Council responds to calls for NSW Government intervention

Kempsey Shire Council has responded to calls by Save Kempsey Airport Action Group (SKAAG), Kempsey Cinema Action Group and the Crescent Head Residents & Ratepayers Group for intervention from the NSW Local Government Minister.

Council’s General Manager, Craig Milburn, said residents have the right to express their opinions on issues of community importance and interest.

“This is a key part of the democracy process that Kempsey Shire Council encourages, so long as all parties respect the views of each other,” he said.

“Council has faced some significant and challenging decisions in the past 18 months which have resulted in some sections of the Shire’s 29,500 population feeling aggrieved.

“It’s our understanding that the majority of the 35 complaints to the Office of Local Government (OLG) for 2017-18 related to the CBD cinema and the management of Kempsey Airport. To date, the OLG has only made enquiries with Council about two of those complaints and has not initiated any follow-up actions.”

Mr Milburn said Council is committed to continuing to build community trust and increase opportunities for residents to have their say to better inform future decision-making processes.

“For example, our ongoing series of community catch-ups throughout the Shire have resulted in effective and prioritised grant applications and project delivery in Frederickton, Gladstone and South West Rocks,” he said.

“In 2018, Council established the Kempsey Airport Reference Group comprising community representatives, Council staff and technical experts to increase engagement about the management of the Airport.

“Recently, the draft Noise Management Plan and Fly Neighbourly Advice for the Airport were placed on public exhibition for an extended 12-week period to provide the community with a further opportunity to provide feedback. A report incorporating this feedback is due to be presented to Council in June before any decision is made on the future Airport management.”

Council is committed to open and transparent partnerships with the community and encourages residents to have their say on a range of projects and works via our online engagement site, Your Say Macleay at https://yoursay.macleay.nsw.gov.au

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