The alliance of orbital road action groups will bring a sharper focus to discussions with Port Macquarie-Hastings Council.
That's the opinion of Grant Mitchell, a member of the Save Fernhill Group.
Members met to launch the alliance on Monday at Lake Innes. Member for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams attended the event.
Council is working through its community consultation phase of discussions regarding the orbital road and flood-free access road to the airport. It started the process in November 2018.
Mr Mitchell says the focus for the alliance includes, seeking to provide true engagement with council and to act on the feedback, for council to produce all documentation on the project and to provide at least three options for each area of the proposed orbital road.
He fears council is already "locked in" on a plan highlighted by the uncovering of a 174-page document detailing strategic concept designs.
"Our individual groups have shared stories and examples between ourselves and realised that council is dealing with us in isolation," he said.
"This is a bit concerning. Our fear is that the message is being splintered.
"We also have some transparency issues; despite council assurances that a preferred route has not been selected and that council is going through a comprehensive community consultation stage."
Through government information public access - formerly Freedom of Information - the Fernhill group uncovered a 174-page document showing architectural design drawings showing "exactly where the road is going", including signage required, manhole and drainage pit requirements down to which light poles would be moved.
Mr Mitchell says the document covers the Fernhill Road section of the orbital road, airport flood-free access road.
"We are meant to be in a process that goes from, public consultation, then strategic business case, then initial concept drawings and then, in two to five years' time, detailed concept drawings," Mr Mitchell said.
"But (the document) shows that (council) is at the strategic concept design stage for parts of this orbital road.
"And I think that is a scandal.
"Council has not followed process, which was one of our group's fears," he said.
In terms of transparency, we had to go through the (GIPA) process to get this information. Not because we distrust council, but because things (we were being told) just did not add up.Grant Mitchell
"In terms of transparency, we had to go through the (GIPA) process to get this information. Not because we distrust council, but because things (we were being told) just did not add up."
Mr Mitchell reiterated that the Fernhill area was not even in the initial feasibility study area and not in the investigation corridor.
"When we started asking questions, all we got were flimsy responses, so we went through with the GIPA action," he added.
Whichever way you at look this it is scary, he said.
Mr Mitchell said evidence so far pointed to "council being locked into a decision with their blinkers on".
"The document we found and its design details are proof of that," he added.
Another concern the alliance members share is that the orbital road is not a solution to traffic issues currently being experienced in hot spots including Wrights Road roundabout and the broader education precinct.
"The perception is that the orbital road will solve the transport issues," he said.
"There are two very distinct issues between this project and solving the traffic problems.
"An orbital road has nothing to do with solving traffic issues now. It (the orbital road) is a 10 to 15 year project."
The alliance plans to speak at the June ordinary council meeting where councillors are likely to decide if the orbital road goes to a business case stage.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council says it has completed concept designs within an investigation corridor for a flood-free primary access road to the Port Macquarie Airport.
Director Jeffery Sharp says the development of this link is obviously relevant to a proposed Orbital Road, however the concept design work was actually prompted by the Airport Business Park Planning Proposal, and the need to understand the cost and impacts of alternate access to the airport that is flood-free.
"An airport precinct traffic study has also been undertaken by GHD, as a variation to the area wide traffic study," he said.
"This combined work all relates to part of a 2015 resolution of council, being to investigate and plan new links to the Port Macquarie Airport.
"This concept design work was substantially competed in October 2018, when the civil concept drawings were issued.
"Council discussed these concept designs with the community during the February/March 2019 proposed orbital road engagement, and councillor's and council staff have had further conversation with a number of community groups on an airport flood-free access road following the May 2019 council meeting."
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