Feel totally let down

Ed, I am writing this letter over something that I have been stewing over for a couple of months regarding the new service station which now involves traffic lights at Yamba Road and Treelands Drive. I have only lived in Yamba for the last five years, and I love the town. The welcoming that is given to newly arrived families, from the young adults to the kids who acknowledge you on the street is amazing, and after becoming a rate payer I felt very privileged. I sent an email to Councilors of the Clarence Valley Council asking to consider an alternative to the traffic lights, of opening up Witonga Drive to Yamba Road. It has been suggested by other residents as well. Older local residents have told me that the developer was going to finish off Witonga Road, but it made me wonder……. would it not be Council that would maintain the road when finished. So why won’t the Council negotiate with the developer and get the road made and then some of the traffic problem could be solved? As it is now, Osprey Drive gets enough traffic by locals using it as a short cut so they can access the north/west side of Yamba Road; sometimes travelling very fast. I did receive replies from a couple of Councilors saying they would forward my email to the Director of Environment, Planning and Community for his consideration but money would be the issue, which didn’t surprise me and I thank them. Then I read an article in the paper basically telling the existing residents in the area of the service station who it is going to affect, to basically “suck it up” and that they shouldn’t complain of the expansion of the newly rezoned area. Who was there first? Wasn’t it zoned residential when they bought their properties? So my second email said:- If you really need the money from Coles why not rezone somewhere else on Yamba Road or Treelands Drive. I feel totally let down with our council. I cannot understand why ratepayer’s voices are not heard. But those with the money win all. It just looks so bad for those who voted for approval. They will not get my vote ever again. So disappointed. Then I was blatantly told by one particular Councilor. “The issue of Coles is not an issue. The applicant wasn’t Coles in any event. The applicant may very well lease the development to Coles but that’s their business, not Council’s. Or yours. Proper, lawful planning decision-making is not made based on the ‘voices of ratepayers’ whatever that means. Just as it’s not based on the irrational shrieking of a small minority of people – no matter how loud and persistent that shrieking is. You vote for me in some future election that I may or may not contest is totally irrelevant. I’m not elected to please you on every decision that’s made and I’ll not pretend I’ll try to please anyone on every decision. I don’t live in Yamba. I’m uncertain how that’s relevant to you? It’s not to me.” I just wanted to share this response…….so disappointed with these comments and feel totally let down. I thought Councilors should listen to their constituents, after all they voted them into office. Bring back Respect and Responsibility. Lee-Anne Jones, Yamba