COUNCIL BRIEFS: Outcomes from monthly meeting held 28 May

Clarence Valley Council held its monthly Ordinary Council Meeting on Tuesday, 28 May 2024 at the Maclean Council Chambers.Three Notice of Motions were considered and followed by 13 of 24 items debated and the other 11 adopted by consent in a meeting which lasted three hours and 14 minutes

Clarence Valley Council Shows Support to Retain the Ulmarra Ferry

Clarence Valley Council will write to the Minister for Regional Transport and Roads of New South Wales, Jenny Aitchinson and Premier of New South Wales, Chris Minns, requesting a review of the decision to terminate the Ulmarra to Southgate ferry service.

Transport for NSW announced that the Ulmarra to Southgate Ferry will be decommissioned by the last low tide on 10 June 2024. The media release stated there were numerous factors that influenced the decision to retire the service, which largely came down to low usage, reliability, the ferry’s age, and the availability of suitable alternative transport routes.

The Notice of Motion, which was brought before Council by Councillor Steve Pickering, also proposes to write to local Member for Clarence, Richie Williamson, thanking him for his support to date and asking that he make representation requesting a review on the decision alongside Council.

Councillor Pickering said the service has been in operation since 1890’s and acts as a bridge for the communities of Ulmarra and Southgate.

“It joins the communities of Ulmarra and Southgate together as one and it’s an important piece of infrastructure.”

“The Ulmarra to Southgate ferry is utilised by residents, businesses, farmers, tourists, and families with school children, taking almost half an hour off round trips.

“As soon as the community caught wind of the Ulmarra to Southgate ferry possibly being decommissioned, they jumped into action to start a paper petition.

“Within six weeks over six thousand signatures were received. That is an awful amount of support for this service to remain”.

The day the petition was to be lodged with Richie Williamson MP was the same day Transport for NSW announced the decision was made to decommission the service.

Councillor Greg Clancy, who seconded the motion said this is a really important issue for the community.

“We should lobby State Government on issues like this because we’re elected to fight for issues like this and I think it’s a really worthwhile thing.

“I commend the community and councillor Pickering for moving this motion.”

The motion was carried unanimously.

Proposed Interim Flood Planning Levels Deferred for Councillor Workshop

Following the public exhibition period where 24 submissions were received, the Interim Flood Planning Levels was back before Council at its May Ordinary meeting.

The Flood Planning Levels are informed by the peak flood depths across the Clarence Valley floodplain during a predicted 1% annual exceedance probability (AEP) flood event that includes mid-range climate change considerations, as indicated by the Lower Clarence Flood Model Update 2022. An additional 500mm ‘freeboard’ is added to this flood event to determine the proposed interim Flood Planning Levels.

The officer’s recommendation was to adopt the interim Flood Planning Levels based on the Lower Clarence Flood Model Update 2022, being 1% AEP2090 Climate Change (RCP 4.5) Scenario as the defined flood event + 500mm freeboard, modify Floodplain Management Controls in Council’s Development Control Plans (DCPs) to align with the interim Flood Planning Levels, and confirm that the previous Flood Planning Levels derived from the 2013 flood model will continue to apply to existing development applications and those under assessment.

Councillor Greg Clancy proposed to defer for a councillor workshop so councillors could better understand the Flood Planning Levels.

Councillor Bill Day seconded the foreshadow motion saying he is a supporter of workshopping complex issues.

Councillor Clancy’s motion was carried 5 – 4 with Councillors Peter Johnstone, Steve Pickering, Karen Toms and Allison Whaites voting against.

The item has been deferred to a workshop and will be back before council at a later date.

Sister Trio Benefit from Cultural & Sports Trust Fund

Grafton’s latest hockey stars Shaniqua, Shelera, and Martina Williams will each receive $300 from the Clarence Valley Cultural and Sports Trust Fund after being selected to compete at the Hockey NSW Australian U18’s National Championship being held on the Gold Coast from 3 – 11 July 2024.

Councillor Steve Pickering praised the sisters for being selected to represent New South Wales.

“I’d like to say a big congratulations to Shaniqua Williams, Shelera Williams and Martina Williams who have all been selected to represent New South Wales at the Hockey NSW Australian U18’s National Championship.”

The Clarence Valley Cultural and Sports Trust Fund provides financial support, in any calendar year, to a maximum of $300 for individuals to attend one event at a national level, and $550 per individual for one event at an international level.

The requests for assistance were approved unanimously by councillors at the Ordinary Council Meeting on 28 May.

Williams Sisters

Future Management and Development of Cameron Park, Maclean Endorsed

Councillors unanimously supported the Cameron Park, Maclean masterplan which aims to revitalise the park into a beautiful and vibrant destination where residents and visitors can enjoy going to the monthly markets or simply sit back, relax, and enjoy the great outdoors.

The masterplan details a range of improvements and upgrades which will transform the park into a unique and engaging public open green space which will feature the parks iconic mature fig trees and celebrate and acknowledge Maclean’s rich history and cultural heritage.

The masterplan will also deliver formal and greenway pedestrian pathway linkages that will connect Maclean’s ‘Green Heart’ with the town centre and provide everybody with the opportunity to easily access and enjoy this bustling hub of recreational activity.

Active Transport Strategy Adopted

The Draft Active Transport Strategy 2024/2044 was back before Council after it was placed on public exhibition in March which saw 33 submissions received during the exhibition period. As a result, several minor amendments were made to the proposed walking and cycling network strategy.

These amendments relate to key footpaths in Lawrence, which have been divided into smaller segments to allow the higher priority footpaths to be delivered in earlier stages, a shared user path has also been included on Micalo Street Iluka, and safety concerns regarding the alignment of the pathway on Yamba Road at the entrance to the fish co-op have also been incorporated.

Councillor Steve Pickering said he’s pleased the strategy had been modified following community consultation.

“Some of the footpaths and connections in Lawrence have increased in priority which is a great thing.

“Without further community consultation those changed may not have occurred.”

The Active Transport Strategy 2024/2044 details Council’s plan to provide more sustainable transport options. It covers upgrades to infrastructure, such as footpaths, shared paths, and bike lanes. The Strategy also provides guidance on policy changes, education, and promotional activities to provide more people the opportunity and freedom to walk and ride a bike.

Councillors endorsed the Active Transport Strategy 2024/2044 unanimously.

/Public Release. View in full here.