomer Rd is in excess of when a road would usually be tarred.”
One of the reasons that a number of residents are against the sealing of the road is the risk of potential developments, but Mr Milburn assures the community that tarring the road does not mean new developments.
“Tarring a road has no affect on the zoning, and to change zoning is a difficult and long process. The zoning on Point Plomer Rd won’t change,” he said.
“Council is only tarring the road and not changing it graphically, so there will be no threat to local Indigenous sacred sites and it won’t damage the national park, it will actually benefit the foliage along the road because dust won’t be pushed into the environment.
“It costs council around $170,000 a year to maintain the road, once it is tarred this money can be put towards fixing other roads in the shire and will be spread out to the wider community and used for community projects as well,” Mr Milburn said.
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