Council says no to a ?freebie

NAMBUCCA Shire councillors were not keen to accept a $7700 funding offer from the Northern Rivers Catchment Management Authority for an assessment of remnant vegetation of roadside reserves.

In his report, the council's acting director of planning, Charlie Hannavy, described the project as beneficial because it would assist future management of roadside vegetation and recommended accepting it.

But the majority of the councillors disagreed.

Cr Rhonda Hoban said she thought roadside reserves were there for road widening and sight distance.

"Why would we spend money on this land?" she asked.

Cr Mike Moran said: "As far as I'm concerned, road reserves should be cleared between the fences."

Cr John Ainsworth was concerned the study could present problems if remedial roadworks became necessary in the future.

He moved an amendment that the council write to the CMA outlining their concerns about the study impacts on future roadworks.

Cr Paula Flack spoke against the amendment and in support of accepting the funds.

"This is a freebie," she said.

"The State Government recognises roadside reserves are also corridors for biodiversity.

"This proposal asks us to select some sites to help manage this asset. It beggars belief that we would not accept this money to manage a valuable resource."

Cr Hoban asked if the funds could be used for other more urgent roadside issues.

"Can we ask the CMA if we can use the funds for the road subsidence at Wilson's Road, rather than for a flora/fauna consultant?" she asked.

The council voted in favour of writing to the CMA and requesting alternative uses for the funds.

Cr Flack voted against the motion.

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