Sunday, July 15, 2012

Media Release

MEDIA RELEASE: 15 July 2012
TD8 Action Group met with Andrew Stoner MP on Thursday 12th July and presented him with nearly 3,000 signatures supporting the group’s request to have Bulga Road and Colling Road classified as Regional Roads. This change of status from Local Road to a Regional Road would mean the Greater Taree City Council & Port Macquarie Hastings Council receive approximately $200,000 each year to carry out vital regular maintenance. This allocation is drawn from an annual pool of around $140m dedicated to the Regional Roads network.

The petition has largely been signed by people who travelled from all corners of the world to visit Ellenborough Falls, our state’s largest single drop waterfall. The need for a safe and regularly maintained road has attracted the support key business and tourism bodies in the Manning Valley and Mid North Coast including the Wingham Business Chamber, Manning Valley Business Chamber, Regional Development Australia Mid North Coast, Forest NSW and National Parks and Wildlife Service. The TD8 Action Group was also delighted to include a joint letter of support from Greater Taree City Council and Port Macquarie Hastings Council. 
Andrew Stoner MP has committed to providing a letter of support for the petition and the group has also received a letter of support from Stephen Bromhead MP.
TD8 Action Group is appreciative of the many local residents who also supported the petition, who recognise that local rates alone cannot be expected to carry the whole burden of maintaining a long tourist route that delivers economic benefit to the statewide tourism industry.

TD8 Action Group has stressed that the classification of the Bulga and Colling Roads as Regional Roads would:
1/ maximise the Government’s expenditure on the new bridges and also recent tourism initiatives such as the “Legendary” Pacific Coast campaign
2/ save the Government from potential disaster funding requests as the roads would be regularly maintained
3/ deliver multiple benefits to the local and wider economy while being revenue neutral to the State Government.

As a result of the meeting, Andrew Stoner MP has committed to inviting the Minister for Roads and Ports, Duncan Gay MLC, to drive Tourist Drive 8 to Ellenborough Falls for himself.

The petition will be tabled by Andrew Stoner MP when Parliament resumes in mid August.

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