The final bike path plan and PAMP that came to last week’s council meeting hit a road block because the community couldn’t work out what changes had been made in response to their feedback to the draft plan. This was because staff had chosen not to release the attachments to the report and it was unsearchable.
As a result, a motion was passed to defer accepting the report until the next meeting of Council and release the ‘report summarising the submissions and staff responses’.
This means that the community can now determine what changes have been incorporated, and respond to councillors and at the next council meeting.
U means dead
During councillors discussions at the meeting it became clear that any bike path in category U had virtually no chance of gaining funding.
‘U means they are dead,’ said Mayor Simon Richardson.
It became clear that the proposed bike path from Mullumbimby to Shearwater, that had a high level of community support, had not been looked at by staff. Jan Hackett confirmed with staff that, ‘If they are U it is because they haven’t been assessed.’
The Mayor suggested changing all category Us to category C. He pointed out that with over $140m already recommended for expenditure on bike paths that, ‘if those communities actually want them, they can work hard to get it. Give them a chance.’
Overall the councillors praised the inclusive process that staff had used to engage with the community.
‘This is something that’s been in development for a long time,’ said Cr Basil Cameron. ‘The PAMP plan is the first such plan for mobility and access issues. There were a significant amount of submissions about inter-town connections [particularly] the Mullumbimby to Brunswick route. This has now been placed at highest level. E-bikes game changer and it is vital we start to have inter-town connections.’
‘It’s a brilliant bike plan. It is a methodical plan and everything has been really impressive,’ said Mayor Richardson.
Contact your councillors
The motion that eventually passed, left it open for community feedback to councillors on which of the proposed bike paths in category U should be re-categorised.
The suggestion that all un-prioritised (category U) submissions had been moved into category C, as stated by the Mayor, on Bay FMs Community News Room on Friday, is incorrect.
If you have questions for staff on the the bike path plan or PAMP call 6626 7000.