Residents gather for action on roads
More than 70 residents from Empire Bay and Bensville attended the inaugural meeting of the Empire Bay and Districts Roads Action Group to participate in a Future Directions Workshop on August 2.
The workshop discussed the major issues residents wanted addressed by governments.
A Residents' Committee was formed to work on a document to present to Member for Terrigal, Mr Adam Crouch, at the bi-monthly Empire Bay Progress Association meeting.
"All of the views expressed at the meeting will be included in the report under main headings.
"Long term residents explained that, over the last decade or so, they had been frustrated by Council not doing work to remediate the terrible condition of the roads and stormwater drainage or to invest in pedestrian safety improvements such as pathways, even though studies had been made and money allocated to do much of the work," Mr Olsen said.
"During the meeting we split into small groups to discuss the main areas of concern and each group was invited to report to the whole assembly.
"Very soon three main issues appeared namely, the non-existent drainage, poor and dangerous condition of our roads neglected over many years and the need for safe pedestrian access to the Empire Bay Public School via Greenfield Rd."
Mr Olsen said, as the meeting progressed the general mood became one of hope.
"Residents came away from the meeting with the understanding that we need to be a strong and committed community, determined to get the change we want," he said.
According to Mr Olsen, the group agreed that their vision was for a wider coalition of the geographically-linked communities of Empire Bay, Bensville, Daleys Point and South Kincumber and that each locale needs to put before Council their specific needs and be supported by the other areas.
"We see ourselves in cooperation not competition for the resources required to improve the amenity of our district, going into bat for each other when the need arises," Mr Olsen said.
The Empire Bay Progress Association is having its bi-monthly meeting on August 16, at the Empire Bay Progress Hall from 7:30pm.
Mr Crouch, will be attending.
"The first meeting highlighted that we really need to have a member of Council attend the bi-meeting because the matters that need addressing require the co-operation of both State and Local Government," Mr Olsen added.
Mr Olsen also said the Action Group would be requesting the attendance of a Council representative at the bi-monthly meeting.
"A document outlining the residents' concerns will be presented to Mr Crouch and we expect action for these matters," Mr Olsen said.
According to Mr Olsen, many of the issues raised by residents had been known to Council for decades without appropriate responses.
Interview, 2 Aug 2016
Gregory Olsen, Empire Bay and Districts Roads Action Group
Reporter: Dilon Luke