Council wants community feedback on priority works in its 2021-2022 draft operational plan

Port Macquarie-Hastings Council CEO Dr Clare Allen.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council CEO Dr Clare Allen.

PORT Macquarie-Hastings Council's schedule of works for the next financial year is now on exhibition and seeking public feedback.

The operational plan for 2021-2022 was written before the floods, so council is now wanting to assess what matters in communities across the region and how those needs are identified, prioritised and planned for.

Alongside the draft operational plan are the proposed fees and charges for the next financial year.

The total expenditure for the next financial year is $194.1 million.

A key, and critical, component of the expenditure in the plan is the capital works program. This is the money allocated to maintain or upgrade the key infrastructure council provides across the local government area.

The draft plan forecasts $20.8 million to transport and traffic, $10.3 million to parks and recreation, $8.5 million to water, and $4.9 million to waste.

Key projects planned projects include the Rainbow Beach Sports Fields ($3.3 million), Cairncross Waste Management Facility Expansion ($3.1 million), Pembrooke Road and Stoney Creek Road ($2.98 million), Thrumster Recycled Water Interim Supply ($3.1 million), Westport Park - continued boat ramp parking upgrade ($937,000), and the Kew Main Street Upgrade ($1.2 million).

Council CEO, Dr Clare Allen, said as council moves into a new financial year, the priority will be working together with the community to find the most successful outcomes.

"The next financial year is going to be a lot different than what we expected, and I am committed, as both a newly appointed CEO and new resident in the region, to ensuring that council works closely with our communities," Dr Allen said.

"It is imperative that we listen to community needs, involve communities in identifying possible solutions and also in prioritising those solutions.

"It is equally important to ensure that we are clear in setting expectation with what we can do and also what we cannot do.

"The proposed operational plan will need to be altered as a consequence of this flood event and we really want to make sure that we align our plans with the goals of communities around the region."

A copy of the draft plan is available online, in council's customer service centres, and the libraries in Port Macquarie, Laurieton and Wauchope.

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