Times letters reflect support for mayor's commitment

LETTER writers to the Manning River Times were lauded by Greater Taree City councillors at Wednesday night's special meeting.

Wednesday's Times contained five letters supporting council and Cr Trent Jennison said that reflected the level of support he was seeing personally.

The mayor, Paul Hogan was congratulated for taking the "fight" to the federal member.

Long-serving councillor David West said he had served under four mayors and had never seen a mayor put under the stress that Cr Hogan had to manage as a result of this issue.

"From day one we have been on the front foot," Cr West said. "I applaud you for your commitment."

"I have only been acting on behalf of the community," the mayor said.

Cr Alan Tickle said he was approached by a young person while having coffee at the weekend. "He apologised to me for what council has copped," Cr Tickle said. "It made my day."

Cr Jennison also apologised to the mayor's wife, Pattie (who was in the audience) for all the "crap" she has had to deal with and the time the mayor has had to spend on this issue.

Cr Kathryn Bell asked council not to discount the issues raised by the 2300 respondents to federal MP David Gillespie's "Manning Valley Better Roads Survey".

"I agree with the mayor, the results (of the 'survey') are no surprise," she said.

Cr Bell began to ask for a cost of 'human hours' spent on the battle to get federal funding.

Cr Brad Christensen: "You don't want council to fight the fight?"

Cr Bell: "At this point in the fight it seems there will be no winner."

Cr Bell said the main issue was the bad condition of roads and questioned whether council could meet the deadline to secure the $10m for the Northern Gateway transport hub.

"I don't think it is unreasonable to protect the $10m in Commonwealth funding (for roads). I see this as an opportunity that shouldn't be lost," she said.

Cr David Keegan: "You are aware these fundings are totally different?"

Cr Bell: "Dr Gillespie has suggested council consider, if State Government funding doesn't come through, federal funding will fall over."

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