Councillors efficacy examined by a strong public voice
A STRONG new voice to represent the views of the community is making its presence felt on the streets of the town.
The Greater Maclean Community Action Group, formed six months ago and boasting 130 members, is just about to release the results of a survey it ran over the last week.
Group president Bob McPherson said the survey sought to gain the views of the community on the performance of the Clarence Valley Council on the Lower Clarence.
It asked people to rate the administration on a scale of 1 to 10 on its overall performance, asked if people thought the council was run by senior staff or the elected representatives and if Maclean and the Lower River was given its fair share of attention and maintenance.
"We conducted the survey during the MacMarket last weekend and during the week," he said.
"We have been very pleased with the response. We gave people multiple choice replies to the three questions we asked and allowed a good amount of space for people to write in their own view," he said.
"It's been pleasing to see so many people take the opportunity to have their say on the survey questions.
"We had 87 people fill it out on one day which was pretty good considering the day we had."
Mr McPherson said the new group wants to be a positive force in the community and give council another option when it seeks to consult with the people of Maclean.
"At the moment it's just the Chamber of Commerce, which is fine as a voice of the commercial operation of the town," he said.
"But I believe there is a need for the community to have a voice and this is where our group comes in."
Mr McPherson said an example of the way the group can work is with the plans to dismantle the iconic ferry in Ferry Park.
"I believe council has a plan to spend $19,000 to take the ferry away," he said.
"There is a group of us in town who want to keep the ferry and we're prepared to restore it to its former glory and maintain it."
Mr McPherson said the group had formed in response to what he felt was bad decision by council to sell off public space in Cameron Park for a second supermarket.
"We don't feel there was adequate public consultation on that issue," he said.
"But when council came here to discuss the development of McLachlan Park, we thought the public consultation was handled well.
"They took over a shop and showed us what they had planned and gave everyone a chance to have a say," he said.
Mr McPherson said the group was looking at the survey results and collating them.
"We will release our findings during the week," he said.