Time for a change

The Lower River community packed the Civic Hall in Maclean to hear the views and aspirations from the 17 candidates who attended the ‘Meet the Candidates’ function in Maclean last week. Rates and community consultation dominated the question time, and it was clear that the way forward was for council to listen to the community. The Maclean Greater Community Action Group who funded and organised the event was very pleased with the outcome of the evening. President Ian McLennan expressed thanks to the community for their support and he conveyed thanks to those candidates who did attend. One of the big ticket items facing the Community Action Group over the coming weeks is to save 1 McNaughton Place from private developers. This valuable river front community land behind the Vets is located in a prime historic location and should be saved as open space for community use. Council has listed this property, along with several others, to go under the hammer to be sold to help fund the new Grafton super depot. The Maclean community is outraged about losing this valuable potential green space to a private developer, as proposed. The sitting councillors all seem to view 1 McNaughton place as a redundant brick and mortar building. This valuable community waterfront land should not be sold and kept as community green-space to compensate for the loss of green space in Cameron Park that council sold to a private developer. The land at 1 McNaughton Place could be used as open park space, as opposed to a block of 3 storey units, as supported by Andrew Baker. This current council may not have a use for the building, but once the land is sold the location is lost to the Maclean community forever. If council is short on cash, they still own other Maclean properties in Short Street that are not listed for sale and could be sold to save 1 McNaughton place. This land could become a welcome space to open up Bookend A as part of the extended boardwalk from Bookend B (McLachlan Park). The Community Action Group will undertake a target survey to new candidates to rescind council’s previous motion to sell 1 McNaughton Place. Council needs to take off their developer’s hat and put on their community hat to achieve a better outcome for Maclean. Ian McLennan – President Maclean Greater Community Action Group