What a disgrace! Former mayor speaks out on loss of roads and bridges funding

FORMER Greater Taree City Council mayor and lifelong conservative voter, Eddie Loftus, has slammed member for Lyne David Gillespie over the loss of $11.4 million stage two roads and infrastructure funding, and a survey advertisement placed in local papers this week.

"You can't blame a council that hasn't had enough money for more than 25 years," Mr Loftus said.

"We are at the beck and call of the State and federal governments at all times because we simply cannot afford, with the amount of rates versus the amount of infrastructure, to fully fund works in the area without their assistance.

"And the saddest part is that the people that are being most affected by this, the real losers, are the very rate payers who elected Dr Gillespie in the first place," he added.

Mr Loftus made no secret of the fact that he has been a conservative voter all his life and the Manning is widely recognised as a safe Nationals seat.

"The Manning has voted conservatively since federation and yet the only time this electorate started getting something was during the Robert Oakeshott era and that's a fact," he said.

"It rocks me, as a conservative, to see a conservative member back in and have the Manning Valley going down hill again."

Mr Loftus was particularly scathing on the community survey that Dr Gillespie placed in local papers this week, seeking comment from Manning residents on the performance of Greater Taree City Council.

"This is an absolute disgrace, it's a waste of taxpayers money, it's time to come out of the negative and into the positive," he said.

"A good politician never asks a question that he doesn't know the answer to."

Mr Loftus added that it's easy for Dr Gillespie to blame council but questioned whether it was more an indication of him lacking clout.

"He was elected to help, not hinder," he said.

Mr Loftus served as a councillor for 17 years and this included one term as mayor. He retired at the last local government elections.

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