Cr David Tomlinson is hoping to lead the Roads and Services Action Party at the Lismore City Council elections.
Cr David Tomlinson is hoping to lead the Roads and Services Action Party at the Lismore City Council elections. The Northern Star

Lismore councillor to stand on roads ticket

LISMORE councillor David Tomlinson is looking for another couple of people to come to his party.

Cr Tomlinson, who ran as an independent at the last council election, has reformed the Roads and Services Action Party.

According to its website, the big agenda items for the party are roads and infrastructure and taking control of development.

"There is an increasing concern that council continues to cut the road budget and (the party) is responding to that," he said.

In order to run as a party he needs to have a minimum of six registered candidates. He still needs a couple more people on his ticket to register.

At next Tuesday's council meeting, Cr Tomlinson is hoping to slash $2.5 million from the budget and redirect it towards roads.

He is putting up a motion to establish a task force of senior management and councillors 'to review council's financial priorities and strategic direction, with the overall aim of finding an extra $2.5 million per year to spend on core infrastructure such as roads'.

Cr Tomlinson said the motion had the support of council staff and would initially target areas where there was duplication of services, such as having two heated swimming pools open in winter.

"Council staff would come up with list of areas where there could be cuts," he said. He also suggested curb and guttering works and beautification projects, such as the proposed Woodlark Street upgrade, as areas that could be cut.

"Council has not undertaken a comprehensive review of its operations for many years. The budget indicates there is very little discretionary funding available for any new works, yet alone maintaining existing vital infrastructure. Over time priorities change," Cr Tomlinson said.

The draft 2008/09 budget went on public display last week.

"This is the last year of the current council and we need to have our budget in good shape for the incoming council later this year," he said.

A report to council last year said an additional $2.2 million a year needed to be spent on sealed roads to prevent them from becoming worse, with another $79 million required to bring the network to a 'satisfactory' standard.

Cr Tomlinson said funding for gravel roads had fallen by 30 per cent since 2002.

"Constantly cutting road funding is unsustainable," he said.

Cr Tomlinson said a survey of local residents identified roads as the most important item, with 65 per cent dissatisfied with urban roads and 79 per cent unhappy with rural roads; 83 per cent of respondents said they wanted council to spend more money on roads.


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