Light the Night walkers thanked

Two road closures

Port Macquarie-Hastings Council is advising the community of two road closures occurring this Wednesday November 30.

Intersection of Stoney Creek Rd and Oxley Highway, Wauchope Stoney Creek Road will be closed to all traffic between 7am and 4pm due to the laying of hot mix asphalt. Detours will be in place via Randall Street and Rocks Ferry Road.

Kindee Bridge, Kindee Rd Kindee Bridge will be partly closed to traffic between 7am and 4pm whilst council inspect bridge hanger rods. Motorists should expect delays of up to 20 minutes.

Works are weather dependant and motorists are asked to allow extra travel time, exercise caution and follow all directional signage.

Port Macquarie-Hastings Council

Light the Night success

On behalf of the Leukaemia Foundation, I would like to thank those who held a lantern and gave generously at the Port Macquarie Light the Night on Sunday 20 November.

Thanks to all those who participated by walking or donating, we have currently raised $7,867, and are on our way to reaching our goal of $2 million to provide those diagnosed and their families with practical support. Funds will also be invested in the country’s leading research programs.

The Leukaemia Foundation is dedicated to supporting the 60,000 Australians currently living with leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma and related blood disorders, as well as their families. The Foundation is proud to be able to support locals in the Mid North Coast, which Port Macquarie Light the Night help fund. On behalf of all those diagnosed and their loved ones, I would like to acknowledge the generosity of the community and all those who volunteered their time to bring together an incredible night - thank you.

Christine McMillan

Leukaemia Foundation NSW and ACT

Improving regional planning processes in NSW

An Upper House committee has today published its report into how regional planning processes in NSW should be improved to stimulate regional development and improve the lives of regional communities. T

he report is available at www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/statedevelopment

‘While the Department of Planning and Environment has made some progress in improving the planning processes for regional NSW, it is clear there is still much work to be done.

The committee has made a range of recommendations that the NSW Government should: effectively plan for the future through strategic planning; simplify or clarify planning processes for the benefit of regional NSW; and introduce regional specific planning instruments’, said the Hon Greg Pearce MLC, Chair of the State Development Committee.

“Regarding strategic regional planning, the committee recommends that the government address concerns about consultation at the regional plan development stage and ensure fulsome and effective accountability practices are in place to measure the success and progress of regional plans. In addition, regional plans must encapsulate a range of measures, including articulating the interests of government agencies, identifying and aligning regional plans with broader State strategies and coordinating key infrastructure and resources,” Mr Pearce said.

“The committee also recommends that the NSW Government establish a whole of government approach to coordinate the response of government agencies to regional project planning proposals by considering implementing a one-stop shop or go-to person, establishing a Regional Development NSW agency, or formalising a rural flying squad process.

“In terms of planning instruments we recommend that the government prioritise the development and implementation of the Inland Code for exempt and complying development and consider the suitability of implementing a Coastal Code for the benefit of non-metropolitan coastal regions.

“We also heard evidence that the standard template for LEPs is not flexible enough for regional areas and call on the government to review the feasibility of establishing three separate templates for regional, coastal and metropolitan areas.”

Mr Pearce said at its heart this report seeks to grow our regions and improve the lives of regional communities.

“We look forward to the government’s response to our recommendations,” he added.

For more information about the inquiry please visit the committee’s website.

Emergency Services Property Levy

From July next year, the NSW Liberal and National Government want every local council to collect a new land tax for them – the ‘Emergency Services Property Levy’ (ESPL).

The new state government tax will be included on all council rate notices.

But Premier Baird won’t put the legislation to Parliament until the very last minute to avoid a community campaign against this new tax. Parliament doesn’t even sit again until next February.

The devil will be in the detail, and it is all being kept secret behind closed doors in Macquarie Street.

There could be different tax rates for commercial, residential and rural properties. Some groups are worried that the tax could shift costs from metropolitan or commercial classifications onto residential and rural landowners.

The Government has refused to say if it will compensate councils for the cost of collecting the new tax, or if local ratepayers will also be hit with this extra cost.

The community and local councils have a right to know. After all, residents and small businesses will have to find the money to pay it.

Ryan Park MP                         

Shadow Treasurer

Peter Primrose MLC 

Shadow Minister for Local Government

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