A state government minister is seeking advice from the Office of Local Government after the mayor raised concerns about the controversial orbital road proposal.
Mayor Peta Pinson met with Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock to discuss concerns about the councillors' decision to leave Port Macquarie-Hastings Council's "most viable" route on the table during the development of an orbital road strategic business case, despite strong opposition from affected residents.
A spokesperson for Ms Hancock said the minister was considering the matters raised by Cr Pinson in the meeting and had requested advice from the Office of Local Government.
The Office of Local Government is responsible for local government across the state.
The spokesperson said the minister had received an invitation from Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams and looked forward to joining Mrs Williams in her electorate.
"The minister welcomes the opportunity to meet with all councillors," the spokesperson said.
Cr Pinson presented the minister with impact statements from community organisations and residents during the lengthy meeting in Sydney on Wednesday, July 31.
"I await the minister's advice on how the matter may progress," Cr Pinson said.
The mayor said she made the minister aware that she supported the community's request for a public inquiry.
An alliance of action groups launched a petition calling on the state government, specifically the local government minister, to initiate a public inquiry into Port Macquarie-Hastings Council and the entire proposed orbital road project.
The council will develop a strategic business case for all orbital road options including the proposed east-west link.
A rescission motion to have council's "most viable" option removed was lost in July.
The council has separated the fiercely debated airport access road from orbital road project investigations.
Cr Pinson said ratepayers' money was being used to further a business case which included a route with an investigation zone that had no viability.
The mayor said she wanted to be clear on what the council was trying to achieve with the proposed orbital road.
"We really should be focusing first and foremost on the current network and upgrading the current network to suit the traffic now and the community of today, while looking at improvements for the future," she said.
Planned traffic network improvements and upgrades to the existing road network, including Lake Road and Ocean Drive, will be examined as part of the strategic business case as will many other matters.
Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams said the meeting with Minister Hancock and representatives from Port Macquarie-Hastings Council, including mayor Peta Pinson, was a very productive discussion and the minister accepted her invitation to visit Port Macquarie and speak directly with other councillors.
Deputy mayor Lisa Intemann said she welcomed the minister's visit and looked forward to meeting Ms Hancock with all councillors at the earliest opportunity.
"It will be great for us to show the minister around our magnificent area, see the good work of council and the impressive collaboration among councillors," she said.
Cr Intemann, at the request of other councillors, had asked Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams to invite the local government minister to visit or to receive a delegation of councillors at her office.
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