Gillespie releases survey results

Federal Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie has released the findings of a survey conducted into Greater Taree City Council's management of Federal funding and its roads and bridges program.

Dr Gillespie delivered a copy of the results to Greater Taree City Council on Friday and has also provided a copy to the State member for Myall Lakes Stephen Bromhead who will be passing on the findings to the NSW minister for local government and minister for the North Coast, Don Page.

Dr Gillespie said the response from the Manning Valley community had been phenomenal with around 2362 responses to the survey, along with hundreds of phone calls to his office.

"Many people have provided other information and correspondence in addition to the survey. It's been a very big job collating all of this information. I'm still receiving responses into the office even today - and I will of course collate them and forward them on," Dr Gillespie said.

"The community want council to start listening. The community want council to start acknowledging the problems and look at better and more efficient ways of delivering infrastructure and services. The community also want council to understand their priorities."

"There have been numerous examples raised about inefficiency both within council and in the delivery of outside services. In addition to local residents concerns, former and current staff have come to me with their concerns that council is not implementing best practice and they want management and the leadership to start changing the way they do things."

Around 83 per cent of respondents indicated they were not satisfied with the way Greater Taree City Council spends their rates and Federal and State taxpayer funds.

Only 10 per cent of those who returned the survey said Greater Taree City Council was doing a good job managing the local road network, while 85 per cent said they were not.

The survey also asked residents whether they thought Greater Taree City Council would benefit from obtaining external advice from independent experts on how to get greater efficiencies in its roads program. Some 15 per cent of respondents disagreed with the idea, while 79 per cent said council would benefit from external advice from independent experts.

Dr Gillespie said over 140 roads were suggested as needing improvement utilising some of the Federal funding currently provided to council.

The top 15 projects identified include: Bucketts Way (341 returned survey forms), all roads in GTCC's area (313), Manning Point Road (210), Old Bar Road (198), Wingham Road (99), Dyers Crossing Bridge (93), The Lakes Way (89), Muldoon Street-Wingham Road intersection (86), Pulteney Street (74 ), Gloucester Road (72), Wallanbah Road (70), Black Head Road (61), Lansdowne Road (57), Diamond Beach Road (57) and 50 indicated local bridges needed attention.

Dr Gillespie said the community had made it overwhelmingly clear that their number one local priority was to see improvements to local roads and bridges.