Manning roads and bridges petition with government committee

THE House of Representatives Standing Committee on Petitions is scrutinising the Better Roads and Bridges Petition, according to campaign organiser Greater Taree City councillor Peter Epov.

"It was sent weeks and weeks ago," Cr Epov said in response to the question about when the petition carrying almost 21,000 signatures was sent to Canberra.

Cr Epov said "it was impossible to table it before the budget as parliament was in recess and if it had been tabled the week following we would have been lost in the budget process."

Cr Epov said the petition was with the committee and it would ensure it complied with standing orders.

The next step, according to Cr Epov is to secure the support of a federal member of parliament to table the petition, however, he explained that it could also be tabled by the chairman of the Standing Committee on Petitions.

The Better Roads and Bridges Petition united the Manning Valley community during March with almost 21,000 people signing the Better Roads and Bridges Petition in around three weeks. The stated objectives of the petition was to get the $11.4 million restored to council, for the federal government to allocate additional funds to council for its roads and bridges program and for the federal government to establish and fund structures for providing direct funding to rural local government areas for roads and bridges.

In the April 25-26 edition of the Manning River Times, Cr Epov said the signatures were a "decisive expression and a confirmation from a majority of people in the Manning Valley, in the clearest possible terms, that we have a major roads and bridges funding crisis, which must be urgently addressed."

"We will use this powerful mandate granted to us by the people of the valley to launch into a strategic integrated national lobby campaign. We will not stop at just delivering and tabling the petition in the House of Representatives, there is a great deal more to be done. For us the real work starts with turning the petition into constructive outcomes.

"This is a tremendous example of the community embracing our petition and uniting with a singular purpose of addressing a serious and important issue. People want to participate and they want to be engaged, it's a question of trust and methodology."