Sharp off mark: council

PORT Macquarie Hastings Council has hit back at claims by Hastings Residents Action Group president Rick Sharp (Independent, 25 July) over a lack of consultation over its 2014-’15 Operational Plan.
Council’s acting director of community and organisational development Jaclyne Fisher said Mr Sharp’s assertions did not give the full story.
She said council received 47 submissions on the Draft One Year Operational Plan and staff had responded to them all individually.
The submissions were also considered individually at a 15 May workshop attended by councillors and senior staff.
Ms Fisher said agreement had been reached at the workshop on a range of overarching objectives and specific actions in the Draft One Year Operational Plan to address issues raised in public submissions.
For example, she said, construction of Beechwood Road from Bain Bridge to Rosewood Road had been added to council’s capital works program.
She said maintenance action or funding had also been confirmed to address a number of specific issues, primarily lifeguard tower maintenance and footpath maintenance.
“Council places a great deal of importance on community engagement and went to considerable lengths to generate widespread feedback on this year’s One Year Operational Plan,” Ms Fisher said.
“While participation was only moderate, it was still pleasing to see people taking the time to read the document and to suggest changes,” she said.
Mayor Peter Besseling said the adopted One Year Operational Plan reflected councillor priorities as well as council’s willingness to listen to the community and to respond accordingly.
“Councillors wish to thank those who chose to participate in the process and have their views considered, rather than simply remaining silent on issues that are important to our community.”
All 47 submissions were summarised in a report presented to the council’s 18 June Ordinary meeting with the council’s individual responses to each.
A copy of the report is available online at

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