Members of the Kiama Combined Community Advocacy Group (CCAG), have travelled to Macquarie Street to voice their concerns about a number of planning issues at a ministerial level.
Local Member Gareth Ward, who is also the Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services, arranged the meeting with Rob Stokes, the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces and participated in the discussions.
The CCAG brings together the North, South and Central precincts and the Jamberoo Valley Residents and Ratepayers Association, with each nominating representatives with a range of practical experience and expertise.
This includes people with backgrounds from federal, state, and local levels of government in executive management, stakeholder engagement, policy development and service delivery, as well as long-term locals with farming backgrounds and small business owners.
“In accord with current precinct guidelines we do our best to work with the Council and other authorities in a constructive and cooperative way to get the best possible outcomes for Kiama,” says Karen Lang from the Central Precinct.
“The CCAG has had extensive consultations with Council about the loss of character and heritage, the lack of adequate infrastructure especially during peak times, and the lack of a rationale for requiring further development.
“Minister Ward’s invitation was an opportunity to have these concerns heard at the regional and state government level, where Kiama planning decisions are often made.
“We aren’t NIMBYs, but believe development should be well-planned and aligned with infrastructure upgrades.”
Ms Lang said that the visit wasn’t undermining Council’s role, as it acknowledged the work that Council has already done in this direction.
“We want the views of our precincts to be considered in planning decisions across all levels of government.”
Mayor Mark Honey sees it differently,“It is disappointing someone from Council wasn’t invited to attend that meeting as well.
“CCAG did it without any consultation with Kiama Council, even though they are just supposed to be an advisory group to Council.
“It is very unfortunate.”