Local Port Macquarie-Hastings Politics

Updated: Jul 13

✦ With the Local Government Elections fast approaching some would say so what! Those elected don’t listen to the community anyway. We beg to differ.

Mayor Peta Pinson's responses to a concerned citizen, Russell Delforce

Brilliant-online has been given permission to publish the following email correspondence from a concerned community member, Russell Delforce and current Port Macquarie Hastings Mayor Peta Pinson.

Read what Russell thinks afterwards

Port Macquarie-Hastings. Photographer: Alex McNaught
Port Macquarie-Hastings. Photographer: Alex McNaught

Take from it what you will

#. Original email from Russell Delforce with Mayor Pinson’s responses on the 22nd October, 2021 in red. N.B. email addresses have been omitted for privacy reasons.

From: Russell Delforce

Sent: Wednesday, 20 October 2021 8:59 AM

To: Mayor Peta Pinson

Subject: Election topics

Hi Peta, with the upcoming local government election coming up I would like to share some concerns with you.

1. I was finally prompted to send this email when my wife had a medical appointment over at Innes this morning and with all the traffic problems now in Port on Ocean Drive and the Oxley (to be sure) she left Lighthouse at 7.45am for an 8.30am appointment. Turns out she got there no problems this morning and cooled her heels for 30 minutes. How crazy that we now have to think like this in Port Paradise.

Why have the roads and traffic been so ignored by this council? Why have we now all having to think about when we move around in Port to miss these Sydney type delays ? Have you been out to see the disaster the roundabout at the hospital is at peak times? It must be impossible for emergency vehicles trying to get say to the hospital.

[Mayor Peta Pinson] Ocean Drive is due to be duplicated from Mathew Flinders Drive to Greenmeadows. Council resolved to borrow 30 million dollars to add to the State Government investment of 60 million dollars. Ocean Drive was not a priority of Council before I entered into Council. I brought it to the table and it was a huge priority for the State Member, Leslie Williams, plans are now well underway to deliver this project. As for the Oxley Highway, I do not wish to appear to be passing the buck but this road is State owned and their responsibility. Engagement has taken place by Transport for NSW about a solution to this massive gridlock problem.

2. With all this uncontrolled development in and around Port why is nothing being done to get the infrastructure to support it like roads, dam capacity etc. You can bet that next time we have a drought our water restrictions are going to be horrific with all these extra people using water. Every time we drive down to Laurieton and see all those eye sores and the trouble we will have from all those extra demands on infrastructure I get angry about the lack of council forethought. Traffic on Ocean Drive, we ain't seen nothing yet !

[Mayor Peta Pinson] Agree, we have not been visionary in our future direction. We need a Council that will focus on ensuring our region is growing responsibly and that we have a brave Council that pushes back on poor development proposals.

Past Councils including this one have not prioritised delivering the infrastructure at the time of development. You may ask what is my responsibility in this situation over the past 4 years, I have not had the numbers in Council to support me in my desire to support the community vision. Cr Griffiths is the only Councillor who has been of any support to me. I must also say that the State Government is the lead Government when it comes to planning and development and passes legislation to allow developers to clear land for housing. I get angry on past Council forethought also.

3. Why are our roads in such terrible condition? Apart from potholes everywhere have you driven the road to the airport or out to Settlement Point. They are goat tracks !

[Mayor Peta Pinson] Years of underinvestment

Why with something like $340,000,000 in the bank are we not getting all these things fixed ? Can't be the interest council receives !

[Mayor Peta Pinson] The Councillors with the numbers have not prioritised this. Many of these Councillors have been in their position for 9 years.

We moved up here from Sydney 20 years ago and I remember driving around with a real estate person prior to buying who explained that land was scarce in Port BECAUSE THE COUNCIL WOULD NOT RELEASE NEW LAND TILL INFRASTRUCTURE WAS UP TO THE MARK.

What a great idea. I remember being so impressed after living with a Sydney council how things up here just happened before whatever became a problem. The now much overloaded Ocean Drive going through was an example of happening at the then time it was needed and when now will something be done about Ocean Drive. It seems that just making extra lanes will not help much with all that traffic coming up from south all of which will be soon much worse when all those new horrible developments are up and running.