The community can look forward to a masterplan approach to upgrading the road network.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council will urgently seek alignment and support from the state government to adopt an integrated strategic network masterplan approach to upgrading the road network.
There will be a focus on priority projects, irrespective of whether they are local or state roads.
The council has listed 11 examples of priority projects.
A councillor/staff workshop will develop the network planning further and confirm the individual projects within
a staged/phased framework.
Councillors unanimously agreed to develop a joint local government/state government integrated strategic road network masterplan.
The council will also develop a community engagement plan with local, state and federal government representatives to seek their input and support.
Cr Geoff Hawkins brought the matter before the March council meeting.
"I know a lot of work has been going on over a long period of time but we do not have a single masterplan that binds all three levels of government together and that is what this is about," he said.
Cr Hawkins said the road network was absolutely the number one issue before the council.
Mayor Peta Pinson commended Cr Hawkins for raising the matter.
"There is a lot of work to do in this space for our community," Cr Pinson said.
"This is not a quick fix. This is many, many, many years ahead of us."
The masterplan will outline the strategic priority projects and indicative timeframes.
A report is due at the July council meeting to outline the plan.
The federal government will also be kept informed about the council's priorities and likely funding pressure points.
Almost all of the projects will likely require
significant funding contributions from state and/or federal governments.
The council noted the area's rapid population growth with the growth likely to continue at an accelerating rate into the future.
It recognised the population growth's impact on many aspects of liveability but especially on the region's road network.
The council also noted the Pacific Highway and Oxley Highway are critically important major thoroughfares but fall outside the council's area of responsibility for strategic planning and funding.
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