MidCoast Council Local Representative Commitee community meeting at Wingham

Representing the people: the MidCoast Council Local Representative Committee consists of 12 former councillors from the three amalgamated councils. Photo: supplied.

Representing the people: the MidCoast Council Local Representative Committee consists of 12 former councillors from the three amalgamated councils. Photo: supplied.

“The zebra crossings in the main street are a bloody disgrace,” LRC member and former Great Lakes mayor Jan McWilliams said at the MidCoast Council Local Representative Committee (LRC) drop in session at Wingham on September 21 at Wingham Town Hall.

The Wingham Memorial Pool was also a topic for discussion with Wingham Advancement Group members stating they are frustrated by not ever receiving a definitive answer as to whether the pool will remain operating. 

The meet and greet was part of a series of sessions provided around the region for community members to meet their LRC members, and for the LRC members to take community concerns directly back to MidCoast Council administrator John Turner.

Less than 30 people attended, including LRC members Jan McWilliams, former Gloucester councillor Frank Hooke, and former Greater Taree City Council councillors Trent Jennison, Robyn Jenkins, David West, and Kathryn Bell. 

Chairperson of the LRC, Jan McWilliams started the meeting by saying they were “dead serious about getting things done”.

Former GTCC councillor Peter Epov posed a number of questions to the LRC regarding the way they were elected, whether the LRC was constituted by resolution and how the LRC members were put in place.

He also expressed his concerns a number of times that while the former GTCC area is the more highly populated of the three former local government areas, there were less former GTCC councillors elected to the LRC than there were former Great Lakes councillors.

Jan McWilliams replied that the State government appointed the LRC members, and that every councillor from the three former LGAs was invited to apply prior to the committee being put in place.

Mr Turner’s previous involvement in mining companies was questioned and whether his pro-mining stance would come into play regarding mining leases.

Jan McWilliams answered that as mining is a State government issue, Mr Turner had nothing to do with it, and that he resigned his position on those committees when he became the MidCoast Council administrator.

A couple of people expressed concerns about the state of the roads, and in particular the visibility of zebra crossings in Wingham’s CBD. 

The LRC members urged everybody present to put their concerns in writing on forms provided for them to take back directly to Mr Turner. These forms are also available on the Midcoast Council website.

LRC and community members alike agreed that the amalgamation process was “in chaos”.

The LRC pleaded for everyone to “be patient” and that the preparation of a management plan for the incoming council is taking place.

The next LRC community meeting to be held in Wingham will be at 6pm on Thursday, October 20. More information will be released closer to the date.

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