In a Mid-Western Regional Council meeting that had a series of hot topics, the notice of recession pertaining to the closure of MacArthur Park Road flared tempers, and had the gallery the loudest it has been in months.
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Led by Mayor Des Kennedy, Deputy Mayor Paul Cavalier and Cr Peter Shelley, the recession aimed to bring the closure of MacArthur Park Road back to the forefront of the council, with eyes to allow Anthony Edward Fitzgerald to make a road closure application to the NSW Department of Industry – Lands.
The original issue was brought before council just one month before at the March 15 meeting, where the council unanimously voted to reject the request to close the road and sell the council property to Mr Fitzgerald.
This was mainly due to information brought before the council by RFS area captain Neil Williams that suggested Kains Flat and Ironbark Road residents needed the road for fire escape routes.
Four speakers addressed the council at the open day, with Lawrie Hitchens, David Evans and Guy Kemp all speaking for the road to remain open for residents and locals.
Anthony Fitzgerald, who allegedly is planning to develop the land into a commercial BMX staging ground, also spoke at the end of the open day and suggested that if the residents wanted to keep the road open he could simply “fence either end of the road on his property and make it inaccessible”.
His suggestion was if the road was closed and privatised he would connect gates instead, with keys for locals who “really need to get out of the dangers of fire through the land”.
Though Cr Thompson’s and Cr Karavas’ orations were met with applause from the audience, Cr Shelley spoke and ended at odds with the gathered gallery.
In the end however, the votes fell against those councillors looking for a recession of the motion, and the decision and vote from the March 15 meeting was upheld by council.
Next Open Day is May 17.
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